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Disability proof 'unreasonable': minister

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016

People with severe disabilities are being forced to jump through unreasonable hoops to prove they still need a pension, South Australia's disabilities minister says.

Leesa Vlahos says the Department of Human Services is telling people living with a disability to resubmit unreasonable amounts of detailed medical information within 21 days or face losing their Disability Support Pension.

She says the approach has caused "huge amounts of stress and fear", including for the family of a 28-year-old woman with a rare form of the degenerative disease leukodystrophy, who requires 24-hour-a-day care.

"I worry that this could trigger serious mental health episodes," Ms Vlahos said in a statement on Friday.

"The commonwealth government is more concerned with cost-cutting than caring for our most vulnerable citizens."

The federal government announced in May that thousands of disability pension recipients who may have some capacity to work would be medically reviewed.

The 2016/17 budget savings measure is designed to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme and will involve 90,000 reviews before mid-2019.

The Department of Social Services said the 30,000 recipients to be reviewed each year would be those most at risk of not meeting current eligibility criteria.

"This will ensure people are on the right support for their situation and assist people where appropriate to move into work and study," it said on its website.

The department has been contacted for comment.

The Department of Human Services said it understood some people with complex conditions might need longer than 21 days to submit their medical evidence.

A spokeswoman for the department said it could allow a extension of time or assistance to those having difficulty gathering the necessary material.

"Some medical conditions can change over time," she said.

"These reviews ensure customer records are up-to-date and people are on the right support for their circumstances."

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