Jun 06, 2024

NDIS Under Fire: Australian Sex Worker Reveals Secrets to Securing Funding

NDIS Under Fire: Australian Sex Worker Reveals Secrets to Securing Funding
Estelle Lucas claims to receive $60,000 a year after self-diagnosing her own disabilities. [YouTube].

Amidst this backdrop of revelations of widespread fraud of Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), a YouTube video by Estelle Lucas, a sex worker, has surfaced, offering an “expert guide” on securing NDIS funding.

Lucas’s instructional video, entitled “Demystifying the NDIS for Sex Workers,” details her methods for obtaining and maintaining NDIS support and the ease with which she managed to secure funding from the NDIS system.

In a recent segment on Sydney’s 2GB radio station, host Ben Fordham played excerpts from Lucas’s video, highlighting her approach to navigating the NDIS system. Lucas, who receives approximately $60,000 annually from the NDIS, claims that the key to success lies in drafting one’s own doctor’s letter and using strategic language.

“I wrote a supporting letter for my doctors,” Lucas explains in the video. “Because, one, I know my own history, two, I did enough research to understand what the buzzwords were, like ‘psychosocial disability,’ ‘nothing else to repair or remedy,’ or ‘all treatment options exhausted.’

She then went on to say that she self-diagnosed all of her disabilities and presented her own findings in the form of a letter which she successfully got a GP to sign off on. 

Lucas’s self-diagnosed disabilities include premenstrual dysphoric disorder, depression, ADHD, anxiety, a sleeping disorder, and chronic fatigue. She notes that these conditions are difficult for doctors to measure objectively.

“None of my disabilities, technically, can be measured through a machine, with a blood test, or a urine test or a scan,” she asserts. “I have to prove my disability through self-reported diagnostic methods or screening methods, which means this is the evidence. These are all access points to show you have a disorder.”

Lucas further points out that the NDIS does not require means testing, making it accessible regardless of one’s financial situation. “You don’t have to prove that you’re poor, you don’t have to prove that you’re worthy for this, you just have to prove that you’re disabled. And then it impairs your day-to-day living.”

The uses of NDIS funds, as described by Lucas, range from practical support to more questionable expenditures. She mentions using the funds for transportation: “They can help you go to social engagements and like drive me to places. I know like for me, for example, that I can’t really take public transport. So I guess I think it’s like $100 every two weeks to pay for a taxi to go to central places, stuff like that.”

She also describes paying her brother for house maintenance: “My brother has been helping me out this week with maintenance for the house which I haven’t done in three years and I will never do, like there’s mould and stuff. So he fixed all that up and I can pay him for that for his labour, which is great because he’s going to do that anyways.”

These revelations come at a time when the NDIS is under intense scrutiny for misuse of funds. Approximately $2 billion from the NDIS has been reportedly spent on drugs, cars, holidays, and other non-essential items.

NDIS head of fraud and integrity, John Dardo, recently admitted that at least five per cent of the scheme’s $45 billion budget is spent erroneously, with numerous cases of participants making claims inconsistent with their plans.

Examples include a $20,000 holiday, a $73,000 car, and instances of funds being used to purchase illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. NDIS Minister Bill Shorten has acknowledged the need to address these issues, criticising previous administrations for failing to create robust anti-fraud systems.

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  1. We all have ‘ailments’ but they should not be used to determine a disability. This misinterpretation and misuse is causing those that really need funding to miss out.
    This is rampant.

  2. My son has ASD, ADHD & ODD and his funding may be taken away, even though he needs ongoing therapies to assist him for the rest of his life and THIS is what we are just handing money out to? We had to jump through hoops to secure his funding, when I could have just written a letter myself and got a GP to sign it! Better yet she is teaching other people how to de-fraud the system. I hope she has her funding taken away from her. I hope the GP gets the sack and I hope this begins a change to the way cases are reviewed.
    This self diagnosis thing is a joke. Everyday I am seeing people claiming to be ADHD and ASD, because they have one or two mannerisms that is shared with people on the spectrum. There are so many dishonest and delusional people in the world.

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