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Improving wellbeing

No consensus exists on a definition of wellbeing, but it is usually defined as a multidimensional concept encompassing physical, mental and social domains.

People need sufficient income from the state and/or work for meaningful participation in their community and to live a life with dignity. Health shocks (such as major illness or major injury) to oneself or an immediate family member can happen to anyone and can have a devastating impact on someone’s income and ability to work, as well as being highly stressful. Health shocks have a greater impact on low-income families (Islam & Parasnis, 2017).

Social assistance benefits play a significant role in supporting individuals who are unable to work or whose capacity to work is limited (Immervoll et al, 2015). The primary purpose of health and disability benefits is to support people in a difficult position to survive financially. There are large financial short-falls for people with work-limiting health conditions or disabilities from birth or childhood as well as those developed as an adult. If payments are set too high, they can act as a disincentive to enter work; but if they are set too low, the risk of poverty increases for those individuals and families who are not working (Make Work Pay Interdepartmental Group, 2017).

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