THE DSP STUDY
The DSP Study aims to build an evidence base on the health and experiences of people receiving the Disability Support Pension, and on the impact of government policy changes on access to Centrelink payments. The study is led from the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.
More than 500 people completed the DSP Experience Study survey. The online survey closed Tuesday 5th November.
We are now busily analysing the data to figure out what you have told us. We hope to publish some early results on this website before the end of the year.
A big thank you to everyone who participated!
EVIDENCE IN BRIEF
Brief highlights from our research as well as other Australian and international disability pension research studies.
DSP EXPERIENCES STUDY PRELIMINARY REPORT
This report describes initial analyses from the DSP Experiences Study. The report presents some data from the first 248 people to complete an online survey, including 143 DSP recipients and 105 DSP applicants.
The survey asked people about their experiences of interacting with Centrelink and about applying for the DSP. This is the first in a series of reports from the study. The report is intended primarily to provide feedback to study participants and to the community regarding initial findings.
DSP HEALTH STUDY REPORT RELEASED
People receiving the Government’s main disability and unemployment benefits are more likely to have multiple health conditions and to be hospitalised, according to major national study.
The report, released Sept 9 by Monash University researchers, is the first national snap shot of the health and health service use of people receiving the DSP and Newstart.
The study, led by Professor Alex Collie of the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, describes the large health gap between benefit recipients and people earning wages, and suggests a focus on improving health and health services is needed.
NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS STANDARD OF LIVING GAP FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY
A report launched on 17th September 2019 quantifies the financial impact on families of having a household member with a disability.
The report shows that households with a member with disability and receiving either the DSP or Newstart are much more likely to experience financial hardship and insecurity compared with all Australian households or households with a member with disability receiving the aged pension.
The report was prepared by the National Centre of Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) for the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO).
AN UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE OF RESTRICTING ACCESS TO DISABILITY BENEFITS
A recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health examined the impact of changes to disability benefit programs in Denmark and Sweden. The researchers compared types of benefits received (temporary or no benefits, disability benefits) for people with health problems before and after policy reform which restricted access to disability benefits.
They found that people aged 50 to 59 years with moderate or severe health problems were more likely to receive temporary or no benefits after the reforms than before. A link to the study is below (paywall warning).
DOES DISABILITY ASSESSMENT HAVE ADVERSE IMPACTS ON MENTAL HEALTH?
In England between 2010 and 2013 more than 1 million disability benefit recipients had their eligibility re-assessed using a new functional work capacity checklist. A study published in 2015 by researchers at the University of Liverpool and Oxford University examined the impact of this policy on mental health.
The researchers found that the policy was associated with an increase in suicides, self-reported mental health problems and antidepressant prescribing. For example, for every 10,000 people re-assessed there were an extra 6 suicides. The largest increases in mental illness were observed in the most disadvantages areas of England.
You can view an open access (free) copy of the report via the link below.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL ASSISTANCE (WELFARE) AND HEALTH?
A team from the University of Toronto recently published their review of the global research literature, which sought to determine the health impact of social assistance programs, like the DSP and Newstart, in high income countries.
They found consistent evidence that people receiving social assistance had poorer health than their counterparts, but also noted that rigorous studies were rare.
The full report from this study is available as open access via the link below.