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Centrelink stands by decision to deny disability payments to shark attack victim

Thu, 18 May 2017, 10:41 AM

Adam Stephen and Emilia Terzon, ABC News, 12 May 2017
The government department that runs Centrelink has backed a decision to deny disability payments to a man who lost his leg in a shark attack, saying he should complete rehabilitation and get a prosthesis fitted before being considered.
Cairns spearfisherman Glenn Dickson had his leg amputated in February after he was bitten by a bull shark near Hinchinbrook Island, but was knocked back from receiving disability support because his impairment was not deemed severe enough.
"The shark hit my leg like a chainsaw," Mr Dickson said.
"It swallowed my whole leg and had chomped and shredded all around my upper thigh, completely to the bone."
He has spent the last three months recovering and applied to Centrelink for the disability support pension (DSP).
Mr Dickson said he could not currently work in his occupation as a boilermaker and his family was experiencing financial uncertainty as they approached the birth of their third child.
"It's a lot harder for my partner. She now has to look after me," Mr Dickson said.
In a statement, Department of Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said the department had reviewed its decision to reject Mr Dickson's application.
"The department can confirm a review has shown this matter was handled appropriately and in accordance with legislation," he said.
Read: the full article at ABC News

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  • Steve Cook on Thu, 18 May 2017, 03:51 PM:

    This example of why the DSP eligibility determination process is letting Australians down is very sad and also very arresting, however it is not a good example of the actual issues that really need to be addressed. What it does highlight is the dire need for a temporary payment equivalent to the DSP that takes care of Australians like Glenn Dickson while he is recovering and rehabilitating. Newstart is just not sufficient for someone who cannot work due to illness injury or disability to this degree and may even hinder his recovery.