Movement of DSP recipients through the income support system

Understanding the movement of Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients between different payment types and on and off income support provides insights into their income support pathways, exit and entries.

To examine the movement of DSP recipients through the income support system, all recipients as at June 2009 were tracked through the data to investigate what income support payment (if any) they were receiving 9 years before (2000) or 9 years after (2018). This analysis does not capture all changes, only payments an individual was on at measurement points for each year.

This analysis shows that most DSP recipients aged 16–64 tended to stay on this payment for a long time, with very few moving onto other income support payments or exiting the income support system (Figure 1).

Looking forward to 2018, of DSP recipients aged 16–64 in 2009:

  • over half (58%) still received DSP and almost one-quarter (23%) had moved onto Age Pension
  • for those aged 16–24 and 25–49, most (both 84%) still received DSP
  • for those aged 50–64, 38% still received DSP and 42% had moved onto Age Pension
  • 13% had died by 2018—increasing with age from 3.1% to 8.7% to 17% across the 3 age groups
  • 1% had moved to another income support payment (other than Age Pension) and 4.2% were not on income support.

Looking back to 2000, of DSP recipients aged 16–64 in 2009:

  • 41% had received DSP
  • 24% had received another type of income support payment, mainly unemployment payment and parenting payment—13% and 7.0% respectively
  • 35% were not on income support.