Disability Support Pensioner, Margaret Simpson, shares her concerns for the future, on this government benefit. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Disability Support Pensioner, Margaret Simpson, shares her concerns for the future, on this government benefit. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle Valerie Horton

Fears proposed disability changes will hurt those in need

WE'RE not out to rort the system.

That is the sentiment shared by the thousands of people who fear they will be told to go back to work and get off the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

Margaret Simpson, who went on the pension in 2012, believes everyone on the disability pension deserves the benefit.

Ms Simpson, an accountant for more than 30 years, said, "I don't believe anyone is faking it to get the pension. It's too hard to fake."

Her comments come after the government recently announced that thousands on DSP face the prospect of having their ability to work reassessed under welfare changes to be introduced in the budget.

Although the government is focused on recipients under the age of 35, Ms Simpson, at 61 years of age, is worried future changes could affect her benefit payments and fears for those affected by it.

Ms Simpson a workaholic, who worked until she collapsed, has congestive heart failure, diabetes, pulmonary emboli and hypo thyroid. She said if she was told to go back to work, she would be tired every day and her life span would be short.

"What they don't understand is, I can't work at Bunnings or that sort because I can't stand for a full shift and I can't do office work because I can't be through half a meeting and go 'sorry guys, I've got to go', so imagine everyone else who is in my situation." Ms Simpson said.

Ms Simpson also believes the government needs to create jobs, especially here in Hervey Bay, so people with disabilities have the option of taking on jobs they are able to do.

When contacted, a spokesman for the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services said there was nothing to gain from speculation.