Guardianship order because of NDIS implementation: “…an unfortunate irony…”

NZO [2014] NSWCATGD 9 saw the tribunal consider the need for a guardian to be appointed for a 68 year old woman with intellectual disability, to make decisions for her in certain areas of her life, primarily due to the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

At an earlier hearing there was uncertainty about the potential impact of the NDIS on NZO, bearing in mind that being over age 65 she would not be entitled to become a participant in the scheme: [18]. However she resided in shared accommodation with two younger persons entitled to become NDIS participants, so some decisions would need to be made about that. Applications would be required the NDIS for continuity of support arrangement and/or to the Commonwealth Aged Care system for an assessment for support: [20].

A guardianship order was made for a period of one year, in favour of the Public Guardian.

The Tribunal commented at [27]:

…it is an unfortunate irony that in the Tribunal must conclude that Miss NZO, a person who was not otherwise a person currently needing the appointment of a substitute decision maker, now requires this appointment based in NSW law due to the implementation of a Commonwealth scheme appropriately designed to enhance the autonomy and recognition of the legal capacity of persons with disabilities.

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