Frank’s Story

Frank’s Story

Frank is a 55 year old Aboriginal man, who worked as a self-employed plasterer for 30 years.

Frank developed scoliosis and disc disease, calcified Achilles tendinosis, anxiety and depression, bilateral shoulder dysfunction and obesity, with a BMI of almost 60. Since 2015 Frank’s physical and mental health began to severely impact his ability to work. Despite diagnosis and treatment, his conditions did not improve.

In December 2015 Frank lodged a DSP claim. A year later that claim was rejected, and he appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) by himself but was unsuccessful. In March 2017, Frank applied for DSP again but his claim was rejected again. In 2019 Frank was represented by a lawyer from an independent community legal centre which specialises in social security (Centrelink) issues. Frank and his lawyer appealed to the AAT and the government lawyers settled the claim before it went to a hearing. Frank was found eligible for the DSP as of 2017 and received more than $11,000 in arrears.

Frank says that 5 years of frustration and being treated like a second-class citizen has finally come to an end. He feels relieved but is still confused about why he had to go through the ordeal.

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