Recently W.O.W! met the Age Discrimination Commissioner, The Hon Susan Ryan AO. We took the opportunity to ask her what policies were being considered to help the mature-aged unemployed Australians who could not get Centrelink benefits because they have assets. We explained that, although the assets may be costing them money, this is not taken into account by Centrelink. Their applications are based on the market value of their assets. Deemed to be "asset rich", they are not granted a benefit. No Centrelink benefits means they can not get even a Health Care Card. This excludes them from receiving concessions on the essential services bills and also excludes them from receiving help from many charities. We explained that many of their members are "asset rich, income poor" and struggling to survive.
Commissioner Ryan asked us to send our member's stories (experiences) to her and she will ensure they reach the relevant policy makers.
We urge all mature-aged unemployed to contact us so your voice can be heard. Family members are also welcome to tell their stories, because unemployment affects all.
We presented Commissioner Ryan with a copy of our submission, The Hidden Face of Poverty.