The Commonwealth Government of Australia has put in place a social welfare system in which their dependent citizens are taken care of by the government, through a branch referred to as Centrelink. This branch issues payment to a number of individuals such as students, retirees, carers, the unemployed, Indigenous Australians, and the disabled.
According to a survey targeted towards, the disabled, the aged, and their carers in 2009, approximately 4 million people were reported to be disabled. The disabled were both male and female and few were employed. For most disabled individuals, their carers are close relatives who have to forego their employment so as to fully take care of the disabled. It’s for this reason that Centrelink offers a number of provisions to the disabled through special disability services and their careers as discussed below.
Disability Support Pension
This provision is offered by Centrelink to people who are greatly disabled and may not be able to work or recover in the following two years. Due to this impairment, individuals in this pension need a carer due to the fact that they may be unable to carry out simple personal tasks. The rate offered to individuals varies for a single individual and married couple; however, the basic rate is at A$782.20. In other instances, the payment is asset and income-tested; however, individuals with permanent blindness receive the Disability Support Pension without any asset and income test.
Processing this pension payment takes a while to be approved, and for this reason, disabled individuals are placed in the Newstart allowance while they await the DSP. In fact, recently, the federal budget of Commonwealth Australia introduced in the DSP, that individual under the age bracket of 35 years will be placed in Newstart Allowance in the first 1 and ½ years.
Carers are individuals who offer support and take care of severely disabled individuals or people who are frail and aged. In order to qualify for this provision, one needs to provide medical documents and certificate of the disabled as proof.
This allowance is given to individuals who are currently disabled or sick for a short period of time. Sickness allowance is given to individuals who are currently working and cannot access any leave at the moment. This payment is accessed under Newstart Allowance System and can only be claimed once one has registered with Centrelink.
The mobility allowance is offered to individuals so as to help them with their travel expenses. This may be travelling to study, to work, or to look for a job. One is eligible if they are partly disabled or injured and cannot use the available public transport system. Moreover, these may mostly include independent living services and provisions along with the other benefits.
This provision is given to the carer as an added allowance to take care of the disabled individual. The amount comes in a lump sum once a year and it’s meant to help in the caring and medication of the disabled. This payment is eligible to individuals who are already receiving carer payment.
In addition to the above provision, the government through Centrelink offers other types of support to the disabled in Australia. This includes;
- Telephone Allowance- This payment helps in catering for your telephone and internet charges.
- Rent Allowance – This allowance helps in paying your rent.
- Job search- Centrelink helps connect you with potential employers.
- Study- This allowance is offered to individuals who would like to continue with their education. The Pension Education Supplement is given to help cater for study costs.
With the above numerous provisions and allowances, all the disabled citizens of Australia are eligible for at least one or more provision offered by the government to its citizens, so as to help curb poverty among the disabled in the nation.