The government is going ahead with an election commitment to set up the Young Carer Bursary Program. The 2014-15 Budget is delivering $3 million to fund the program that starts in January 2015. It has been established to support young carers who look after people with disability, with physical or mental health issues or older people in need of care. Around 150 bursaries will be given annually to help reduce the financial burden and allow carers to continue with their studies.
In other Budget news the government will introduce compulsory work-focused activities, such as work experience, education and training to some Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients under 35-years to help them increase their chances of finding and keeping a job. Recipients will have their work capacity reassessed against the current impairment tables and be provided with support need to allow them to develop their work capacity. From January 1, 2015, DSP recipients who travel overseas for more than four weeks in a 12-month period will need to reapply for the payment with exemptions for those with terminal illness or permanent and severe disability.
The government also plans to establish a new Disability and Carers Industry Advisory Council. This is intended to bring industry, service sector, peak bodies, people with disability and carers together to work with government on policies affecting people with disability and ways to reduce red tape across the sector.