A woman has been granted funding for a sex therapist under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The woman in her forties, who has multiple sclerosis, won the right to the funding through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after the NDIS initially refused her request.
The tribunal’s deputy president Brian Rayment QC made it clear in his decision the woman was not seeking the services of a sex worker, but the services of a specially trained sex therapist.
Details of the woman’s condition have not been made public but Mr Rayment said she did not have, or expect to ever have, a partner after her diagnosis close to two decades ago.
In granting her claim, Mr Rayment found her funding request to be “reasonable and necessary support”.
“The applicant is afflicted with multiple sclerosis, and has other related conditions, which make the prospect that she will obtain sexual release of any kind without the intervention of a sexual therapist unlikely,” he said in the judgment.
“The support will help her realise her potential for social and emotional development and to participate in social life.”
The woman walked with difficulty and takes strong drugs for her MS, he noted.
Mr Rayment accepted the work of the specialised sex therapist had been good for the woman’s mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.
“She also said that her mood is less dull, it releases tension and anxiety, and improves her outlook on life,” he said.
Mr Rayment found the support claimed by the woman was incapable of being provided by anyone other than a sexual therapist.
The woman has sought bimonthly therapy sessions through the NDIS as she has only been able to afford the service twice per year.
Her NDIS plan will run for one year before being reviewed.