22nd Feb 2018
$4.8b drop in disability pension budget forecast
Author: Janelle Ward
Tougher to get a disability pension

Tougher assessment procedures for a Disability Support Pension have resulted in the Federal Government forecasting a $4.8 billion drop in expenditure in 2027-28 compared with this financial year.

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) released its projections this week, citing tougher assessment and compliance measures as the keys to the savings.

In the past five years, 70,000 fewer people have received a Disability Support Pension.

The PBO attributes part of the drop to revised assessment procedures in 2014 which saw government contracted doctors replace treating doctors for reports on applicants. It anticipates further losses once the residency requirement for recipients jumps from 10 to 15 years on 1 July.

In 2016-17, about 760,000 disability support pensioners in Australia received $16.3 billion or 10.6 per cent of the total welfare budget, according to the report, making it one of the Federal Government’s biggest areas of spending.

Disability pensions are paid to people assessed as not being able to work because of permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment.

Expenditure jumped after the global financial crisis, averaging 8.7 per cent annual real growth from 2008-09 to 2011-12 – a result the PBO attributes to a softer labour market – but eligibility rules were subsequently tightened and real growth averaged 0.2 per cent from 2012-13 to 2016-17.

The reports says there has been a decline in the number of disability pensioners with physical impairments (from 84 per cent in 2002-03 to 79 per cent in 2014-15) and an increase in those with psychiatric and intellectual impairments (25 per cent to 33 per cent over the same period). The average age of new pensioners with physical issues is 57, while those with psychological or intellectual conditions are typically younger, 48 and 37 respectively.

Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said the projections were a reflection of more disabled pensioners being encouraged to work and tougher assessment conditions. He broadened his argument to all Australians on welfare payments.

“Under the Coalition the number of working-age Australians dependent on welfare has reduced by 140,000, taking it to 15.1 per cent of the working age population – the lowest proportion it's been in at least 25 years,” he said.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert told News Limited the spending slowdown should not be viewed as a good thing.

“Rather than focusing on driving down DSP rates, we should be focusing on revenue raising measures so that those with a disability don't have to desperately defend their right to receive support,” she said.

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    COMMENTS

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    Jezemeg8
    22nd Feb 2018
    10:12am
    As anyone who has had the misfortune of having to even consider going on the disability pension will tell you, actually getting approved is a nightmare journey. Heaven forbid if one happens to be having a 'good day' when the assessors decide! For the claim to be made that there are people who aspire to living on the disability pension I ask, are you thinking perhaps of the retired pollies pension and confusing the two? Do you really believe that anyone would aspire to living in poverty for the rest of their lives and constantly being judged as a bludger???
    Stop attacking those who in reality have little to do with the expenditure from the public purse. Instead why not look at those 'retired' politicians who receive exorbitant pensions paid from the public purse AND continue in well paid jobs to boot!
    Mootnell
    22nd Feb 2018
    11:11am
    So, so agree. Politicians and especially retired pollies are a huge drain on the public purse. Then add up all the costs associated with their taxis, planes, accommodation, living away from home allowance (that's why they don't live in Canberra), meal allowance just to name a few things. Whilst I'm on about it they need to run through the perks government workers get, starting with why they are entitled to larger super % than the norm and how much is every ones governement car costing us.
    No one should have a government car. Use your own like everyone else and claim your expenses.
    All These leeches are far and above the biggest welfare cheats.
    jackie
    22nd Feb 2018
    1:07pm
    I agree with you both. It’s about time the Australian public put a stop to all these unfair rorts our members of parliament are getting away with and putting our economy into the deficit
    Knows-a-lot
    22nd Feb 2018
    1:53pm
    Jezemeg, getting on to the NDIS is even worse. Centreling and the NDIS must be the worst nightmares around!
    Old Man
    22nd Feb 2018
    10:27am
    I have no issue with taking people off the DSP if they fail the criteria that allows the DSP to be paid. As we all know, it's easy to find a compliant doctor who will assist and, in the past, that diagnosis was not confirmed by another doctor. Just because a doctor is appointed by the government doesn't mean that he/she will do the bidding of the government. What they will do is critically examine the DSP receiver and give a second opinion.
    Jansview
    22nd Feb 2018
    11:10am
    Sorry to burst your bubble but often in the past they were reviewed by a qualified medical practitioner. I know, because I was and the assessor told me they doubted I’d ever be able to go back into the workforce again. I know not everyone was seen by a Doctor but their application had to be reviewed by a suitably qualified assessor, where all of a persons medical records, past and present, had to be presented to be assessed.
    Jezemeg8
    22nd Feb 2018
    11:44am
    Old Man, I don't know where you get the idea that anyone on DSP hasn't been thoroughly reviewed before being on it. Sure, there are a very few rorters, but then there are those who choose to play the system in all walks of life, not just those on DSP.
    The current system where a doctor who only sees the person once, at the most twice, can evaluate a person's entire abilities is wrong. Even the disabled have 'good' days, but the majority of them are a struggle with chronic and enduring pain etc that is mostly unrelievable.
    These days, if a person is unfortunate enough to be experiencing a 'rare' good day when he/she is designated to see a government appointed doctor than ALL of his/her doctor's notes are rejected...
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    3:28pm
    I know of one case where the opinion of three doctors and four specialists was overruled by an UNQUALIFIED Centrelink assessor who based her assessment on the claim that the applicant ''didn't appear to be in pain during the interview or on standing up at the end of it.'' A Centrelink social worker told the applicant - who was effectively crippled by a back injury he'd been suffering (and continuing to work in physical labour) for 40 years, but could no longer go on - to change his claim to psychological, as he suffered C-PTSD. The new claim was approved.

