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To: Greg Hunt MP; Alan Tudge MP

Increase Newstart benefits for Chronic Illness

Increase Newstart benefits for Chronic Illness

Dear Mr Hunt and Mr Tudge,

Could you live on $270 a week if you become chronically ill? No? Neither can most people. When somebody becomes chronically ill, they stand to lose everything they have, so not only do they then have to grapple with losing the vibrant person they once were, they now stand to lose their home, their pets, a car and their ability to pay for medications and other basic necessities.

People who lose their lifestyle to chronic illness already have to accept that there will be a major downsizing of one's life, however, the current sickness allowance puts people in the unfortunate position where it is not enough to survive on while they attempt to recover. It puts them in a situation where they not only lose everything they now live in poverty, with very little chance of recovery without money to rebuild their lives in a healthy way, The current Newstart rate with a medical certificate means sufferers become consumed with the fear and worry of putting food on the table and finding a place to live rather than being able to focus on getting the help they need to heal and rebuild.

The DSP has become impossible to be accepted for and there is a whole subgroup that falls into the category of too sick to work but only just marginally well enough to not qualify the DSP. Please take a minute to read my article 'The hidden predicament of too sick to work, too undiagnosable to get any assistance'. (or not diagnosably sick enough).

https://newshoots.com.au/2017/09/12/the-hidden-predicament-of-too-sick-to-work-too-undiagnosable-to-get-any-assistance/

There needs to be a payment for chronic illness that prevents a person working, but may not necessarily be permanent.

It's a false economy to not decently support chronically ill people, since the sickness benefit is so low it actually perpetuates a cycle of poverty, stress and excessive loss of basic human needs, exacerbating a persons ability to heal and recover, which then compounds their illness and leads, to a permanent disability long term.

Why is this important?

It's a false economy to not decently support chronically ill people, since the sickness benefit is so low it actually perpetuates a cycle of poverty, stress and excessive loss of basic human needs, exacerbating a persons ability to heal and recover, which then compounds their illness and leads, to a permanent disability long term.


Reasons for signing

  • I am one of those that are struggling on newstart whilst I fight the dsp process. By the time rent/bills are paid I’m left with nothing for fuel, food medications. Winter is tough no heating as I can’t afford the power bill chronic illness is tough enough to deal with, but to then be subjected to Centrelink/job agents appointments and demands is horrible, always worrying that your payments will be cut most days you feel like suicide is the better option.
  • Nobody can live on newstart. Then they expect people with disabilities to get a job. Nobody wants to employ us.
  • I’ve been too sick to work for the last 8 years. In this time I’ve applied and been denied DSP over 12 times. There needs to be a higher payment for those that have a chronic illness but aren’t “sick enough” according to centrelink.

Updates

2019-06-13 08:56:17 +1000

500 signatures reached

2017-12-21 19:07:06 +1100

100 signatures reached

2017-12-21 14:17:25 +1100

50 signatures reached

2017-12-21 12:43:42 +1100

25 signatures reached

2017-12-21 11:40:42 +1100

10 signatures reached