Dear The Hon. Mr C Porter MP,
Minister for Social Security
Today I spoke with Lucy in your office. She asked me to write to you.
Recently, I have been contacted about several people who were told that Centrelink has reassessed them and they no longer qualify for Disability Support Pension because they have Asperger's Syndrome.
The World Health Organisation uses the term "Asperger's Syndrome" to mean the same as Asperger's Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition (known as the DSM-IV). The DSM-5 replaced the DSM-IV in 2013 and in the process the Asperger's Disorder category, along with Autistic Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), merged into Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Please can you tell us what is happening. Why are people with Asperger's Syndrome/Disorder being told that they no longer qualify for the Disability Support Pension? What are they expected to live on? Some of these people also have high anxiety (they may not be able to get treatment for their anxiety due to their autism/Asperger's) so experiences like being told they will lose their DSP can do them serious damage.
What does this mean for other people who also have Autism Spectrum Disorder ... that is people who were diagnosed with Autistic Disorder or PDD-NOS? Do they all no longer qualify for Disability Support Pension or does this only affect people with Asperger's Syndrome?
Convenor, Autism Aspergers Advocacy Australia (A4)
A4 is the national grassroots organisation advocating for people with autism spectrum disorder, their families, carers and associates. A4 is an internet based organisation so that members across the country can participate equally.
A4 received the response (link below) on the 4/1/2016.
I does not answer any of the questions that were asked.