    On the other hand, I know someone who has been on benefits for 30 years and has NO disability. She claims to be crippled, but I have photos of her dancing and running a marathon. '

    It confounds me how Centrelink makes these weird decisions, but clearly some of the staff are grossly inept. Mind you, the faker has friends in Centrelink and that might explain a few things.
    Triss
    22nd Feb 2018
    5:46pm
    Do we have an Ombudsman for complaints against unqualified assessors, OGRainey? If we don't we should have.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:55pm
    Not to my knowledge, Triss. If we do, he/she would be VERY busy and have a huge waiting list.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:28pm
    Administrative Appeals Tribunal..... in the pay of the government.....
    Triss
    22nd Feb 2018
    10:50pm
    I consulted Professor Google and it seems we do have a Commonwealth Ombudsman http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/about/what-we-do but it doesn't seem to have very sharp teeth.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    10:43am
    Commonwealth Ombudsman, yes, but the restrictions on what he can get involved in are quite extensive. He had no power in the matter I referred to, nor when someone's assets were seriously overvalued because the local council had stuffed up and made land unusable and unsalable.
    inextratime
    22nd Feb 2018
    11:40am
    The problem with this ''cost saving'' approach is that it is not fairly applied. I saw a government job advertised the other day that stated the package included a 15% superannuation deal. I assume they will argue that that's the going rate for senior executives. So how about capping super at 9.25% for everyone ! Save a few million of tax payers money.
    marls
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:52pm
    Rae
    When a person had a disease it's beyond their control people are born with some diseases if you never drink alcohol or use abuse drugs you will never be addicted to them you have to abuse these items to be addicted whereas the same does not apply to a diseased new born baby can only be addicted to a drug/ alcohol if the mother is a user there was never been a child born an alcoholic where the mother has not had a drinking problem
    Cowboy Jim
    22nd Feb 2018
    11:49am
    In the old days some people were put on the DSP just because they are alcoholics and could not keep a job down and I do believe that might have changed now.
    KSS
    22nd Feb 2018
    1:09pm
    Alcoholics, drug users, "back pain"............
    Rae
    22nd Feb 2018
    1:57pm
    Alcoholism is a disease. It should be treated in clinics but we choose not to provide that treatment. Do you want an alcoholic getting behind the wheel and going off to a job each morning?
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:14pm
    Big difference between 'back pain' and provable, readily visible fractures, KSS. I, for one, without a hell of a regime of stretching and some other efforts on my part, would be in a wheel chair. Even sitting in office in the PS was agony for a long while.

    Don't jump so quickly.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    4:23pm
    KSS, back pain can be crippling. Yes, it's easy to fake, but it's not much of a life constantly having to be alert to the risk of being caught out, and living on a very low income. I suspect most who fake do so because they can't get a job, and they are desperate for some form of support other than a cruelly inadequate New Start that often imposes intolerable demands and is degrading.

    As for alcoholism and drug addiction, these ARE debilitating diseases, and before we condemn we should look at how the addiction began and what options have been made available to help the addict heal. Society has a lot to answer for.

    Condemning and blaming is easy, but it's often very cruel and unfair. Maybe it's time to stop making cruel and somewhat random determinations just to save a few dollars (and it probably won't in the long run, because very few of those who are rejected will be able to find employment and being denied help will eventually lead to more serious disability and mental illness).

    Maybe there's a case for much more diligent exploration of why people are applying for disability support if they appear not to genuinely fit the criteria, and for consideration of how to offer constructive help. But then society generally condemns the unemployed rather than helping them, so how can we expect the sick and debilitated to be assisted?

    Of course there will always be some bludgers and cheats. I can point to one, but she only supplements an undisclosed private income with DSP and uses it to claim respectability. She's been very cunning. Cheats like her exist. Just as retail business operators have to accept a percentage of loss through shoplifting as a cost of doing business, we all, unfortunately, have to accept a percentage of abuse as a cost of having a social welfare system - a cost of a healthy society in which the genuinely needy are cared for.

