Estimates has revealed that from June 2015 to June 2016 nearly 3500 people with disability were moved off the Disability Support Pension (DSP) onto Newstart or Youth Allowance. The Department of Social Services could not reveal how many people had sought temporary incapacity or partial capacity exemption from mutual obligations because due to their disability they are unable to complete these obligations.
“Thousands of people with disability across the country are now on the lower Newstart payment or Youth Allowance”, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“The Department could not identify how many of this group have had to seek a temporary medical/incapacity exemption from mutual obligations which are required when you are on a Newstart payment.
“I’ve heard about people on the DSP dumped onto Newstart, who are desperately concerned about having their payment suspended because they’re too unwell to attend compulsory interviews or meet other obligations. This has to stop.
“We need to know how many of this group have been informed about the opportunity to be temporarily exempted from those harsh mutual obligations.
"I'm extremely concerned that the Government's approach is making people with disability lives harder when they should be looking at positive measures that support people with disability”.