The McClure Review on Welfare Reform: Key Issues for MHCA Members and Stakeholders July 2014

In December 2013, the Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Kevin Andrews MP commissioned a review of Australia’s welfare system. The stated purpose was to identify improvements that could be made to ensure it is sustainable, effective and coherent and encourages people to work.

This briefing summarises the issues and proposals discussed in the report that are likely to have the greatest impact on people with lived experience of mental illness and psychosocial disability and their carers, including:

  • Proposed changes to eligibility for the Disability Support Pension that would see the payment reserved only for people with a ‘permanent and profound’ disability and no work capacity (all other people would be moved to a Working Age Payment with a disability supplement);
  • The MHCA’s view that the question of how ‘permanency’ is defined in practice is likely to have a major impact on the nature and extent of welfare support for people with psychosocial disability associated with mental illness. There is already considerable confusion and debate about similar issues in the early days of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS);
  • The impact of the proposed new payment structure on people with lived experience of mental illness and carers;
  • The potential impact of changes to eligibility for the DSP on mental health carers;
  • An overview of what the report has to say about mental health and employment;
  • A discussion of the proposal to adopt elements of New Zealand’s Investment Model of targeted early intervention approaches for groups at ‘high risk’ of long term welfare dependency; and
  • What report had to say about the impact of the implementation of the NDIS on the employment prospects of people with disabilities and carers. 
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consumers and carers, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, McClure Review, NDIS, system reform, welfare review