    But ultimately, if people who don't qualify are applying for DSP, there's a major problem in society. Either the criteria is unreasonable, and genuinely disabled folk are being excluded, or there is a social sickness that is driving a need in many to pretend disability, and the ailment needs to be addressed rather than persecuting the victims.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Feb 2018
    9:52am
    Back pain is in the brain not your bad so learn to control your brain and you will control your pain.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    10:44am
    Obviously never had a genuine back injury, OG, and playing GOD again. Sick, cruel, and inhuman!
    Old Geezer
    23rd Feb 2018
    2:19pm
    OGR I should be in considerable pain but I have trained my brain to ignore it. In hospital last week the doctors were amazed that I was able to control my pain without pain killers. I now felt mere discomfort and not pain. Panadol will not help discomfort.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2018
    6:56pm
    You don't feel pain, OG, because you are not human. You don't have a heart, or the capacity to feel anything other than contempt for everyone. It would take a lot more Panadol to help you.
    PlanB
    27th Feb 2018
    9:35am
    OG if only what you say was true I am a suffer from extreme back pain and I would give anything to be able to spend more than 20 > 30 mins on my feet, give anything to do walking -- and do my garden -- even do shopping, wake up to yourself and think yourself bloody lucky you do not have it
    Nobby
    22nd Feb 2018
    12:09pm
    I have just gone for my medical after being in the process for 10 months. The assessment by the Sonic doctor took 20 mins, he asked me 2 questions, about my arthritis in my fingers and how am I feeling. He did not ask about my severe aortic stenosis which is functioning at less than 30%, my knee that needs replaced, my back, my other knee, etc etc. So it all hinges on what he thinks at knowing me for 20 mins. I always try to remain positive in life, and even though I can barely walk to the mailbox and back, I stay positive while waiting for surgery.
    Now as I said I have just done the medical, well that was 6 weeks ago and the report has still not got from the doctor to Centrelink. Now my surgeons, doctor, workplace assessment all support my going on a DSP, but it all comes down to this 20 min interview.
    So I will see what happens.
    I am dreading if it is rejected as there is no way I can currently work, if I do I would die.
    I know that in the past it seemed too easy to get onto the DSP, but now they have tightened it up so much that almost no one can get onto it. They have gone from one extreme to the other. They must find a middle ground.
    I know of people in the past that got onto it because they were addicted to drugs or alcohol ... and they are still on it 15+ years later even though the cleaned up their act over 10 years ago.
    But I hope it all comes out soon in my favor.
    Jezemeg8
    22nd Feb 2018
    12:46pm
    Nobby, I know exactly how you are feeling, a 20 minute interview by a doctor who asks only 2 questions and those relating ONLY to one very small part of your medical history is not sufficent to determine whether one is eligible to be on the DSP. I'm sure you had different aspirations in your life, to be on a payment that is well below the poverty line for the rest of your life was not one of them. I know it wasn't for me. I am praying that commonsense (what's that I hear many ask) prevails and that you will finally receive the payment.
    Jezemeg8
    22nd Feb 2018
    12:53pm
    before people start judging me, I'm GRATEFUL that there is a disability support pension and always will be, BUT for politicians and other "experts" to declare that people are falling over themselves to get on it, just shows how out of touch they are with how little it covers, especially as anything to developed to help those living with disability is VERY expensive!
    Knows-a-lot
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:01pm
    What's the difference between God and a doctor? God doesn't think he's a doctor.
    Rae
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:02pm
    I hope it comes out right for you too Nobby.

    In the old days the unions did help workers worn out at work and there was reasonable Worker's Compensation to cover injuries caused by the job over decades.

    All gone now I'm afraid.
    It really isn't fair.
    Nobby
    22nd Feb 2018
    4:11pm
    Thanks for the support it is appreciated.
    Yes I agree if I had a choice between being healthy and working
    or to be on DSP / Newstart
    I would definitely rather be working, I have worked all my life.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    4:34pm
    I wish you well, Nobby. At least you saw a doctor. I know of a case where a Centrelink employee - unqualified, 20 years old, dripping diamonds, and speaking with a plum in her mouth - disallowed a claim that three doctors and four specialists had verified because the applicant ''didn't appear to be in pain''. After a complaint was lodged, a social worker told the applicant - who had very genuine physical disability - to reapply on mental health grounds, since he had C-PTSD. That application was approved. What a farce!

