In Australia, people who have a disability and are aged between 16 years and the age pension age are eligible for the social security benefit “the Disability Support Pension” (DSP). This is a meanstested payment subject to the assessment of an individual’s capacity to work. Since 1 July 2006 people with disability who apply for income support and who can work 15-29 hours a week are placed on the Newstart Allowance (NSA) (or Youth Allowance) rather than the DSP. These individuals are known as the ‘partial capacity to work’ group of beneficiaries. However, the NSA provides a significantly lower benefit and has a more stringent income test. Since 2006, eligibility for the DSP was further tightened in 2012 and 2014-15. NATSEM modelling of the 2006 budget measure suggested that the living standards of people with disability could be cut by up to 31% compared with the tax and transfer system in 2005. A significant number of Australians with disability and their families are now living in poverty.
SOURCE: J Li, L Brown, HA La, R Miranti, Y Vidyattama. “Inequalities in Standards of Living: Evidence for Improved Income Support for People with Disability.” NATSEM, Institute, 2019.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia