Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

More support for people with disability to work

Joint Media Release with:

  • Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

Australians with disability will receive greater support to help them into work where possible, as a result of legislation passed by the Parliament today.

The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Disability Support Pension Participation Reforms) Bill 2012 delivers more generous work rules for Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients and new participation requirements for DSP recipients who have some capacity to work.

From 1 July this year, DSP recipients aged under 35 years with some capacity to work will be required to attend regular participation interviews with Centrelink to develop participation plans, to help build their capacity and overcome barriers to work.

Also from 1 July this year, all DSP recipients will be able to work up to 30 hours a week without their payment being suspended or cancelled, subject to the income test.

Currently DSP recipients granted after 11 May 2005 can only work up to 15 hours a week before their payment is suspended or cancelled. This important change will give people with disability the security they need to test their ability to work more hours, without worrying about losing qualification for the disability pension.

The Australian Government believes we can do better than a lifetime spent on income support for Australians who have some capacity to work.

A job provides more than just a pay packet-it gives people dignity and purpose, provides security for the future and connects people to their community.

That’s why this Government is taking steps to make it easier for people on the disability support pension to find and keep a job.

In addition to these changes to the DSP, the Government is delivering extra support for people with disability, including more employment services and new financial incentives for employers to take on more people with disability.

The Government will also ensure the DSP continues to be an essential safety net for Australians who are unable to work.

The Bill also introduces new rules from 1 July this year that allow DSP recipients, who have a severe and permanent disability and no future work capacity, to travel overseas for more than 13 weeks while retaining access to their pension.