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Australian Disability Support Pension Recipients Who Are Denied Right to Travel Freely Internationally

Published: 2011-02-09 - Updated: 2022-06-09
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Australia and New Zealand Publications

Synopsis: Thousands of Australian Disability Support Pension recipients like to spend as much time as possible overseas. When the Social Security Act of 1991 was changed in 2003, many Australians living outside the country were "grandfathered" or granted exemption from the new legislation; this allowed thousands of Disability Support Pensioners to live outside Australia legally. Disabled pensioners considered unemployable and deemed to be of no potential use to the workforce should be allowed to live their lives unrestricted.

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Definition

Australian Disability Support Pension
Disability Support Pension (DSP) is an Australian financial aid program for those with a permanent physical, intellectual, or psychiatric condition that prevents them from working. Not everyone with a disability or a medical condition can get DSP, and you need to meet non-medical and medical rules to receive Disability Support Pension.

Main Digest

I'd like to draw people's attention to the plight of Australian Disability Support Pension recipients who are denied the right to travel freely outside their own country.

Related Publications:

This is a Senate submission made last year opposing changes to amendments of the Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2010, which will be decided this year.

I'd like the Committee to consider the following while they are examining the Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2010, which will give Centrelink the right to remove residency from Australian citizens, in this case, Disability Support Pensioners, who spend too much time outside of Australia.

1) Thousands of Australian Disability Support Pension recipients like to spend as much time as possible overseas for their reasons. They may have families there; they may find it cheaper than to struggle on a pension in Australia, or they may just be exercising their right as free Australian citizens to come and go as they please. Please don't take this right off them. The government does not value making people a prisoner in their own country.

2) This will be an expensive exercise; most expatriate pensioners cannot claim rent allowance, phone allowance, or pharmaceutical allowance, a total of around three thousand dollars a year. They buy their prescription drugs over the counter without concessions and use local doctors, freeing up the Australian public health system. Should they return to Australia, many will apply to bring partners and families currently living on a single pension? I know of a legally blind pensioner in Cambodia with two children under five. Work out what that will cost the taxpayer over the next twenty years.

3) When the Social Security Act of 1991 was changed in 2003, many Australians living outside the country were "grandfathered" or granted exemption from the new legislation; this allowed thousands of Disability Support Pensioners to live outside Australia legally. Australians not currently covered under this system should be offered an opportunity to take advantage of it.

4) Finally, I'd like the Committee to consider what advantage the Australian taxpayer has in restricting these people's movements. I understand that many will be made to partake in retraining schemes to get them back into the workforce at some level.

This is quite acceptable, but disabled pensioners considered unemployable and deemed to be of no potential use to the workforce should be allowed to live their lives unrestricted. Give us a fair go.

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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2011, February 9). Australian Disability Support Pension Recipients Who Are Denied Right to Travel Freely Internationally. Disabled World. Retrieved February 6, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/news/australia-nz/international-travel.php

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