Disability pension claim pilot launched

Dan McCulloch

Australians applying for disability pensions will have their claims fast-tracked if a new pilot program proves successful.

Roughly 110,000 people apply for the disability pension each year but only a quarter are deemed eligible.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge wants those who are "manifestly eligible" as well as those who clearly are not to be processed much faster.

Central to a month-long trial will be gathering the right information, processing it quickly and reducing the need to search for more detail.

Claimants and their doctors will be clearly told what details are required to apply for the pension and assessments of this medical evidence will be done earlier.

Applications by those who are clearly unable to work will be fast-tracked and people who are ineligble will be weeded out earlier.

Job capacity assessments - where individuals meet with Centrelink officers or employment providers to determine their eligibility for work - will be better targeted to those who require comprehensive medical tests.

If the pilot is successful the department will permanently adopt the changes in the coming financial year.