    These moron politicians obviously don't understand that what they are doing will impose higher costs on society in the long run. People who are forced to work despite disability will exacerbate their injuries. Those who can't work will end up mentally ill as a result of the torment they suffer. There are not enough jobs, so the saving by denying someone DSP will be minimal - only the difference between DSP and Newstart. And the increased cost of health care and/or cost of longer-term disability because they strained themselves when they should have been resting will more than cancel out any minimal saving. It's dumb!
    Nobby
    27th Feb 2018
    6:39pm
    Good news Centrelink Granted me the DSP.
    My medical was finally sent to them Friday 23/02 and I got the call today 27/02.
    freedom27
    22nd Feb 2018
    12:18pm
    Its not exactly a walk in the park getting approved for the DSP as it is right now! Just how much more difficult does the government plan to make it? I can tell you right now one way of saving government money would be to cut the salaries of our overpaid and underworked politicians. Cut their retirement pensions. Most of them are filthy rich anyways so what makes them entitled to all receive all these perks. Its absolute joke!!! The rich get richer and the poor just get poorer. And this what were term the "lucky country". Maybe fifty odd years ago, but not definitely not now.
    Knows-a-lot
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:05pm
    Hear hear!
    seadog
    22nd Feb 2018
    12:56pm
    I am pleased that the matter was looked into. I had a friend who had a "bad Back" and went on the Disability Pension after taking a redundancy. This did not stop him digging his garden or doing most things that he wanted to do. I also know of others who have less problems than me and receive this pension. I still work and do most things without complaining just have to be careful what I do and how I do it.
    Charlie
    22nd Feb 2018
    3:16pm
    Its a bit hard to figure out, because there are types of pain generated in the nervous system that don't prevent a person doing physical exercise.
    It fact moving around actually reduces the pain. Unfortunately this nerve pain can be continuous and the person with it, can't stop moving around until they become exhausted enough to sleep. Waking up is horrific because the pain increases as the person becomes more awake.
    I had this in the days when doctors were not allowed to give Morphine for nerve pain and the tablet form of Morphine (Endone) had not been approved in Australia.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    4:48pm
    Ailments - and particularly back injuries - can cause intermittent pain that precludes holding a job, but don't necessarily preclude occasionally doing quite strenuous work. I am fortunate to have a job working the hours I choose, from home, but I could not hold a job because I would probably be unfit for work 40% of the time, with no advance warning of when I might be sick. But in between, I'm fine and can do most things.

    It's disturbing that those fortunate enough to enjoy good health and satisfactory work opportunities are so judgmental. A pity those who judge couldn't be made to walk in the shoes of some of those they condemn.

    Seadog, you are lucky to be able to still work an ''be careful''. Many would happily work if they had that luxury.
    Charlie
    22nd Feb 2018
    11:14pm
    Yes I have to be covered by pain control 24 hrs a day for the rest of my life, but I can still manage 4hrs a day physical activity...

    There was a disability employment agency and some of their officers were smart enough to talk a special deal with employers and get me two slots of 4hrs a week. The extra money was great even when I made more than $75 a week and had to take a cut....

    Unfortunately the business where I was working shut down and when I turned 65 there were laws that prevented my from using the disability employment agency past that age. Now I don't have a hope in hell of getting half day employment because nobody is offering these hours and there is no agency to approach employers on my behalf for shorter hours.

    A lot of life in old age is totally wasted..
    Thoughtful
    22nd Feb 2018
    1:15pm
    The problems for people who are genuinely disabled and meet the criteria to obtain the DSP are indeed immense. Unfortunately, we all know recipients who have rorted the system for decades and seem to be "grandfathered". The review should be ongoing - especially for people who, with proper treatment, may indeed be able to work again. Is it fair that genuine recipients face such a difficult time while those who have refused treatment or possibly are unfit to seek work because they have not worked for decades, sit back and receive a greater income than the genuinely unemployed? The whole system needs an overhaul.
    Rae
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:05pm
    Getting proper treatment promptly before the condition becomes worse seems to be a big part of the problem.

    When Howard tripled the immigration intake two decades ago the building of hospitals and training of medical staff should have also started.
    Knows-a-lot
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:07pm
    The unfairness is in the pittance Centrelink pay the genuinely unemployed.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:00pm
    That's true, Knows-a-lot. Many would seek DSP to avoid the poverty and indignity of New Start.
    Knows-a-lot
    22nd Feb 2018
    1:52pm
    Typical heartless Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition beancounter bastards! Labor will look after the disabled.
    freedom27
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:15pm
    Ever since the Liberals started ruling this county things have gone from bad to worse! I cant understand the voters of Australia being so downright stupid as to vote for these thieving twats!
    They have ruined our country! They have sold off our country. Everything is private enterprise!
    The government owns Jack S**t !!!
    Concerned
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:12pm
    Hello,
    I just signed the petition, “Hon. Dan Tehan MP: Fix the issues with accessing the Disability Support Pension.” I think this is important. Will you sign it too?
    Here’s the link:
    https://www.change.org/p/hon-dan-tehan-mp-fix-the-issues-with-accessing-the-disability-support-pension?utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_signer_receipt&utm_campaign=triggered&share_context=signature_receipt&recruiter=39286904
    Thanks,
    Nobby
    22nd Feb 2018
    4:22pm
    Signed and shared
    Triss
    22nd Feb 2018
    6:05pm
    Signed.

