Disability pension applicants prejudiced

Disability Support Pension (DSP) applicants and recipients face multiple obstacles to claiming their benefits and feel the process is ‘unfair’ and ‘stressful’.

A study by Monash University looked at 248 applicants and receivers of the DSP discovered that 86 per cent of DSP receivers and 96 per cent of applicants found the application process complex.

76 per cent of recipients and 87 per cent of applicants strongly agreed that they needed help to apply for the DSP.

91 per cent of recipients and 94 per cent of applicants also disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement ‘It has been easy to get in contact with Centrelink’.

Most of the people that responded to the survey were saying the application process was particularly difficult. People felt that the time taken to make decisions could have been faster and that when Centrelink did make decisions, it didn’t explain the way decisions were made.

More than 200,000 Australians with disability are now receiving the lower Newstart allowance and tens of thousands of people are not receiving any support at all.