SEVERELY autistic man Luke Modra will remain in his Lockwood South home for at least another month after the department gave the family a “reprieve”.
Luke was facing relocation from his house on October 1 after funds for his 2:1 care ran out.
But the Department of Health and Human Services has extended the funding until the end of October to try and find a solution with the Modra family.
Luke’s father, Mark Modra, said the reprieve could give the family time to have productive conversations with DHHS.
“The Individual Support Package – what we were receiving before – has been extended until the end of October,” he said.
“It gives us time.”
In an email exchange, the DHHS stated the extra month would allow both parties to “determine the source of [the] over-spending on Luke’s existing allocation”, and “work together to develop a sustainable solution for Luke”.
The family needs just over $700,000 per year to continue Luke’s care at the current level, but the DHHS has calculated the figure at $558,000.
The family believes the amount is inadequate to cover the costs required at the Lockwood South home, including eight casual workers rotating in shifts to ensure two are on-site at all times.
Mr Modra said the department had not factored in the amount needed to up-skill and train the workers at the home, most of whom are relatively inexperienced support workers.
He said a solution needed to be found until May next year, when the National Disability Insurance Scheme is rolled out in the Bendigo region.
“I’ve learnt that there is an emergency provision in the Act to start some special cases on the NDIS before May next year,” Mr Modra said.
A spokesperson for DHHS said the department would continue to work with the family to find a solution.
“The department has asked the family to attend a meeting to discuss options relating to Luke's ongoing care,” the spokesperson said.
“It has also offered bridging funding to ensure Luke can remain in the family home while a sustainable arrangement is agreed.”
The department reiterated that the Modra family receives a “significant package” of funding for the care and support of Luke, and that the family made decisions on how the funding was used.