1 April 2009
GOVERNMENT MUST INTERVENE IN CENTRELINK CASE
The Coalition spokesman for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Mitch Fifield, today called on the Human Services Minister Joe Ludwig to investigate the case of a Brisbane woman and her husband.
Megan Dodd, whose husband is in a coma after a fall during their honeymoon in 2007, says Centrelink told her that she needed to divorce her husband for him to be eligible for a full Disability Support Pension.
“It would be grossly insensitive for anyone to be advised they should divorce in order to access financial support.
“Minister Ludwig needs to do two things today:
– ensure that Centrelink is not advising couples to divorce
– ensure the Government and Centrelink have examined all options available to this couple
On a day when Labor’s Disability spokesman, Mr Shorten, was addressing the National Press Club on the Government’s commitment to people with disabilities, Minister Ludwig can do something very practical to help.
If Minister Ludwig can’t bring common sense to bear, he should pass the issue to Minister Macklin to fix.
The Government should be easing the burdens of people with disabilities not adding to them.