Increasing numbers diverted to Newstart from disability pensions
There are about 200,000 people with a disability on Newstart in Australia. Disability Advocacy Network Australia CEO Mary Mallett said the shift towards Newstart is a “huge concern” because there is a significant financial difference between the DSP and Newstart. One of the biggest hurdles to access the DSP is satisfying ‘impairment tables’, which awards points to applicants based on their disability. The 15 impairment tables, covering disabilities from limb function, to vision, to intellectual cognition, were introduced in 2012. Advocates believe many applications for DSP are rejected because Centrelink doesn’t accept the evidence provided by applicants, and doctors are too overwhelmed to provide the information Centrelink requires.