letter/email

autism/ASD and DSP eligibility

Government and Executive Services Branch
Department of Social Services

 

Dear sir/madam

Thank you for your letter/response (MC17-006035, 20/4/2017) to A4's letter (29/3/2017).

In the previous letter, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (known as A4) expressed concern that "the wording that Government uses appears to exclude autistic people from the Disability Support Pension" and asked whether that was the Government's intent. 

ASD advocates in the ACT call to register behavioural clinicians

Speaking Out for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SOfASD), a local ASD advocacy group in the ACT, wrote to the ACT Minister for Education raising concerns about the lack if discernible progress with getting registered/certified behavioural service and support for autistic students in ACT schools. SOfASD asked for a meeting but the Minister's response ignored their request.

Disability Support Pension - are autistic people eligible?

Dear the Hon Jane Prentice MP

We thank you and Mr Russell de Burgh for your response (MC17-003466 on 28/3/2017) to A4's email, and especially for specifically answering the questions we asked.

The webpage your response refers to, https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/disability-support-pension, says (repeatedly) that people who are either "permanently blind" or " have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition" may be eligible for Disability Support Pension. We understand that people who to not satisfy this description are not eligible. This description of eligible people excludes most autistic people. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not regarded as a "psychiatric condition" even though the diagnostic criteria are described in the DSM-5, a manual of mental disorders. Current estimates suggest under 50% of autistic people have "intellectual impairment". ASD is not physical impairment. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that in 2012, 73% of autistic Australians have severe or profound disability (limitations on core activities), so it would seem that a high proportion of autistic adults should be eligible for DSP.

Follow-up with NDIA on Early Intervention (cont.)

Dear Mr Buckley,

Please find attached correspondence from William Garton.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions in regards to this correspondence.

Kind Regards

Executive Assistant to William Garton,
General Manager – Access and Operations Management,
Participants and Planning
National Disability Insurance Agency


Mr Bob Buckley
Convenor
Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)

Dear Mr Buckley,

Thank you for your correspondence dated 2 February 2017.

information about Disability Support Pension

Dear the Hon Jane Prentice MP

A4 members have expressed concern about Centrelink’s Disability Support Pension (DSP) eligibility and processes. They commented that “the letter you get from Centrelink tells you nothing about where to find the criteria for how [Centrelink] judges in/out”.

A4 could not find clear descriptions on government websites (or elsewhere either) of:

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