Changes over time
The number of clients with disability has varied over time, growing from around 7,000 clients (2.7% of all SHS clients) in 2013–14 to a of peak of almost 11,000 clients (3.8%) by 2016–17. Between 2014–15 and 2019–20 the number declined to around 6,700 clients. For the most recent two financial years, the number of clients with disability has increased again, to 7,000 in 2020–21and 7,300 clients in 2021–22 (Supplementary table HIST.DIS).
Presenting unit type and Living arrangements
Of the 7,300 clients living with disability, most clients sought assistance from a SHS agency alone (65% or 4,800 clients) or with child/ren (25% or 1,800 clients) (Supplementary table CLIENTS.42). At the start of support, clients were most commonly living alone (40% or 2,900 clients) or as a single parent with child/ren (27% or 1,900) (Supplementary table CLIENTS.43).
Clients with disability may face other vulnerabilities, alongside their disability. In 2021–22, almost 3 in 4 (72% or around 4,100) clients living with disability experienced one or more other vulnerabilities, including a current mental health issue, problematic drug and/or alcohol use or family and domestic violence (Supplementary table CLIENTS.45) (Figure DIS.2).
Figure DIS.2: Clients with disability, by selected vulnerability characteristics, 2021–22