Disability Support Pension Senate Inquiry
On 13 May 2021, the Senate referred an inquiry into the purpose, intent and adequacy of the Disability Support Pension to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 November 2021.
The experiences of people trying to access the Disability Support Pension (DSP) are set to be examined as part of a Senate inquiry into the payment’s eligibility criteria and review processes. The inquiry will look into the purpose, intent and adequacy of the DSP, with the expectation of releasing a final report by the end of November.
The department is seeking the views of stakeholders including people with disability, advocacy and welfare groups, disability peak bodies, and members of the public to inform the development of the new Impairment Tables.
If you would like to make a submission, you may find it helpful to look at the guide for preparing a submission. It includes suggestions on what to include in a submission, a check list, and information about what happens to your submission once it has been received by the committee.
The committee welcomes submissions from people receiving disability support payments or others affected by the disability support payments system. However, the committee cannot advise on, advocate for, or take action on individual cases.
The committee can decide to receive submissions as public documents—which are published on the committee webpage. If your submission is published, the information in it, including your name, can be searched for on the internet.
The committee can also decide to receive submissions on a confidential basis or with your name and personal details withheld. If you do not want your submission to be publicly available, you can ask the committee to keep your submission confidential – please include the word confidential on the front of your submission as well as a reason for requesting confidentiality.
The closing date for submissions is 9 July 2021. If you cannot send your submission by this date, an extension is possible under special circumstances. You can contact the Committee Secretariat via the details below:
AFDO has compiled a number of resources to assist with writing submissions as well as research into the DSP for your reference below.
The Review of the DSP Impairment Tables
The Impairment Tables are used to determine eligibility for the DSP by assessing how a person’s functional impairment affects their ability to work. The current impairment tables came into effect in 2011 and will expire on 1 April 2022. Prior to a new legislative instrument being implemented, a review of the Impairment Tables is being conducted.
To determine eligibility for the Disability Support Pension, Services Australia use a legislative instrument, the Impairment Tables, to assess how a person’s functional impairment affects their ability to work. In 2011, changes to the Impairment Tables were implemented to ensure they were up-to-date with current medical and rehabilitation practice. It is now time to review the tables to ensure they still remain fit for purpose and reflect the advances in medical treatments and assistive technology over the last nine years. As part of the review, feedback was being sought from stakeholders about the experience of people with disability when the Impairment Tables are applied to their individual health condition and related impairments.
Job Capacity Assessors provide assessments to Centrelink to assist in determining eligibility for DSP. These assessors include a range of medical and allied health professionals such as registered psychologists and rehabilitation counsellors.The Impairment Tables are the assessment instrument used in determining impairment ratings to inform DSP qualification.The Impairment Tables consist of 22 tables that are mainly based on body systems. For example, there are tables for Loss of Cardiovascular and/or Respiratory Function (Table 1), Upper Limb Function (Table 3), Endocrine Disorders (Table 19).
Resources to assist with writing submissions
- Telling Your DSP Story to the DSP Senate Inquiry
- Preparing a submission to an inquiry
- Eight Key Principles for a Fair Reasonable and Sustainable DSP With Actions November 2018
Additional DSP resources
- DSP & Me – Your guide to the Disability Support Pension by Disability Resources Centre
- DSP Help by Social Security Rights Victoria (SSRV)
- Disability Support Pension Toolkit
- Economic Justice Australia DSP Factsheet
- DSP Fact Sheet PDF or (Word version)
Research into DSP
You can find a diverse number of academic and industry reports on the Disability Support Pension below.
- Accessibility-of-DSP-for-remote-Indigenous-Australians Final Report
- At What Cost Indigenous Australians Expereineces of Applying for the DSP Karen Soldactic and Michelle Fitts
Auditor-General_Report Follow on Audit of the DSP
- Auditor-General_Report 2018-2019
- Briefing Paper – DSP – 31.01.2018
- Changes in access to Australian disability support benefits during a period of social welfare reform.
- Chapter Seven of Karen Soldactic Disability and Income Reform
- DAE Analysis of the impact of raising benefit rates September
- DSP Experiences Survey 2020
- DSP Fact Sheet Fully Diagnosed Treated and Stabilised
- DSP Fact Sheet 20 Points Impairment Table Rating
- DSP Fact Sheet Insufficient Medical Evidence
- DSP Fact Sheet Program of Support
- DSP Grant Rates Alex Collie 2020
- DSP NSA Health Study – 28 August 2019
- DSS- HOI-consultation: Evaluation of Revised DSP Assessment Processes (EJA-Response) May 2020
- DSS DSP Assessment Process Consultation Stakeholder Framework – Group 4
- Economic Justice Australia DSP Factsheet
- Kavanagh et al (2016) – Health Inequalities
- NATSEM Disability Report Sept 2019 Summary booklet (4 Pages)
- NATSEM – Disability Report summary – plain language
- NSSRN DSP-Report 2017-BRQ Case Snapshot 2018
- Policy Mobilities of Exclusions and implications of Australian Disability Pension retraction for Indigenous Australians
- Reclaiming Society for a Social Just Future (2019)
- Senate report-2011 that includes questions on POS
- Thematic Analysis of AAT DSP Cases final report (002)
- The Distributional Impact of the Welfare-to-Work Reforms Upon Australians with Disabilities
- Why Extended Time on Newstart is Unsuitable for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians Living with a Disability
- Some 130 people died of terminal illness before Centrelink granted Disability Support Pension (2021)
- Senate supports inquiry into Disability Support Pension (2021)
- Meet the woman who spent 22 months applying for the disability support pension (2021)
- 80,000 young people kicked off Disability Support Pension (2016)
- Disability support pension: Successful claims ‘plummeting’ after Government rule change (2016)