Social security and stigma in Australia

Authored by:

Gemma Carey, Aurora Elmes

Status: Completed November 2021

Authors: Aurora Elmes, Jeremiah Brown, Gemma Carey and Batool Moussa

The Centre for Social Impact conducted an analysis on how Australia’s social security system supports people who are unable to work due to their experience of mental ill-health or caring for someone with mental ill-health.

The analysis uncovered a range of key issues highlighting various systemic barriers which inhibit access to adequate income support. These barriers primarily relate to policy reforms that aim to reduce spending on the Disability Support Pension, the complexity and administrative burdens of the social security system, and the inadequacy of current income support payment systems and their harmful effect on people’s economic dignity.

This research was conducted collaboratively by Centre for Social Impact team members from Swinburne University of Technology and the University of New South Wales with expertise in mental health and social policy research, and lived experience of mental ill-health.

The authors detail the need and pathways to change current policy and administrative processes to ensure that the Australian social security system meets the essential needs of people who experience mental ill-health or care for someone with mental ill-health.

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