Mental Illness and the Income Support System - Key Issues Brief

This key issues brief provides some key statistics on the number people receiving the Disability Support Pension, as well as the proportion in receipt of the payment because their primary medical condition is psychosocial disability. It also provides information about some common barriers to employment and social participation that people with lived experience of severe mental illness and psychosocial disability face. 

It outlines the process of applying for the Disability Support Pension and seeks to challenge the notion that doing so is a straightforward process. The brief then examines some of the financial challenges faced by people with lived experience of mental illness and psychosocial disability in an effort to convey the message that it is not easy to make ends meet if you’re sick and wholly reliant upon income support payments, in particular the Newstart Allowance which is $128 per week lower than the Disability Support Pension. 

The brief also discusses the following key measures announced in the 2014/15 Budget that will affect income support recipients with lived experience of mental illness and psychosocial disability:

  • Disability Support Pension: compulsory participation requirements for recipients aged under 35 years
  • Disability Support Pension: Review of eligibility for recipients aged under 35 years
  • Disability Support Pension: changes to indexation rates 

Finally, it concludes by providing some brief commentary about the likely impact of the 3 budget measures on recipients of the DSP with psychosocial disability.

A copy of the Key Issues Brief - Mental Illness and the Income Support System can be found below (see pdf attachment)

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consumers and carers, centrelink, DSP, disability support service, fact sheet, federal budget, income support, mental health reform, Newstart Allowance, psychosocial disability