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    Kerri-Anne Kennerley ‘wants to sue the government’ over its NDIS scheme

    Kerri-Anne Kennerley ‘to sue the government’ over its disability scheme… after spending $2million caring for late husband John following freak accident that left him paralysed










    Kerri-Anne Kennerley has blasted the Australian government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) during a fiery interview on A Current Affair.

    The television doyenne, 67, admitted she was ‘angry’ as she spoke of the financial toll caring for her wheelchair-bound late husband John took on her.

    ‘I want to sue the government,’ the former Studio 10 host said on Monday. ‘Until it happens to them, nobody is aware of this.’

    Not having it: Kerri-Anne Kennerley has lashed out at the Australian government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) during a fiery interview on A Current Affair

    A freak fall in 2016 left John a quadriplegic until his death in February 2019 at age 78.

    However, because he was over the age of 65 when the incident occurred, he was not eligible for NDIS assistance for his necessary 24/7 care.

    Instead, John received the My Aged Care package for senior Australians, which covers just ten hours of care per week.

    ‘I am angry. For years I have been angry about this,’ the Logie Hall of Famer said.

    'Angry': Kerri-Anne spoke of the financial toll caring for her wheelchair-bound late husband John took on her. The couple are seen here in 2017

    ‘Angry’: Kerri-Anne spoke of the financial toll caring for her wheelchair-bound late husband John took on her. The couple are seen here in 2017

    ‘Who would have thought that somebody is not entitled to care because of a catastrophic accident at no fault of their own… that they cannot be looked after properly,’ Kerri-Anne added.

    She told The Courier Mail last month she spent $2million on John’s care until his death.

    At the time she encouraged Australians to launch a class-action lawsuit against the NDIS, calling their age limits ‘heartless’. 

    Hard: 'I have been angry about this,' said Kerri-Anne of the government's NDIS scheme, which she claims failed to provide for her husband's care due to his age. Pictured in June 2018

    Hard: ‘I have been angry about this,’ said Kerri-Anne of the government’s NDIS scheme, which she claims failed to provide for her husband’s care due to his age. Pictured in June 2018

    Those who join NDIS before the age of 65 can access care for life, however those who become disabled after 65 must rely on aged care services.

    ‘It’s dreadfully unfair. My husband, through an accident that was no fault of his own, became a quadriplegic but the only help I could get from the government was aged care,’ Kerri-Anne told the newspaper.

    ‘He was entitled to eight or nine hours a week of care, even though he was assessed as needing a minimum of 53 hours a week,’ she added.

    Cost of love: Kerri-Anne, 67, told The Courier Mail on Saturday she spent $2million on John's care until his death at the age of 78

    Cost of love: Kerri-Anne, 67, told The Courier Mail on Saturday she spent $2million on John’s care until his death at the age of 78 

    Kerri-Anne explained that John had seven-day-a-week nursing care for three-and-a-half-years before his death in 2019, with the cost running into the millions. 

    According to an Age Discrimination Act amendment in 2013, it is legal for NDIS to access participants based on age.

    ‘I would encourage anyone over 65 in a similar position to sue the government in terms of age discrimination,’ Kerri-Anne said.   

    Limits: She's now encouraging Australians to launch a class-action lawsuit against NDIS, calling their age limits 'heartless'. The Kennerleys are pictured at the Logies in April 2017

    Limits: She’s now encouraging Australians to launch a class-action lawsuit against NDIS, calling their age limits ‘heartless’. The Kennerleys are pictured at the Logies in April 2017

    NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds said in a statement: ‘The NDIS is not intended to replace services already provided through the health or aged care systems.’   

    Kerri-Anne’s beloved husband John died at the age of 78 in February 2019, three years after his life-changing accident in 2016. 

    He was left paralysed after falling from a balcony while taking photos of Kerri-Anne during a golfing tournament in Coffs Harbour in March 2016.

    Care: 'It's unfair. My husband, through an accident that was no fault of his own, became a quadriplegic but the only help I could get from the government was aged care,' she said

    Care: ‘It’s unfair. My husband, through an accident that was no fault of his own, became a quadriplegic but the only help I could get from the government was aged care,’ she said

    He was airlifted to hospital with spinal chord injuries. Doctors operated on his neck after it emerged he had fractured his C3 and C4 vertebrae.

    John was put in an induced coma, spent six weeks in intensive care and had multiple operations. Doctors diagnosed him as an incomplete quadriplegic.

    They initially warned that John may never again move or speak, but with Kerri-Anne by his side, he managed both.

    Struggle: 'He was entitled to eight or nine hours a week of care, even though he was assessed as needing a minimum of 53 hours a week,' she added

    Struggle: ‘He was entitled to eight or nine hours a week of care, even though he was assessed as needing a minimum of 53 hours a week,’ she added

    ‘[Kerri-Anne] is very loving and she has been the strength of my whole recovery,’ John said in a rare Sunday Night interview in 2017.

    ‘Without her I don’t think I would have attempted it but, as I say, she was there when I woke up and she has been with me every day,’ John explained. ‘It is really, really been hard… I have appreciated it, she never faltered. Never faltered.’  

    After John’s fall, Kerri-Anne immediately took on the role of carer, and gave an update on his condition in June last year.  

    ‘He needs care 24/7, he still can’t push a button and can’t feed himself, but the rest of his health is good,’ she told New Idea after the fall.

    Tragic: Kerri-Anne's beloved husband John died at the age of 78 in February 2019, after a tragic fall in 2016. He was left paralysed after falling from a balcony while taking photos of Kerri-Anne during a golfing tournament in Coffs Harbour, NSW, in March 2016. Pictured in 2013

    Tragic: Kerri-Anne’s beloved husband John died at the age of 78 in February 2019, after a tragic fall in 2016. He was left paralysed after falling from a balcony while taking photos of Kerri-Anne during a golfing tournament in Coffs Harbour, NSW, in March 2016. Pictured in 2013

    At the time she said her husband’s injury required a huge lifestyle adjustment for the pair, but they still did their best to do a lot of what they’ve always enjoyed.

    ‘We still like to have a good time, we like to chat, we read the newspaper – we discuss events… we just can’t go out like we used to,’ she said.

    Kerri-Anne modified their home after the fall, installing purpose-built ramps to make life easier for John upon his return in November 2016 – eight months after the fall. 

    The couple tied the knot at the Sydney Opera House in 1984 and were married for an incredible 35 years.   

    Lifetime: The couple tied the knot at the Sydney Opera House in 1984 and were married for an incredible 35 years

     Lifetime: The couple tied the knot at the Sydney Opera House in 1984 and were married for an incredible 35 years

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