Worth it? What are payments like for people with lived experience?

This article was initially published in July 2021 edition of Parity magazine: Learning from Lived Experience support and subscribe to this great magazine created by The Council to Homeless Persons

What are payments like for people with lived experience collaborating with services today?

Icons and a glimpse of our respondents, mix of ages 34% LGBTQIA+ folks, 5% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 39% People with disabilities
A glimpse of our respondents, mix of ages 34% LGBTQIA+ folks, 5% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 39% People with disabilities

The short answer is — payments are wildly variable

People want choice around payment and they know what works for them

Scale balancing cards and a piggy bank: 69% Direct deposit to bank account vs. 2.2% Voucher or store gift card
69% Direct deposit to bank account vs. 2.2% Voucher or store gift card

“Why direct payment? three reasons: firstly because I can use it how I wish, secondly I won’t lose it and thirdly, because the work I give is like any other work. Imagine if you gave a professional consultant you hired a Myer card.”

Some sectors lean on gift vouchers, how sustainable is that for co-design and co-production?

People are anxious about how payments affect them

“They should be able to be received without “sneaking”.

Pie chart: 1 in 4 people had declines a consumer activity because of anxiety around payments
1 in 4 people had declined a consumer activity because of anxiety around payments

If the ATO don’t consider it assessable income, should Centrelink?

People with lived experience face unique risks and barriers to participating

Quote “I could lose Centrelink payment, I’m just on the cusp of being eligible and an extra hour or 2 can put me over the top. I need that security in case I’m unable to work due to health reasons”
Quote from a survey response

How can we ensure the right voices are in the mix, if people are put off by the risks of participating?

This is a human rights issue, and we need to solve it now

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Jo wants to live in a fair and healthy world, where services are co-designed with communities. She's multidisciplinary designer with a background in research.