800,000 Australians claim Disability support payments

A review of the Disability Support pension in Australia is being undertaken, due to the increase in claimants for this benefit, available to people that are considered sufficiently disabled to stop them from working.

The numbers of recipients has grown since its inception as follows:

  • 1972 138,800 = 1.1% of the population.
  • 1980 229,000 = 1.6%
  • 1990 316,700 = 1.8%
  • 2000 602,380 = 3.1%
  • 2010 792,580 = 3.6%

This growth is disproportionate to the increase in population, however, a comparison against the UK show the latest rates are actually very similar.

The UK figures can be seen at: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/…/stats_summary_may2011.pdf

The number of working age claimants of ESA and incapacity benefits, the UK, totals 2.59 million in November 2010

This actually shows that 4.2% of the UK population is claiming a similar benefit.

ESA = Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which was introduced in 2008 to eventually replace the incapacity benefits.

I heard a supporter of the Australian Disability Support pension, claiming that the Australian rate was lower than the OECD rate, but I was sceptical about the claim. However, it seems he may have been correct after all.

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