Veterans Affairs tells partially paralysed Iraq veteran to 'buy a goat' after he asked for funding to help with his lawn
August 17, 2013
VETERANS Affairs told a partially paralysed Iraq veteran - injured when an army truck fell on him - to "buy a goat" when he asked for help to keep the grass down around his house.
Father-of-three Micheal McLaren asked the DVA for funding to help with the lawn at his home near Warrnambool, but was told he wasn't entitled to a gardener or a ride-on mower.
A DVA lifestyle assessment suggested his wife, who was heavily pregnant with their second child, could mow the lawn around the house. A small paddock - which he did not seek help for - could be "used to house a family farm animal".
Mr McLaren followed up the 2007 report with a call to the DVA's head office, and was told "a goat or a couple of sheep" would fix his problem.
He was finally funded for a regular lawnmowing service six months ago, only after a veteran's advocate took on his case.
And the advocate was able to convince the DVA that he should be deemed "totally and permanently incapacitated" because his injuries meant he would never be able to work again.
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