Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) People with disability in Australia 2022: in brief, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 10 August 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). People with disability in Australia 2022: in brief. Retrieved from https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia-2022-in-brief
People with disability in Australia 2022: in brief. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 05 July 2022, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia-2022-in-brief
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. People with disability in Australia 2022: in brief [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2022 Aug. 10]. Available from: https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia-2022-in-brief
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, People with disability in Australia 2022: in brief, viewed 10 August 2022, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia-2022-in-brief
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Most working-age (aged 15–64) people with disability have some source of income (90%), as do those without disability (90%). However, for working-age people with disability, this income is more likely (43%) than for those without disability (7.9%) to come primarily from a government payment than from salary or wages. One in 4 (25%) working-age people with disability are permanently unable to work because of their condition(s) (2018).
Income from salary or wages
Income from government pension or allowance
(a) Living in households (2018).
Around 754,000 people aged 16 and over received DSP (at June 2020). Most (88% or more than 660,000) of these were aged 16–64.
What is income support?
Income support is a payment provided by government to help with living costs. People with disability who need help with living costs may access disability-specific payments (such as the DSP) or other payments (such as the JobSeeker Payment).
What is the Disability Support Pension?
The DSP is the main income support payment available specifically to people with disability. It is a means-tested income support payment for people aged 16 and over but under the Age Pension age (at claim) and who have reduced capacity to work because of their disability.
DSP recipients tend to stay on the DSP for a long time, with very few moving onto other payments or exiting the income support system. At June 2020, 81% of recipients aged 16–64 had been on the DSP for at least 5 years, 56% for 10 or more years.
Examining income support payment data for a cohort of DSP recipients aged 16–64 in 2009 over time, shows that by 2018:
People with disability generally have a lower level of personal income than people without disability. Having a person with disability living in the household is also associated with lower levels of household income.
Low income ($383 or less per week)
Mid income ($384 to $1,150 per week)
High income ($1,151 or more per week)
(a) Aged 15–64, living in households (2018).
To compare incomes, weekly equivalised income is used. This is the total income, of that household or family, adjusted by applying an equivalence scale to compare income levels between households or families of differing size and composition.
Low income ($593 or below per week)
Mid income ($594 to $1,388 per week)
High income ($1,389 or more per week)
(a) Weekly equivalised household income (2018).
Families where a parent has disability are more likely than those that do not to have a low level of family income.
Low income ($561 or below per week)
Mid income ($562 to $1,343 per week)
High income ($1,344 or more per week)
(a) Weekly equivalised family income.
(b) Living in households (2018).
Families with a child with disability are more likely to have a low level of family income than families that do not have a child with disability.
People with disability tend to be worse off financially than those without disability. This can affect their ability to raise funds in an emergency, pay bills or buy food. Some people with disability have to seek help from friends, family, or welfare and community organisations because of financial problems.
Of people with disability aged 15–64 (2017):
For more information, including breakdowns by sex and age, and lists of data sources, see the full web report.
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