Call for overhaul of disability pension rules | Canberra weather


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Many people who should be eligible for the disability pension find themselves stranded on the lower salary or not receiving any income support. Economic Justice Australia will tell a Senate disability pension inquiry that existing rules need to be changed because they are confusing and unfair. Leanne Ho, CEO of the organization, said that in addition to struggling to survive on a lower payment rate, severely disabled people who cannot access DSP face mutual obligations and the risk of having suspended payments if they cannot comply. “The income support system is not working as intended to help people with disabilities,” she said. The DSP provides income security for people with disabilities who cannot work more than 15 hours per week. But many people cannot access it because the claims processes and evidentiary requirements are complex and confusing. The EJA wants changes in the way impairment tables are used by Centrelink to assess applicants’ medical reports for each of their medical and psychiatric conditions. Likewise, the “support program” requirement – such as a work preparation program – should be abolished as it means that severely disabled people can be relegated indefinitely to activity-based payments such as JobSeeker. . And the system for obtaining medical evidence should be simplified for people with psychiatric disorders, who often struggle to ensure that the evidence gathered complies with all the rules, said the EJA. The inquiry will hear from a range of groups, including Anglicare, the Australian Council of Social Services and the Australian Federation of Disabled People’s Organizations. Australian Associated Press



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