Disability allowance is ‘the major issue’

Tracy and Hayden Morgan with their sons Blair (9) and Cameron (14 ) moved to Perth from New Zealand six years ago, Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d404554
Tracy and Hayden Morgan with their sons Blair (9) and Cameron (14 ) moved to Perth from New Zealand six years ago, Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d404554

Hayden and Tracy migrated to Perth in October 2007, but found they cannot access all services and support here, despite being able to live and work in the country as long as they wish.

Soon after they arrived, their older son, Cameron (now 14) was diagnosed with childhood epilepsy, but Mrs Morgan said that when she applied for a carer’s allowance, she was told they had to live here for two years before being eligible.

Two years later she was told that, as a New Zealander on a special category visa (SCV), she was not eligible at all.

The Morgans said they were unlikely to meet the criteria for other visas that provide permanent residency status, and under the current system, SCV holders would never be eligible for permanent residency, regardless of how long they live in Australia.

‘The major issue has been a disability allowance ” Cameron has an intellectual disability (severe central auditory processing disorder) but can’t get any help with tutoring or occupational therapy,’ she said.

Mr Morgan, who works as a designer drafter but is a fitter, turner and welder by trade, said they also had to pay the full price for their son’s medication, which cost about $80 a month.

While their other son, Blair, is only nine years old now, Mrs Morgan said he might not get access to tertiary education later because he would not be able to apply for a student loan.

‘We have no plans on returning to New Zealand, we see this as our home,’ Mrs Morgan said, adding they recently built a house in Alkimos. ‘We didn’t come over to bludge off anyone, we came over here to make a life for us and our kids.’

‘We want to have the same rights as Australians have in New Zealand ” straight away when they go into New Zealand, they become permanent residents.’

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