Aussie with severe hand spasm told he's 'not disabled enough' for benefit

An Australian man says he has been denied disability benefits, because he is "not disabled enough".

Martin Barclay has been living with a severely damaged hand for 20 years.

"I can't shower, I can't cook... you can't prepare a meal with one hand," he told 7 News.

Despite his difficulties, 48-year-old Barclay has been rejected by The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). His doctor lodged a claim for support with Australia's federal government's disability scheme in February.

The application was sent back, with a letter implying Barclay's impairment was not permanent.

"When I got that letter, I just cried for two days, virtually," he told 7 News.

His hand was damaged in a work place accident in 2002. Ever since the accident, Barclay's hand spasms constantly, and is so clenched that every six weeks he has to be sedated so doctors can clean it for him.

"I don't want to go out in public like this, you know - that's the hard thing," he told 7 News. "I find it absolutely appalling, you know, this poor disabled person, just pushed to the side."

He is currently staying in a friend's motel, after being kicked out of his home by his ex-partner last year.

The South Australian housing authority has moved to help Barclay, and have lined up housing for him in St Clare.

The NDIS has also confirmed they will review his disability claim, following inquiries by 7 News.



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