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New Disability Reports Highlight Stress and Hardship for People with Disability

Australian Federation of Disabled People’s Organisations (AFDO) CEO, Ross Joyce said the financial cost of living with disability and the declining access to the Disability Support Pension (DSP) is causing significant economic, social, psychological stress and unnecessary hardship for people with disability.

Disability advocate Sue Salthouse, Senators Jordon Steele-John and Rachel Siewert with AFDO board and staff members and report authors at the launch in Parliament House.

Three new research reports commissioned by AFDO were released on 17 September.  Inequalities in standards of living: evidence for improved income support for people with disability by NATSEM is the first of its kind to assess cost of living for households with a person with disability.  It found:

  • The income gap between households with disability and households without is $107 a week for a household with an adult member with disability.
  • Two of every five Indigenous households relying on the DSP as their source of income ran out of money for basic living expenses in the last 12 months.
  • To close the gap in household income to provide the same standard of living, families already receiving the DSP would need $183 more per week on average, and $343 for 200,000 people with disability receiving Newstart payments.
  • If the Government spent an additional $3.1 billion a year on the DSP then the gap in the standard of living of households already on the DSP would nearly halve.

The other reports are:

The Health of Disability Support Pension and Newstart Allowance Recipients by researchers at Monash University, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine which focuses on the health status and health service use of Australians receiving the DSP or Newstart Allowance.

‘At what cost?’ Indigenous Australians’ experiences of applying for disability income support (Disability Support Pension) by researchers at Western Sydney University which examines the impact to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the community applying for the DSP.

See Disability Support Pension review on the AFDO website for copies of all three reports.

APW will be releasing our next installment in our Fast Facts series, Poverty and Disability shortly.