VICTORIA’S pensioners will be paying the price of a COVID epidemic that has left millions of Victorians with a lifetime of disabilities and disabilities-related costs.
The Victorian Government announced yesterday that it was considering extending the life of the current COVID extension for people under the age of 75, to July 31, 2019.
It also announced it was looking at extending the existing COVID extended benefits package for people who have a disability.
But the Government has been criticised by disability advocates who say the Government’s decision will only further widen the gap between the lives of pensioners and the people who are left to deal with the cost of the crisis.
The Age has launched an investigation into the impact COVID could have on the lives and wellbeing of pensioner and disability support recipients.
The investigation will be available on the Age’s website for 24 hours.
A spokesperson for the Department of Social Services said the department had not yet decided whether to extend the life or extend the benefit period of the COVID Extended Benefits Package.
“We will look at whether the extension is warranted,” she said.
“What the Government wants to do is give people the best opportunity to stay in work as soon as possible.”
The Government is also making an important investment in the health and wellbeing and wellbeing infrastructure and the ability to access care, with the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which we will be making a priority in the future.
“Victorian Treasurer John Brumby said the Government would consider extending the extension.”
I think it’s important that people know that this is something that the Government is considering,” he said.”[It’s] an important priority to keep in mind as we consider extending COVID benefits for pensioners.
“He said the extension of the existing benefit package was an important step in making the economy work better for Victorians.”
In a statement, the Commonwealth said the Department would not extend the existing benefits package until after the Government had completed its work on the COVI-19 Extended Benefits Plan.””
We want to be as proactive in our economy as possible.”
In a statement, the Commonwealth said the Department would not extend the existing benefits package until after the Government had completed its work on the COVI-19 Extended Benefits Plan.
“It is our intention to provide the most effective and appropriate funding package to all Victorians eligible for the COV-19 benefit,” it said.
Victorian disability advocates say the extension would allow more Victorians to work as long as they are at least 75 years old.
“In the long term, this is a massive economic benefit to the state and we want to see that in the short term as well,” said Michael Robinson, executive director of Disability Australia.
“That means that the Commonwealth will pay into this new COVID expanded benefit and it’s a good thing for the state to pay into it.”
He called for a public inquiry into the impacts of COVID on the economy.
“This extension will not only put Victorians at risk of more severe COVID, it will put them at risk for longer periods of time,” Mr Robinson said.
Mr Robinson said it was essential that Victorians were provided with the support they need.
“They’re in this position because of their disability, they’re in the position because they’ve lost their job, they’ve got a disability-related illness,” he added.
“You’ve got to have that support.
You’ve got people who need it and you’ve got the Commonwealth in a position to give that support.”
Topics:health,health-policy,health,mental-health,diseases-and-disorders,government-and toppos-state-issues,vic,adelaide-5000,canberra-2600,act,australiaFirst posted October 19, 2019 15:54:51Contact Natasha LeesMore stories from South Australia