benefit provided in Australia
s, permanent residents and special visa
holders who are considered to have physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairments that prevent them from being gainfully employed, or for people who are permanently blind.
Recipients of the DSP must be aged between 16 and whatever the minimum age pension is for their gender and cohort. They must have resided in Australia for ten years, unless their injury or illness occured in Australia. The disability must be assessed as being severe enough to prevent the recipient from working or retraining full time for at least two years.
There is also an asset and income test that scrutinises how much the recipient and his/her partner owns and earns, although blind recipients are exempt. The payment can also be reduced if the recipient is receiving worker's compensation or Third Party damages.
One issue for concern is that elegibility controls are not rigorously enforced. This means a 40 year old bricklayer who does his back in could be tempted to claim the DSP rather than retrain for work, if he is convincing enough at the medical examination. Yet a crackdown on DSP fraud would be a political nightmare if somebody who was genuinely disabled was thrown off their sole income support. As a result the number of Australians claiming DSP is growing considerably as blue collar baby boomers age.