A south-west teacher desperate to return to work is concerned she won't be able to do so because her National Disability Insurance Scheme funding has been slashed.
Alison Coate-Kibeiks, 44, suffered an ischemic stroke four years ago.
Her partner recognised signs of a stroke when Ms Coate-Kibeiks woke and immediately called an ambulance.
Ms Coate-Kibeiks was rushed to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a critical condition.
She was in hospital for two weeks before being moved to a rehabilitation facility.
In the months after her stroke, Ms Coate-Kibeiks had very little mobility.
She was using a motorised wheelchair for a long period of time.
"At the start I needed a person on each side of me to support me upright on the side of a bed," she said.
"I still have no movement or function in my left hand but I'm quite mobile over different surfaces.
"However, I use a stick and ankle brace."
Ms Coate-Kibeiks has undergone occupational therapy, physiotherapy and exercise physiology to aid in her recovery.
In the first year after the stroke, her NDIS funding covered the cost of treatment, as well as four hours of community support per week.
However, Ms Coate-Kibeiks said her NDIS budget had been slashed and she no longer had access to the amount of therapy she needed to return to work.
She said she had inquired about extra funding to return to work but had so far been unsuccessful in obtaining any.
"Considering a major goal of mine is to return to work, I feel NDIS has let me down with funding because I can't afford any more OT support," she said.
Ms Coate-Kibeiks said she considered herself lucky because she was able to advocate for herself after her stroke.
"I was lucky that my brain injury didn't affect me cognitively and I have been able to do a lot of work to apply for funding myself," she said.
"I worry that people who don't have the cognitive ability or anyone to advocate for them will be affected significantly.
"I feel very capable of advocating for myself and I'm having such difficulty, so I worry about people who don't have the ability to advocate for themselves."
Ms Coate-Kibeiks said she was grateful for the NDIS funding, but was concerned other people wanting to return to work will be in the same boat as her.
A National Disability Insurance Agency spokeswoman said the department had contacted Ms Coate-Kibeiks.
"The National Disability Insurance Agency has been in contact with Alison to discuss her concerns and will continue to work with her to ensure she continues to receive the disability-related supports she needs," the spokeswoman said.
"The NDIA understands the challenges posed by changes to a participant's plan and is focused on ensuring participants receive the required disability-related supports for their individual circumstances, such as returning to work.
"Participants can request to change their plan at any time. The participant's NDIA planner, support coordinator or local area coordinator can work with them to make sure they get the right evidence to support their request."
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