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Wednesday, 29 June 1994
Page: 2272


Senator LEES (Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats) (12.41 p.m.) —I move:

1.  After clause 4, page 3, insert the following new clauses:

    Qualification for Disability Support Pension

    "4A.Section 94 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting the following subsections after subsection (1):

      `(1A)Despite subsection (1) and sub-paragraph 96(1)(b)(iv), if a person claims disability support pension within 28 days of last being paid disability wage supplement, the person is qualified for the pension and section 116 does not apply to the person.'.

      `(1B)If:

        (a)a person is qualified for disability support pension under subsection (1A); and

        (b)the Secretary determines under section 114 that the person's claim is to be granted;

      the person is qualified for disability support pension after the making of the determination if:

        (c)the person has a physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment; and

        (d)the person's impairment is of 20% or more under the Impairment Tables; and

        (e)the person has a continuing inability to work

    Note 1: the Secretary may require a DSP recipient to attend a medical examination pursuant to section 105 of the Act.'.

  Commencement day for disability support pension

  "4B.Section 100 of the Principal Act is amended:

    (a)by omitting `Subject to subsection (2)' from subsection (1) and substituting `Subject to subsection (1A), (2)'; and

      (b)by inserting the following new subsection after subsection (1):

        `(1A)If a person claims disability support pension within 28 days of last being paid a disability wage supplement the person's provisional commencement day is the day after the last payment of disability wage supplement.".

This amendment relates to the availability of the disability support pension for people who are moving off employment. As it stands at the moment, those who have been on the disability support pension but who have been fortunate enough to gain employment can move into that employment with the support of the disability wage supplement. As the legislation is drafted at the moment, if that job ceases or if they lose that job, they have quite a long wait before they are able to get any income support. I understand that wait can be several months, not just some weeks.

  This amendment will ensure that people who have been on the disability wage supplement can transfer straight back on to the disability support pension without having to wait for a medical examination. Indeed, that medical examination can be conducted at a later stage when they are still able to access income support.