    22nd Feb 2018
    2:19pm
    Great news
    Stop the rorting
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    4:26pm
    Raphael, you are showing gross ignorance. Why would people want to ''rort'' if they didn't have a MAJOR problem? A few might, and trust me, they won't be caught out! The real rorters are far too clever. The majority would never consider applying for DSP unless they had a genuine problem. It's NOT a great life!
    KSS
    22nd Feb 2018
    10:45pm
    All unicorns and rainbows eh? OGR
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    11:00am
    The real world is nothing like the over-privileged selfish wish it to be, KSS. I only wish we could make all the arrogant and unkind walk in the shoes of those they denigrate and persecute.
    Charlie
    22nd Feb 2018
    2:55pm
    It really gets down to the doctor signing off on it.

    About 10 years ago when I got 24/7 nerve pain and had to leave my job, I looked at the form for disability pension and thought it was near impossible.

    I showed it to the doctor and he went through crossing out sections, like he had done a hundred of them, signed off on it, recommended and that was all to it.
    It was no great sum of money though and Centrelink wanted to know everything I owned. I got a call from Canberra once for not declaring the bank interest on $3000.

    I think there is a lot of scope these days for the doctor to support a mental health condition without having to do any tests for cognitive function as the form seems to suggest.
    floss
    22nd Feb 2018
    3:10pm
    Just another attack on the old and the weak by the Liberals while our CEOs are ripping off multi million dollar salaries . They also want tax cuts for companies that pay almost zero tax, GIVE ME A BREAK.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    3:40pm
    If you had a BREAK , you can go on disability

    Just make sure its real and not one of these millions of fake injuries
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    4:50pm
    That's nasty, Raphael, and uncalled for. If you had to walk, for a while, in the shoes of some of the disabled who are suffering unfairness, you might sing a very different tune.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:30pm
    If you had a break you go on sickness benefit - not DSP...
    floss
    22nd Feb 2018
    4:13pm
    Raphael for your info. I am a fully self supported person and have a great respect and try to help people who are not as well off, unlike you who seem to enjoy putting down people not as well off as yourself.Disabled people have enough to put up with and can do without smart arse remarks like yours.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    5:58pm
    floosy - i have no issue with genuine disability which makes working impossible
    I have great issue with rorters who fake injury so that can enjoy early retirement at my expense
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:56pm
    I suspect those are VERY few in number Raphael. Not many would enjoy life on the DSP.
    Hillbillypete
    23rd Feb 2018
    1:09pm
    Good One Floss!

    22nd Feb 2018
    5:25pm
    A quote from a victim of this cruel attitude to DSP applicants"

    ''I am 23, I have completed a university degree straight out of high school and after that I begun my hairdressing apprenticeship. I always prided myself on being an outgoing and hard working individual. Last year, however, I was forced into an early forced retirement due to the genetic chronic illness Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is primarily a lung disease, however, it also affects most of the other major organs in the body. As it stands, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common genetic life threatening illness in the country, double lung transplants are a common prognosis and those who have CF have a mean life expectancy of 39 years old. As a result of my CF I have a predicted lung capacity of 40% which requires me to perform daily physio and antibiotic therapy. The decreased capacity furthermore limits me to the amount of physical activity that I can do. Further complications from CF has resulted in my pancreas being damaged to a point where I have to consume 30+ tablets a day (pancreatic enzyme replacements) and adhere to a strict diet in order to gain any nutrients out of food. The health regime that I have to follow in order to maintain my health leaves me as a time poor person, with these treatments taking hours out of my day, and weeks out of my year when hospitalization becomes a necessity. Living with these extra responsibilities did make work a more arduous task and it did take a toll on my body with my lung capacity taking a hit of around 15% in the two years where I was working full time and my time spent hospitalized increased. With these statistics in mind under the advisement of the team of medical professionals who look after me at the Prince Charles Hospital Brisbane I was recommended to apply for the DSP in order to prolong my health.

    At this time, armed with 23 years of medical evidence from a range of professionals across all fields of medicine (Thoracic specialists, Mental health professionals, Dieticians etc.) I applied for the DSP with Centrelink. My claim was left sitting for over 4 months before I was contacted; albeit after I checked up on the process of my claim multiple times, by the department. In this time, my interim payment (newstart allowance) had been cancelled or suspended 4 times, due to a lack of communications between departments because I had exceeded the allotted exemption period for those applying for DSP.

