Monday, 21 July 2008

Changes aim to help disability pensioners

The Federal Government has announced changes to assist more disability pensioners to find employment by removing disincentives for people who want to look for work.

Currently recipients who sign up with an employment agency have their benefits reviewed automatically and can lose some entitlements even before they get a job.

Federal Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O'Connor, says from September the process will be changed so people will not lose any payments when they begin looking for work.

"My job is to see more people in work and I think this is certainly a worthwhile opportunity to consider whether the increase will occur as a result," he said.

"I'm hoping it will and I'm confident as a result of today's reception that people who can look for work, who are on the pension will be encouraged by the announcement."

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Bill Shorten says under the new system people will not be penalised for looking for work.

"Living on $270 a week is a battle but if you think that you're going to lose that $270 a week by simply wanting to apply for a job, it's sending the wrong messages," he said.

"The signals are all wrong and now we've fixed that."

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