DSP – DISABILITY SUPPORT PENSION
Over the past two decades, Liberal and Labor Governments have introduced measures that have made it harder and harder for disabled people to receive the Disability Support Pension.
These measures were designed to cut costs by deliberately reducing the number of people accessing the DSP.
Currently, it is extremely difficult for disabled people to prove their eligibility for DSP. This is especially true for people with ‘invisible’ disabilities such as autoimmune conditions, mental ill health, and comorbidities.
The sheer cost of obtaining a medical diagnosis is often a barrier for people due to the number of specialists and doctors needed to ‘prove’ their disability. Centrelink doctors can also disagree with medical reports from someone’s doctor or specialist. In these cases, disabled people are forced to go to the tribunal to fight for eligibility.
The compulsory ‘Program of Support’, introduced by Labor in 2012 requires people to complete an 18 month ‘employment’ program before being eligible for the DSP. In reality, many people are too sick or simply unable to complete these employment programs.
The poverty rates for disabled people have increased as more and more sick and disabled people are forced to live on the JobSeeker payment, which is just $44 a day.
Shockingly, in December 2020 almost a third of JobSeeker recipients had a ‘partial capacity’ to work, meaning they were either sick or disabled.
Cost savings measures from our social safety net hurt the most vulnerable. DSP eligibility must be fixed.
The Australian Greens acknowledge that First Nations peoples are the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land we call Australia. We know this land was stolen and that sovereignty was never ceded. We pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging.
Authorised by R. Siewert, The Australian Greens, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600.