Greenacres service criticises disability plan

Greenacres Disability Services CEO Chris Christodoulou has criticised the Abbott government's proposed changes to the disability support pension, which could begin as soon as the May budget.

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews over the weekend announced that disability pensioners could be reassessed by independent doctors to see whether they were still entitled to their pension or could return to work in the short term.

Fixed higher payments for the most disabled pensioners and lower payments for people with less restrictive disabilities, who might be able to work part time, were also being considered.

Mr Andrews said the changes could prevent people becoming entrenched on the disability pension.

But Mr Christodoulou said the organisation would be angered if any Greenacres' employees who received the disability support pension were affected.

"We believe that if there's already been an assessment made by their own doctor, that should be sufficient and there certainly already is a lot of rigour, in the disability sector in particular, around eligibility for funding," he said. "We will lobby against anything we think will disadvantage people with disabilities."

Mr Christodoulou said if the government was serious about helping, they should look at increasing funding for organisations like Greenacres to allow them to employ more people.

Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird said the suggested changes would cause unnecessary worry in the lead-up to the budget.

"The reality is, it's a whole lot of people, as it was with the proposed changes to the aged pension, who are going to be worrying themselves quite seriously up until the budget" she said.

"I think you should be looking to make sure the system is rigorous and sustainable, but, most importantly, in doing that you need to retain some compassion and understanding."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop