The Greens say Government advice released today saying that people on DSP should not change to the now higher Jobseeker payment indicates exactly why DSP and Carer payments need to be increased.
"People receiving the Disability Support Pension are facing additional and unforeseen costs for transport, food deliveries, healthcare, medical supplies and personal protective equipment during the coronavirus crisis.
"We have been very concerned that people on DSP may be tempted to change to the Jobseeker payment because of the additional $550 a week granted for six months but this would not be prudent given the difficulty in getting the DSP in the first place.
"By not raising DSP and Carer payments the Government is incentivising people to make decisions for a short term gain. However, I do understand that many people on DSP are in desperate situations at the moment.
"It is incredibly difficult to meet the requirements to be eligible for DSP and I would imagine if people wanted to get back on it they would struggle greatly.
"Those on Jobseeker have mutual obligations requirements and I don’t want more disabled people being subject to work for the dole, looking for jobs every fortnight or having to volunteer to ensure their payment.
"The Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment exist in recognition of fact that disabled people and carers have higher everyday costs and aren’t in a position to enter the workforce. People's costs and barriers have increased, not decreased, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Everyone on the Disability Support Pension and the Carer payment needs access to additional resources to help them get through this crisis."
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180