The parents of a three-year-old boy with brain damage and cerebral palsy have been told that he is not entitled to vital facilities for people with disabilities because they are not Australian.
Kaiden Ryan was born and raised in Australia, but because his parents Julian and Brooke were born in New Zealand, he is not eligible for access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Kaiden urgently needed brain surgery after he was born, making him non-verbal and unable to walk, leaving his family with nearly $ 100,000 in medical bills a year.
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan have been living in Australia since 2005, but say that Kaiden has fallen victim to a & # 39; gap in the eligibility criteria & # 39 ;.
Kaiden urgently needed brain surgery after he was born, making him non-verbal and unable to walk, leaving his family with nearly $ 100,000 in medical bills a year
A child born in Australia to parents from another country does not automatically become a citizen and is only eligible for citizenship when they are ten years old.
Ryan, who works at a printing company, started an online petition calling on the Australian government to change the admission criteria in the NDIS, and it has already reached 8,800 of its 10,000 signature targets.
& # 39; Ten years old is too late for these children with disabilities, research shows that early intervention is essential for the child's ability to mobilize, play, socialize, learn and develop & # 39 ;, Ryan wrote.
& # 39; By refusing access to the NDIS, they not only bring out the costs for the taxpayer and also significantly improve the quality of life of the child. & # 39;
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan have told 9 News that it is unfair that their son and other children are denied proper care in a similar situation, even though he was born here.
& # 39; New Zealanders living in Australia pay the exact nominal tax as Australians (including the Medicare tax, which the NDIS finances), but we still have no access to these taxes for our children. How is that not discrimination? & # 39; Mr. Ryan said.
Shortly after Kaiden was born, he had a bleeding in his brain that had to undergo emergency brains at the Sydney Children & # 39; s Hospital in Randwick to remove the clot.
Kaiden's parents were told that he would probably die because he was a newborn baby.
Fortunately, he survived the operation, but it wasn't until a few months later that Mr. and Mrs. Ryan noticed that he was developing just like his two older sisters.
He was then diagnosed with brain damage and cerebral palsy.
Kaiden Ryan was born and raised in Australia, but because his parents Julian and Brooke were born in New Zealand, he is not eligible for access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
& # 39; Nobody ever mentioned cerebral palsy, brain damage or anything else for us. We had no idea, & # 39; told Mrs. Ryan that they were surprised by his diagnosis.
The family could get help from the charity of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, but the help from the non-profit organization can only go that far.
& # 39; Kaiden's therapies and equipment costs are increasing by $ 100,000 a year. Without the NDIS funding, these costs are impossible for us to maintain, & said Mr. Ryan that his family had difficulty keeping up with Kaiden's care.
& # 39; This legislation must change for us and hundreds of other New Zealand families living here in Australia are in the same situation. & # 39;
A child born in Australia to parents from another country does not automatically become a citizen and is only eligible when it is 10 years old.
Mrs. Ryan said her entire family lives in Australia, with their two oldest children, six and five years old, who were also born in New South Wales.
& # 39; My children get up every week and sing the national anthem at school. They think they are Australian but few know that the government says no, you are not Australian until you are 10.
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan were planning to apply for a permanent residence permit – which costs $ 12,000 – but they kept pushing back because they needed the money to build a house.
But now the family fears that their application will be rejected because the state of Kaiden will be a tax for the taxpayer.
Australians who are moving to New Zealand qualify for the same level of invalidity benefits as Kiwi & # 39; s if they have lived there for more than two years.