Summit reforms apply to disability pension

·2-min read

Australians with a disability eligible for the age pension will be able to earn extra income without losing their benefits, federal skills and training minister Brendan O'Connor has confirmed.

Following the jobs and skills summit last week, the federal government announced changes to mobilise the so-called grey army in a bid to address labour shortages.

Under the changes, people on the aged and veterans pension will receive a one-off income credit to earn an extra $4000 in this financial year without losing their benefits.

People of retirement age on the disability support pension (DSP) will also be eligible under the reforms, Mr O'Connor said.

The $4,000 income increase without a pension being affected would apply to the DSP, he said.

"We have an opportunity here to make sure that people can access the labour market who have been locked out for years (and) that includes people with a disability," he told ABC Insiders on Sunday.

Disability employment services need to be updated to help Australians get into work if they want to, Independent MP Zali Steggall said.

"We need to think outside the box when it comes to our skills and employment and not be so rigid because we are probably excluding people from making a very worthwhile and genuine contribution," she told Sky News.

"We need to make sure everything is fit for purpose and accessible to make sure we're maximising everyone's opportunity."

Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott told last week's summit people living with a disability were ready for employment opportunities.

"There's no reason why people on the disability support pension couldn't get out and have a crack and do a little bit of work to try and help our economy grow," he said on Friday.

"People with a disability deserve that same choice, to get out there and be the people that we want to be."