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Most people seeking asylum are found to be refugees. Many people seeking asylum living in our community are working, however they face many barriers to finding secure, decent employment including restrictive visa conditions.
The Status Resolution Support Service is an Australian Government program to help people seeking asylum living in Australia meet their most basic needs until their claim for refugee status is finalised. It provided people in financial hardship with:
- income support
- assistance to access torture and trauma counselling, and
- case management.
Many people who were on this program were already experiencing poverty, due to the meagre income support provided – 89% of Newstart, equating to $35 a day.
In May 2018, the Australian Government introduced strict, new eligibility criteria for the program which most people cannot meet. The Australian Government has removed the safety net and expects all people to gain stable employment to financially support themselves, despite the barriers they face.
These punitive changes come on top of decisions made last year that saw people cut off if the person:
- studied full time (defined as 20 hours per week) regardless of whether the study enabled them to gain employment, and/or
- transferred at least $1,000 overseas.
For more information, visit the Refugee Council of Australia website.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence supports people seeking asylum.