Eligibility for Disability Support Pension

You must meet certain criteria to be eligible for Disability Support Pension.

You may get Disability Support Pension if you:

  • are between 16 years and age pension age
  • meet residency requirements
  • meet income and assets tests
  • have a permanent and diagnosed disability or medical condition, or
  • get a Department of Veterans’ Affairs special rate disability pension due to total and permanent incapacity

You may need to show you:

  • have done a Program of Support, and
  • can’t work, or retrain to work, for at least 15 hours a week in the next 2 years

You can still access services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), even if you’re getting or claiming Disability Support Pension. It doesn’t affect your eligibility for Disability Support Pension.

Residence rules

To get Disability Support Pension you must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day you claim.

How long you need to have been a resident

To get Disability Support Pension you need to have been an Australian resident for at least 10 years in total. There must be no break in your residence for at least 5 of these years.

What may be different

The 10 year time frame doesn’t apply if you’re a refugee or former refugee. It also doesn’t apply if you became unable to work, or if you became permanently blind while you were:

  • an Australian resident, or
  • a dependent child of an Australian resident and you then got your Australian resident status while a dependent child

If you don’t meet these rules, another option may apply. If you’ve lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Australia, that agreement may help you to claim.

Page last updated: 4 April 2018