People with mental health problems could lose disability support pension in welfare overhaul
According to Patrick McClure 30% of 80,000 DSP recipients had mental illness that was only ‘episodic’ in nature.
The head of a government review of the welfare system has suggested that people with mental health problems could be targeted as one of the groups to become ineligible for the disability support pensions.
Patrick McClure, whose interim report was released on Sunday, said people would “not necessarily be better off” under the proposed welfare reforms, reports the Guardian.
“We haven’t currently set any payment rates and we haven’t yet explored the range of supplements that might go with those base payments, so people may not necessarily be better off, but what we want to do is ensure the system is more efficient and more effective in assisting people into training, education or a job,” McClure told ABC radio.
“One of the pillars Mr McClure put forward is engaging with employers, so this is not just about – as has been suggested by some critics – pushing people off welfare,” Kevin Andrews told ABC radio. “This is about recognising the best form of welfare is work but that can be difficult for people and we have to design a better system. So in a sense, what Mr McClure has done, and there had been consultation with about 30 of the major groups, is brought together the major issues and now put them out in a discussion paper. Most of this has been known if not for at least a few months, then some years now, and people I think are able to make a valid and useful contribution in the next six weeks.”
Disability advocates have criticised media coverage of the review process, particularly for people on the DSP, with the front page of the Sunday Telegraph singled out on Sunday for having the headline: “disabling rorters”.
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