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From mid-2021, the Senate began an inquiry into the purpose, intent and adequacy of the Disability Support Pension (DSP) payment and the accessibility challenges that surround it. During this Inquiry, the application processes for the payment will be analysed, with the final reporting date being the first sitting week of February 2022.

The Disability Support Pension is a payment provided by Services Australia. This allows for financial help provided you have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition preventing you from working upwards of 15 hours a week. According to the latest report from Services Australia, the Disability Support Pension is the most rejected welfare payment, with more than one in two DSP applications being rejected

Submissions for the Senate Inquiry have closed, however, there have been over 130 individual public submissions highlighting concerns around access to the payment. Accessibility issues have been the most reported hurdle, with applicants reporting that actually figuring out how to apply is challenging enough. Submissions to the Committee can be found here

Over the last month, hearings have been held, outlining the concerns raised by various individuals and businesses in their submissions to the Senate. Barriers such as regional and remote accessibility, limited support, lack of sensitivity around correct cultural practices and harsh eligibility requirements. Most unsuccessful applicants for the Disability Support Pension are then placed on Jobseeker, which can see a decrease of $340 per payment for them.

It has been found that those with disabilities relying on such a payment are left feeling significantly disadvantaged, and put out by mutual obligations to access the payment. These obligations have been noted to simply not be achievable for the vast majority of people with disabilities with almost half of these recipients payments temporarily on hold. 

Further information surrounding the Terms of Reference can be found here

The next public hearing will be held on Tuesday 16 November 2021. It will be live-streamed from the Australian Parliament House website

Need more info on the Disability Pension?

Disability Support Pension
DSP or Jobseeker – which is right for me?
Pros and Cons: Disability Support Pension vs. Aged Pension
What you need to know about Centrelink and COVID-19

Committee Secretariat Contact

Phone 02 6277 3515
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Write to Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

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