Disability Support Pension Changes
Changes to the Disability Support Pension from January 1 2012.
On January 1 2012 some changes will be made to the way in which people are assessed for the Disability Support Pension. It will primarily affect people who are applying for the DSP and those who come up for a review.
The impact that this will have on people living with HIV is not yet clear. ACON is organising a community forum in the new year with representatives from Centrelink, to more fully explain the changes and how they may affect people with HIV applying for the DSP, or the small number who may be reviewed.
To place this in perspective, we are advised that around 18,000 people currently in receipt of the DSP are reviewed each year. This is out of the approximately 800,000 people in receipt of this pension. Centrelink have given assurances that the number of reviews will not increase with these changes.
In the event you are on the DSP and asked to attend a review, ACON may be able to help you by providing a support person to attend any review meeting with you.
Remember also that if any changes or determinations are made by Centrelink you can ask for an Authorised Review Officer to review the changes or determinations that have been made.
The Welfare Rights Network may also be able to help you with any technical questions about the changes. They can be contacted on (02) 9211 5300 and 1800 226 028 for people calling from outside the Sydney metropolitan area.
More information is available on their website http://www.welfarerights.org.au.
A fact sheet on the changes to the DSP is available here
ACON will continue to monitor the impacts that this might have on our communities and provide updates as this becomes clearer. We are interested in hearing of the experiences of people being assessed under the new process, which will assist us in assessing how the changes are impacting on people.
Information from Centrelink is available by calling 13 2717 or visiting http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/payments/disability_support.htm
Contact: The Welfare Rights Network
Phone: (02) 9211 5300
Outside Sydney Metropolitan area: 1800 226 028
Phone: 13 2717
Contact: ACON's Advocacy Team
Tel: (02) 9206 2000
Freecall: 1800 063 060
Hearing Impaired: (02) 9283 2088
Fax: (02) 9206 2069