June 20, 2017

Labor will move to disallow the removal of Impairment Table 6 from the eligibility for Disability Support Pension (DSP).

If this measure proceeds, vulnerable people who are already in a desperate situation will be pushed into poverty, homelessness and potentially crime.

People with disability who are eligible for DSP under Impairment Table 6 have been determined by a specialist doctor that they are unable to work again because of the effects of their substance addiction.

These are people with a serious and permanent disability as a consequence of substance addiction.

In order to be assessed against the impairment tables, a doctor needs to have confirmed that a person’s condition is fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised.

To be clear this means that an individual’s impairment is permanent.

Not only will this proposed change affect vulnerable people, it has the potential to make our streets less safe. Community safety must be given priority.

Has the government consulted with police or addiction specialists on this issue?

The current Impairment Tables, including Table 6, came out of an extensive expert review undertaken by the former Labor Government in 2012.

No such consultation or thought has gone into this proposal that this government is putting forward.

Experts and stakeholders know that these are people dealing with serious addiction who will not be able to find work and could be pushed into homelessness or potentially crime.

Labor has listened to the concerns of health professionals and other experts in this field – they think this is a bad idea that will lead to worse outcomes for vulnerable Australians.

The Department of Social Services estimates that around 450 vulnerable people will be affected by the proposed change annually, a cut of $21.7 million over five years.


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