    In my communications with the department I have been made to feel embarrassed and frustrated over the phone and in person numerous times. From being asked asinine questions such as if my “degenerative lung disease” will improve over the next 24 months and being told that I should work until the point where hospital outweighs all other aspects of my life''

    Yep. Got to stop the rorters. Goodness, it's ONLY Cystic Fibrosis. Making him work will kill him, but still... can't have him burdening the greedy taxpayers who are always screaming for more take-home pay.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    5:33pm
    Fake News
    Old Geezer
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:01pm
    Most people with CF die before they even get to their 20s so at 23 this person doesn't have a very severe form of CF.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:59pm
    Oh, now he's a medical specialist as well... oh, no. That's right. He's GOD. He knows EVERYTHING. Reads everyone's private mail. Follows everyone everywhere. And now has more expertise than this poor man's doctor.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:33pm
    The difference between a doctor and god - remember? The god doesn't imagine he's a doctor...
    Old Geezer
    23rd Feb 2018
    9:54am
    Don't start me on doctors after my emergency last week. If only they would listen instead of thinking they are God they might just get it right for once.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    11:09am
    Well why would they listen to someone who thinks he's God and claims to know everything? Why even bother to go to them, OG. You claim to know it all, so why would you think you needed a doctor?
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    11:12am
    Did you temporarily forget that all pain is in your head, OG, or is it that you needed more psych medication for the brain disease you suffer?
    Old Geezer
    23rd Feb 2018
    2:23pm
    ROFL

    22nd Feb 2018
    5:38pm
    OGR it is very hard to take anything you say, seriously. You claim to work from home, but how can you, when you spend all day clogging up these comments sections with your ill informed, illogical, and dim witted perspectives? Why don't you spend more time at the Senior Cits? The carpet bowls might suit someone of your skill set a little better, than trying to engage in constructive and intelligent commentary on serious issues.
    Old Geezer
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:16pm
    I agree. I don't know how OGR gets time to do her job with the amount of time they spend on this forum.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:58pm
    I spend very little time on this forum, actually. And it's a healthy break from concentrating on work. And I have no interest in the nasty opinions of people who don't like the truth.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:34pm
    Ebergeezer Scrooge.... bah... HUMBUG! They can expire in the snow drifts for all I care...
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:37pm
    You work? I thought you were rich and retired and asseted to the eyeballs on free money on which you pay no tax while not voting and didn't even have a job when compulsory super came in... pardon me, Isabella, but your slip is showing....

    I once asked a friend, a psych nurse, how they worked out the difference between a simple crazy and a psychotic... he replied that the psychotic always tells lies...
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    10:41am
    Who are you directing that comment to, Trebor?
    Old Geezer
    23rd Feb 2018
    2:14pm
    Well it's not me.
    cupoftea
    22nd Feb 2018
    5:43pm
    Centrelink thinks that Depression,Agrophobia,and anxiety is not a problem,tell that to a clinical phycologist
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    5:57pm
    What about a phobia of working? Should Centerlink pay for that too ?
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:06pm
    Nobody has a phobia of working who is healthy, able, and has been afforded reasonable opportunity in life, Raphael. That's bigoted right-wing BS from the self-serving bastards who resent contributing fairly to society. It's human nature to WANT to be productive and to seek fulfilling and useful activity. It's our screwed up society that's the problem - and those who benefit from this screwed up system love to blame the victims.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Feb 2018
    2:25pm
    I have a phobia of working as there is no way I wold have time to have a job.
    MICK
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:24pm
    What...the million Australians on this pension are not eligible? What a surprise.
    They don't make Australians like they used to.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:37pm
    $4.8 billion saved - that's a lot of welfare cheats out there

    I'm sure there's plenty of retirees receiving pension when they shouldnt be too. Time government got on to those - another $10-15 billion saved
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:54pm
    Or maybe it's a lot of unfair suffering by people who don't deserve to be abused.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    7:58pm
    Rubbish Rainey

    Where's your proof ?
    youre just a marxist leftie nutter
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:02pm
    Look who's talking. Where's YOUR proof, Raphael. How many cheats have you identified and what have you done to verify that their claim isn't genuine?

    I'm no Marxist. Not even a leftie. I just appreciate the true facts of life. And sadly, there is no way $4.8 billion can be saved reducing DSP payments without persecuting genuine sufferers, as the horror stories of a great many genuinely disabled evidences.
    Anonymous
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:07pm
    The government saving is proof enough
    God - you're thick
    Horror stories? - you mean like the fake ones you make up ?
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:41pm
    "The government saving is proof enough "

    Falls on floor laughing.... the proof of the virtue of the Final Solution is in the removal of the undesirable elements from German society.... Allles Ist Gut, Heil Hitler! The end justifies the means and the harm done, and the individual has no value other than as an asset of the State.

    The proof of the merit if Stalin's changes to the Ukraine are in the lesser number of people hungry.... since there are now millions less Ukrainians...

