Australian money, currency or cash
Australian money, currency or cash

Disability support pay too low: experts

PEOPLE on the disability support pension spend $107 a week more on basic living costs than other Australians, new data shows.

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations is concerned eligibility thresholds are so tight that more than 200,000 people are now on the lower Newstart payment.

"There are a lot of additional costs of living with disability including accessible housing, transport and access to health services," chief executive Ross Joyce said on Tuesday.

"These costs are particularly acute for people with disability living in regional and remote areas of Australia."

Economic modelling to be unveiled at Parliament House on Tuesday reveals people on disability pensions spend $107 a week more on basic living costs like travel and healthcare.

"The gaps in standards of living are much higher for households where a family member with disability is on Newstart," report author Professor Laurie Brown said.

Mr Joyce said over the past two decades both the coalition and Labor put barriers in place for people with disabilities to access support payments, in order to save money.

"We need to wind-back those changes because they haven't resulted in more people with disability working," he said.

"Instead they've resigned more people with disability to poverty and financial insecurity and caused stress and heartache."

Advocates want an urgent review into the adequacy of the disability support pension.


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