We are made to choose between our disabled son and his siblings due to unfair policy.

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We have a severely disabled son named Neri who is nineteen years old. He has severe Autism and displays extreme behaviours and needs one on one supervision at all times.  Shelley and and I are his full time carers. He is the fourth of our six children. In 2008 I was made redundant and due to our sons severe and increasingly challenging behaviour, we were forced to give up full time work to care for him.

It has been  incredibly stressful and challenging taking care of Neri's needs and our other children have sacrificed a lot in their lives due to their brothers ongoing care.

 But it now seems that after all our family have gone through we are faced with another challenge.

 Due to us being unable to work full-time, we were forced to become reliant on the Department of Housing private rental subsidy scheme. This has been extremely helpful, however now that our other children are finishing school and reaching working age, due to the restrictions as tenants that we come under through the department, our other children, who want to work full time, are unable to do so as their wages are taken into account with the family's gross income.

This means that if our children work too much, our income will be seen as too high and we will lose our rental subsidy and be forced to abandon our disabled son to the State so we can work full-time to pay our rent, or tell our other children they have to move out as soon as they leave school. Due to high rents they would also have to move away from the area, which would mean they wouldn't be close to family. It pretty much comes down to choosing between them or their disabled brother, which is very unfair.

To put our son into full-time care would cost the government hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. We as his full-time carers receive much less than that, and by choosing to look after him at home save the government thousands.

If he stays with us at home and our other children are able to work full-time, they would be able to contribute more to the rental subsidy, pay more taxes, and would be able to set goals, and work towards things they want in life, just like other young adults their age.

We do require rental subsidy, and just want our other children to have the same opportunities as everyone else. Why should they have to sacrifice even more, when they've been making huge sacrifices their whole lives. Please help us succeed in changing these policies and sign our petition. Thank you.



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