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First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


'At what cost?' Indigenous Australians' experiences of applying for disability income support (Disability Support Pension)

Disability Pensions First Peoples economic conditions Torres Strait Islander people Australia
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'At what cost?' (report) 609.19 KB

The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is the primary income support payment by Australians living with a disability of workforce age, but are not attached to the labour market in a significant manner. The Disability Support Pension has been a central component of the Australian social security system. Since the early 2000s, the Australian Government has put in place a series of changes to the DSP eligibility criteria and the assessment process. Despite major changes, there has been limited attention of the implications persons with disabilities, and even less for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians living with disability. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians experience approximately twice the rate of disability as non-Indigenous Australians. This report examines the impact to Indigenous Australians in the community applying for the DSP and service providers who ensure they have appropriate support and access to apply for the DSP. This report draws directly on data from interviews and focus groups conducted in four jurisdictions across Australia between March 2017 and September 2018 with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who self-identify as living with disability and have applied or are in the process of applying for the DSP. The data from community members is augmented with interviews and focus groups with medical practitioners and non-medical service providers who have high levels of contact with these community members as well as representatives from Local Government. A number of recommendations to improve the current process are outlined.

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