    God - you're thick.
    Triss
    22nd Feb 2018
    10:41pm
    Government saving, Raphael, you've listened to the government propaganda. Just taking one saving, if I remember correctly, cutting a load of public service jobs to save thousands of dollars, except they spent much more than the saving because they spent lavishly on consultancy firms. But, hey, the government saved money, that's all many people care about.
    TREBOR
    23rd Feb 2018
    12:06am
    It's called selective reporting, Triss... they report the 'savings' from dumping people out of work, but they don't include the cost of consultants- we're not supposed to see that figure since it is just a part of the overall departmental budget....
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    10:58am
    Precisely, Trebor. I don't believe any of the cost-saving claims, and isn't it interesting that the more cuts they make, the higher the national debt goes and the more the economy slows?
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:27pm
    It's long been an ideological whipping boy for the 'right' in this nation that somehow there are all these bludgers out there copping free money on DSP..... like all the other 'bludger' claims attached to Centrelink in the minds of those kinds of twit - generally no more than 2% are actually suspect....
    Mum
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:29pm
    My brother, armed with a specialist recommendation, applied for a disability pension. He made the mistake of saying, at Centrelink, that he would like to do some work, if he was able. His applicaton was denied by a Centrelink clerk. It took a strong letter from the specialist, for my brother's application to be approved. That was seven years ago. He died a year ago, aged 59, a physically sick man who hated the fact that he had to be on a pension.
    TREBOR
    22nd Feb 2018
    8:46pm
    I've been on 100% disability since 1997, and recommended by top people for TPI.. never got it and don't care... but I have never been content to be a pensioner and have always worked. You'd be amazed - on one job, pretty physical, I'd come in, sign on, and then the office staff would laugh as I 'marched' off to work... what they didn't know was that if I didn't apply rigid self-discipline I would falter from pain, and I didn't want them to know I was in pain.... burned lung tissue.. it hurts let me tell you.

    Many do not make a public display of pain etc.... it is not the place or the right of others to determine whether or not people should be on disability pensions - that is the function of the same government that says they are bludgers...
    KSS
    22nd Feb 2018
    10:59pm
    If I understand what you are saying TREBOR, you were also rorting the system. You say you were on 100% disability since 1997 yet you were also working at the same time. If you were working why were you still getting disability meant to support those who genuinely can't work those who can't work?
    TREBOR
    23rd Feb 2018
    12:08am
    How exactly was I 'rorting the system', KSS? A disabled person is entitled to work.... those are the rules.

    Go read up on them sometime..... you need to.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    10:38am
    You are right about people not wanting to make a public display of disability, Trebor. I work with many who were abused in institutions. They avoid any public display of pain because from a very early age they were harshly punished for showing distress. If they cried when beaten, they were beaten more. Their first lesson from the other kids when admitted to the institution was ''don't ever let them know they are hurting you. They enjoy hurting, and if you show hurt, they'll hurt you more.''

    These people carry that over to Centrelink and other government authorities and even doctors. They have an inherent belief that ''the system'' is there to persecute them, and their best defence is to always create the impression that they can't be hurt. It goes against them very heavily, because Centrelink is much more responsive to the whingers and criers and ''poor me'' brigade. But old habits are hard to break, especially for men who were trained to be ''tough''.
    Old Geezer
    23rd Feb 2018
    2:28pm
    Rubbish OGR those people whinge the worst and usually about nothing other than they think they have been badly done by.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    9:20pm
    What sort of disgusting SCUM speaks that way about the most abused members of our society? You are positively vile, OG, and totally untruthful. If you knew ANYTHING AT ALL about the people I refer to, you would not publish such scandalous and vile insulting untruths.

    So you think they HAVEN'T been badly done by? You are probably one of the stinking lying money-grubbing ''welfare'' officers who destroyed families instead of doing a job properly, and caused incalculable harm that passes through generations before it heals.
    KSS
    24th Feb 2018
    9:44pm
    The rules are here TREBOR and there is a no work component to eligibility (can’t work, or retrain to work, for at least 15 hours a week in the next 2 years)!

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/eligibility-disability-support-pension
    Hillbillypete
    23rd Feb 2018
    10:49am
    Old Man, what a lot of bullshit, you should try and go through work cover! Government doctors are being paid to not let you win and are not on your side, the only doctor that has any idea of your problem is you family treating doctor!
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    11:06am
    You got that right, Hillbillypete. A couple of true stories about government doctors:

    (1) a government doctor was asked to evaluate a man who had applied to Defence Housing to transfer his home loan so he could relocate to a warmer climate because he had chronic lung disease. (This was before DHA loans became portable). Doctor refused to examine him but said ''I won't support your claim because my son can't get a DHA loan so why should you?"

    (2) Govt doctor asked to assess a child - aged 2 - whose doctor had diagnosed Cerebral Palsy. Doctor went to the child's home and demanded the mother get the child out of bed. Sleepy, frightened child, placed between mother and doctor, wriggled toward mother and tried to climb onto her lap. Doctor said ''She looks fine to me'' and wrote that the claim for assistance should be denied. No examination whatsoever. He based his finding purely on a five-second observation.

