Maree O'halloran - WRC & NWRN - Is the Commonwealth Disability Support Pension an adequate safety-net?

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Maree O’Halloran, Director, Welfare Rights Centre (WRC) and President, National Welfare Rights Network (NWRN) presented this at the National Workers' Compensation Summit 2014. The Summit focused on minimising workplace injury claims through establishing a successful safety culture and embrace working towards successful outcomes should a workers compensation claim arise.

Find out more at http://www.informa.com.au/nwc14

Published in: News & Politics
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Maree O'halloran - WRC & NWRN - Is the Commonwealth Disability Support Pension an adequate safety-net?

  1. 1. Welfare Rights Centre @Mareeoh 1
  2. 2. Is the Commonwealth Disability Support Pension an adequate safety-net? 2
  3. 3.         About the Welfare Rights Centre Falling through the safety-net Current income support payment rates Numbers of people on Disability Support Pension (DSP) DSP medical qualification criteria Recent legislative changes choke DSP claims Unemployment benefit Federal Government’s Welfare Review 3
  4. 4. Community Legal Centre  Social Security  Legal advice and casework  Client base  National Welfare Rights  Public policy and law reform 4
  5. 5.  Jobs  Worker’s compensation  Social security as a safetynet  Public and social services 5
  6. 6.  Employment outcomes first and foremost But what if? Worker’s compensation ends No income protection Not eligible for Disability Support Pension Poverty? 6
  7. 7. “ Individuals whose work injury has left them with chronic and debilitating conditions struggle to receive appropriate weekly payments after 130 weeks” December 2013 Centre for Workforce Future Macquarie University 7
  8. 8. Transfer of risk “New research by KPMG found 35% of employed Australians have no form of disablement insurance, ..” Financial Review 10 February 2014 8
  9. 9. Disability Support Pension  $751.70 pf for a single adult  $566.60 pf for a member of a couple Newstart Allowance  $501.00 pf for a single adult  $452.30 pf for a member of a couple 9
  10. 10.     Over 800,000 with 56% for 10 years or more 5.5% of working age population at Dec ’11 5.4% at Dec’13 Latest intergenerational report shows little movement by 2040-45 1 0
  11. 11.    Pyschological/psychiatric Musculo-skeletal Intellectual/learning - 31.34% 26% 12.38% at September 2013 1 1
  12. 12. To be eligible for the DSP a person must:    Score at least 20 pts under the “impairment tables. Your medical conditions do not receive any points unless they: - have been fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised - are unlikely to significantly improve in the next 2 years. Have a continuing inability to work: ie you must be unable to work more than 15 hours for the next 2 years Have actively participated in a program of support (Unless exempt) 1 2
  13. 13. http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Series/F2011L02716 1 3
  14. 14. Social Security Act 1991 September 2011 – program of support rules January 2012 - new impairment tables - last reviewed in1993 1 4
  15. 15.      In conjunction with Commission of Audit No Terms of Reference Temporary or transitional DSP People with mental health conditions Intersection with NDIS 1 5
  16. 16. Maree O’Halloran Twitter @Mareeoh 1 6

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