Most disability support pension appeals rejected, in line with Centrelink’s tough approach


The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has refused 83 appeals against Centrelink decisions on DSP since January.Human services minister Senator Marise Payne — who oversees Centrelink — backed the three-tiered appeals ­system, which allows full transparency for applicants.DSP applicants, after being refused by Centrelink officers, can take their cases to an ­authorised review officer, the Social Services Appeals ­Tribunal and the AAT.In just 14 cases this year the AAT overturned previous rulings against DSP and awarded payments to applicants.“My department works hard to ensure only those people ­eligible for assistance receive payment,” Ms Payne said.“Those customers who ­disagree with decisions of the department are entitled to seek a review of that decision, and to pursue such matters as ­provided by the legislation.“Our assessments staff are highly experienced in considering applications for payment.”

In May the Abbott government revealed an average of 2500 people a week applied for the DSP, which now costs Australian taxpayers $15 billion a year to fund.The DSP is an income ­support payment for 830,000 people across Australia unable to work for 15 hours or more per week due to permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment. The large bulk of refusals are linked with stricter impairment tables.

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