Young people are almost twice as likely to need social welfare payments if their parents have a history of receiving such assistance themselves, according to new research from the University of Melbourne.
Researchers Dr Nicolás Salamanca and Dr Anna Zhu from the Melbourne Institute, Applied Economic and Social Research and Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark and Dr Sarah Dahmann, from the University of Sydney, analysed 18 years of Centrelink records which delved into various social assistance programs, including health-related disability payments and unemployment benefits.
“The new study is the first to reveal an intergenerational link in social assistance across different payments, and may have policy implications for creating a more level playing field for all Australian children,” Dr Salamanca says.
The analysis represented the lifetime payment records of 124,285 Australians and looked at the extent to which adult children are more likely to receive benefits if their parents received benefits while they were growing up.
It found the 32 per cent of children whose parents did not receive welfare were themselves receiving a type of benefit by the age of 26. Young people whose parents did receive benefits were almost twice as likely to need support, at 58 per cent.