Going the extra mile to improve quality of life
7 August 2021
Mark* is 38 years old and has spent the last 15 years in an aged care facility after a car accident left him paralysed and with severe brain damage.
Mark has strong support from his family, however his parents are elderly and they have been unable to manage his needs at home. In Mark’s case, the Public Trustee was appointed by the Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to manage his finances.
The Public Trustee supports more than 9000 vulnerable Queenslanders each year and in most cases, is appointed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) as a financial administrator for people who have impaired capacity.
Mark’s family visit him daily at the aged care facility and they try to take him out as much as they can. When the Public Trustee was appointed to manage his finances, Mark’s parents said they wanted to take Mark out more often, but his wheelchair would only fit into a maxi-taxi.
Using a maxi-taxi was not only expensive, but Mark and his parents often had to wait long periods of time in difficult weather conditions for transport to bring them home. The locations of Mark’s outings were limited because the local maxi-taxis were heavily booked for school runs in the mornings and afternoons.
Mark’s family wanted to use money from his trust fund to buy a second hand modified vehicle that his wheelchair could fit into, so they could take him out more often. The problem was finding one that Mark could afford as modified vehicles are extremely expensive, and second hand vehicles that don’t require further modifications are rare.
The Public Trustee’s Trust Officers worked with Mark’s family to come up with a solution. They suggested buying him a brand new car and requesting the funding for the modifications through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Requesting funding to suit Mark’s needs was a detailed process but the determination of his Trust Officers paid off, and the NDIS approved the modifications and paid for them to be done on the new vehicle.
Mark’s family now enjoy taking him to do all the things he loved most before his accident including fishing, going to the beach and watching live football games.
Mark’s case is a great example of what can be achieved when the Public Trustee works with customers, their families and support network to achieve a common goal and improve their quality of life.
With the introduction of the Human Rights Act in January 2020, the Public Trustee is committed to delivering on its obligations. To enable this, the Public Trustee has introduced a Customers First Agenda, developed a Social Responsibility Charter and updated its Strategic Plan 2020-2024.
Private administrators, trusted friends and family members are all considered as the preferred choice before the appointment of the Public Trustee. Where the Public Trustee is appointed, we are committed to protecting our customers’ rights, dignity and interests and ensuring we put our customers at the centre of everything we do.
If you would like more information about personal financial administration visit QCAT Administration for adults, the Office of the Public Guardian or contact the Public Trustee on 1300 360 044 for advice.