Income and finance

Looking at the type and level of income people receive can provide insights into their economic security and standard of living. The data in this section are used to explore different aspects of income and financial wellbeing of people with disability, as well as receipt of income support.

What is meant by economic security?

Economic security is having a stable income or other resources to support a standard of living and cover essential needs, both now and in the immediate future. Essential needs might include food, basic shelter, clothing, hygiene, health care and education (ICRC 2015).

Economic security is important for everyone and can enhance a person’s overall wellbeing. Having economic security can enable people to participate fully in social, economic, political and cultural life.

For children, or people dependent on others for their care, indications of economic security can be seen through the income level of their family or household.

Wages or salary

In 2018, 41% of people with disability aged 15–64 received income from wages or salary, compared with 73% without disability.

Government payment

In 2018, 44% of people with disability aged 15–64 received a government payment, compared with 12% without disability.

Financial satisfaction

In 2021, 33% of people with disability aged 15–64 were not satisfied with their financial situation, compared with 14% without disability.

Emergency funds

As at 2021, 25% of people with disability aged 15–64 would not have been able to raise $3,000 in a week for an emergency, compared with 9.4% without disability.

Disability Support Pension receipt

645,000 people aged 16–64, or 29% of all income support payment recipients in that age group received the Disability Support Pension (DSP) in March 2023.

DSP recipients in the Australian population

1 in 26 (3.9%) people aged 16–64 received DSP at June 2022, including 1 in 10 (9.7%) First Nations people.