Grant J Everett
In the past twelve months, an enormous 31,000 Australians have had their Disability Support Pensions (DSP) cancelled. This is by far the biggest annual purge on record, and Social Services have revealed that another 90,000 pensioners will be targeted for medical reviews over the next three years. Unlike a decade back, nowadays there’s a lot of emphasis on getting people back into study or into work the moment that they are capable of it, rather than letting them remain on the DSP for life.
Gaining (and keeping) the DSP is getting tighter all the time, and a lot of pensioners can expect to get shunted over to Newstart, which pays $173 less per week than the pension. Word about the crackdown is certainly getting around, as Social Services have found that fewer and fewer people are even bothering to apply for the DSP due to the stricter rules.
Social Services are appealing to people to be honest about their capacity for work so that they can identify those who are in genuine need.
Australians currently on the DSP: 788,000
People who lost their DSP last September : 5,000
Number of those who have returned to work: 70
Estimated number of DSPs that will be cancelled each year from now on: 2,300
Number who will go onto Newstart instead: 1,800
People on the DSP who have an income: 7.2%
Difference between Newstart and DSP: $9,000 a year
“Crackdown throws thousands off disability support pension”, Rick Morton, The Australian, July 13, 2016