Born with spina bifida, Charlie suffered from faecal and urinary incontinence. Having been a recipient of the disability support pension, Charlie decided he wanted to enter the workforce on a full time basis.
He found a job and surrendered his pension. Charlie drove trucks for nearly 6 years. Whilst driving, he had regular “accidents” which left him with no option but to go home and shower. At work, he avoided contact with his co-workers and never ate in the lunch room for fear they would detect the odour that was normally present. Managing his disability in these circumstances eventually became too much and Charlie was forced to resign.
Unsuccessful with a new claim for the disability support pension, Charlie had to exist on Newstart Allowance and his living standards fell dramatically. Unable to afford the latex liner bags for his catheter, Charlie cleaned and reused the liners, contrary to medical advice that they should be replaced, never reused. This made Charlie prone to serious bladder and kidney infections, which he contracted on an almost monthly, basis.
On review to the former Social Security Appeals Tribunal, BRQ succeeded in obtaining the disability support pension and more than 12 months of arrears for Charlie. Now Charlie has some financial security, he is able to afford his medical requirements and he has recovered some dignity.