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Coronavirus Pandemic

Extra support urgently needed for people with disabilities and carers

woman feeding food to girl with disabilities
Photo: Christopher A. Salerno / Shutterstock.com

The Australian Greens have reiterated their calls for people on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and Carer Payment to receive extra economic support to help them get through the COVID-19 crisis.

Spokesperson for Families, Ageing and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said that in the wake of the second wave of the COVID-19 crisis we are now seeing, especially Victoria, the Government must urgently top up the DSP and Carer Payments so that people with disabilities and carers can meet the additional costs they are facing because of the pandemic.

“People with disabilities and carers have been doing it extremely tough for the last few months without extra support to assist them with the higher costs they’ve been facing for groceries, transport and access to essential supports and medical supplies,” Senator Siewert said.
 
“With further lockdowns and economic hardship now inevitable, it is incumbent on this government to acknowledge the thousands of Australians on the DSP and Carer payment who need extra support.”

Spokesperson for Disability Rights and Services Senator Jordon Steele-John said people had been desperately holding out for the second $750  economic support payment, which will be paid today and should be reaching people over the course of this week.

“Frankly, this extra payment has been barely enough for people to hold on,” Steele-John said.

“Since this crisis began my office has been flooded with calls and emails from people saying they are struggling to make ends meet, and that the first payment was only able to cover things like rent arrears, bills that had been piling up or had simply enabled them to buy fresh fruit and vegetables for the first time in months.

“I know that this second payment will be the same; people will use it to cover the costs of essentials and very quickly it will disappear, putting many thousands of disabled people and carers back in a precarious financial position if they don’t receive extra, ongoing support from the government.

“We are once again calling on the Government to provide a top-up payment to Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment recipients so that these payments are equal to the new rate of Jobseeker Payment to make sure that eveyrone has the support they need to get throught his crisis.”

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