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Newstart allowance and disability support pension


"Depression over the last 18 years has affected my ability to maintain stable employment. I’ll be looking for employment as soon as I get over my illness." - Respondent comment

"I would dearly ‘love’ to re-enter the workforce. However, I remain scared at the prospect of not being able to perform in a capacity to which I would be expected." - Respondent comment

This section provides an analysis of recipients on Newstart Allowance and Disability Support Pension (DSP) in comparison to the general cohort.

Newstart Allowance recipients

Thirty-six per cent of respondents were in receipt of the Newstart Allowance, 40 per cent of whom were parents or carers of children under the age of 18 years, representing a total of 590 children. Changes to eligibility requirements in 2003, resulted in couple parents whose youngest child is six years old and single parents whose youngest child is eight years old being moved from the Parenting Payment to the Newstart Allowance. The majority of children were aged eight years and older.

Mother and father with their young children

"It is so hard to get work due to lack of work experience. I have qualifications in community development but couldn’t secure work/career due to lack of work experiences." - Respondent comment

"I lost my job when I developed epilepsy which made my diploma in childcare useless. There was no help that I could find and I’ve struggled ever since." - Respondent comment

Disability Support Pension recipients

Twenty-eight per cent of respondents reported being in receipt of the DSP. The majority of DSP recipients (88%) were aged between 25 and 60 years of age. Thirty-one per cent of DSP recipients were parents of children under the age of 18 years.

Fourteen per cent of DSP recipients identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders. 

Unemployment and the frustrations of limited capacity to work due to disability and/or ill health was a strong theme in comments provided by respondents.