    Their brief is to find ways to disallow claims.
    Nerk
    23rd Feb 2018
    11:04am
    When you get on the dsp you become property of the government, you'll enjoy travel restrictions for a start, you'll be told what to do, enjoy
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2018
    11:07am
    Yep, but some privileged fools are dumb enough to think people seek that lifestyle.

    25th Feb 2018
    3:53pm
    Wouldn't it be more sensible to invest in reducing disability rather than persecuting sufferers? I have observed that disability among children is increasing dramatically - with the rates of autism, for example, soaring. It appears, from casual observation, that this may be connected to increased rates of IVF and Ceasarian births. Disability as a result of workplace accidents has been addressed by tighter health and safety rules, but workplace stress is increasing with workers under enormous pressure to increase productivity. Long term disability would reduce if short-term disability was dealt with in a more practical and empathetic manner - but cutting people off benefits can only exacerbate their difficulties, causing extreme stress and driving some to engage in work that results in temporary injury becoming a permanent disability.
    Old Geezer
    26th Feb 2018
    10:22am
    Autism has nothing to do with IVC or caesarean births but is a result of all those toxins injected in babies today because of our herd mentality regarding vaccinations we don't need. When are people going to wake up that it is good food and our higher standard of living that has caused those disease to decline rapidly and not those big pharm toxins.
    Anonymous
    26th Feb 2018
    10:58am
    Of course you are an XPERT (read - HUGE DRIP under pressure!) who knows more than all the medical experts in the world combined, OG!

    You are showing your gross ignorance again. IVF mothers are injected with all sorts of toxins, and so are premature babies. So it may have EVERYTHING to do with BOTH IVF and toxins, and be a chicken and egg question.
    Old Geezer
    27th Feb 2018
    12:25pm
    Tell that to the mothers whose babies die for those toxic vaccinations. Ask them what they think of their baby's death certificate's cause of death being cot death as a cover up for what really happened to their baby. Some kids have genes that are triggered by those toxic vaccinations and cause their autism. I know exactly what caused by son's autism and given any more of that toxic vaccination he would have been another cot death.

    However to expose the truth is not in the interests of big pharma who have convinced our government that their toxins are what prevents diseases. Ever wondered why you can't sue for a vaccination injury? Many in the know are now asking their doctors to sign forms before they jab their kids so if anything goes wrong the doctor can be sued. If the doctor refuses to sign then you have a case of a doctor refusing to vaccinate.
    PlanB
    28th Feb 2018
    7:58am
    I agree with you on this occasion OG -- I know of 5 children -- 2 are twins --that were Autistic after the MMR vaccine -- and know of 2 babies that died from 'Cot Death" also after the Vaccination

    The vaccinations these days have far too much in them for any tiny body to handle.

    YES SOME Kids do have genes that are triggered by these vaccines
    LadyLover62
    27th Feb 2018
    2:35am
    OMG ???? I’m only at the lawyers stage of the procedure, fighting for a legitimate payout for a serious work place injury to my back and hips. Claiming TPD. Then it appears from the comments that I then have to fight for my rights at Centrelink also. The depression is a nightmare already and I can see myself becoming totally overwhelmed by the enduring fight for compensation & ongoing payments from DSP. It’s all so complicated and intimidating, definitely wouldn’t recommend it for anyone. I’m going to write a book in the near future on what to expect in the process of pursuing a workers comp claim. Way to intense and people need more guidance
    Anonymous
    27th Feb 2018
    4:24pm
    Last person I watched go through that process, LadyLover62, had a claim rejected by Centrelink because ''he didn't appear to be in pain during the interview''. That was an interview with a 23-year-old unqualified worker who was dripping diamonds and giggling like a congenital idiot. She overruled all the doctors and specialists who confirmed major disability. The applicant was 64.5 years old - due to retire in 6 months - but the C/link assessor declared if they forced him to do voluntary work 2 days a week, undergo physio, and have counselling, he could be ''eased back into the workforce within 3 years''!!

    Happily, a strenuous complaint to the applicant's federal MP resulted in a social worker being sent out and because it was apparent the applicant was dealing with some rather hairy family issues, plus had suffered major abuse as a child and had C-PTSD, the social worker instructed the applicant to submit a new application quoting mental illness. It was approved, but no back pay was granted because it was a new application, not an appeal. He was advised an appeal would fail because physical disability ''shouldn't stop him retraining for clerical work'' - at 64.5, with a total of 6 years' education and having been a labourer all his life. Go figure!

    All up, it took 13 months from original application to finally receiving approval and a pay cheque - all with NO INCOME.
    PlanB
    27th Feb 2018
    9:30am
    These Politicians need to have to spend some time with a dreadful disability to grow a heart, they have NFI as to what it is like to live in the real world!
    The more I see and hear of these Bastards the more I detest them


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