Earlier this year, the Senate Community Affairs References Committee began a broad inquiry into the purpose, intent and adequacy of the Disability Support Pension (DSP). This is one of several policy activities happening in the DSP space right now – but in our opinion it’s the single most important in terms of making the DSP a more accessible and fairer payment.
The DSP is a key part of the work SSRV does, with close to half of all matters we deal with relating back to it in some way. Most of this is people seeking assistance with access and eligibility. With this in mind, there was no question we were going to contribute our knowledge and expertise to the inquiry in any way we’re able.
SSRV is pleased to announce that our initial submission has now been accepted and published. That means we’re now able to share the submission in full. You can read it here (SSRV’s original and supplementary submissions are No. 90).
Through this submission SSRV hopes to highlight the problems with the DSP eligibility criteria – including the little understood Program of Support requirement – as well as the problems with the administration of the DSP. We also hope to amplify the voices and stories of those directly affected: people living with disability.
Economic Justice Australia (EJA), one of SSRV’s peak bodies, was invited to give evidence at a hearing for this Inquiry, and extended that invitation to SSRV as a member centre representative with significant experience in providing advice, assistance and innovative services in relation to the DSP.
On Monday 6 September 2021 Dermott Williams, Community Lawyer DSP Help Project, gave evidence alongside EJA’s Linda Forbes.
If you wish to speak to us about this Inquiry, please call us on 03 9481 0299 and ask for the DSP Help Lawyer. Mention that you are calling about the Senate Inquiry.
If you are currently having difficulty with the DSP, help is available. You may wish to visit our DSP Help website or call SSRV.