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DSP assessment is heartless and is having real impacts on the ground: Greens

The latest example of the way people with disability are being treated when attempting to access the Disability Support Pension (DSP) is heartless and shameful, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The assessment and reassessment of people on the Disability Support Pension is throwing people onto the lower Newstart payment even while they appeal the decision. This is poor practice and is unfair.

“Today we have seen reports of a 63 year old amputee with heart problems who has been unable to access DSP and told to work as a security guard, tram driver, or gaming attendant. This is despite him being unable to drive because of his disability and there being no casinos or trams on Norfolk Island, where Mr McCowan resides.

“This is a classic example of how the assessment and reassessment of people on DSP is harsh and unfair causes real impacts on the ground. The system is dismissing the severity of their disability whilst failing to investigate the true job opportunities in the local community.

“It’s out of touch and pushing people with disability into poverty.

“My experience is that people with disability that can work, want to work. We need to stop treating people with disability with suspicion, they have a right to access a strong and secure social safety net.

“I urge the Government to move away from this flawed assessment process to stop further distress for people with disability accessing the payment”. 

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