You may need to participate in a Program of Support before you claim Disability Support Pension.
A Program of Support helps people with disability to prepare for, find and keep a job. It may include help with:
- job preparation and job search
- work experience and training
- injury management
Who doesn’t need to participate
A Program of Support doesn’t apply to everyone claiming Disability Support Pension.
You don’t need to take part in a Program of Support if we assess that you:
- are manifestly medically eligible
- have an impairment rating of 20 points or more on a single Impairment Table
When you claim Disability Support Pension, we’ll assess if you meet one of the above.
Who does need to participate
If we assess that you have an impairment rating of 20 points combined across more than 1 Impairment Table, you need to have participated in a Program of Support.
To have actively participated in a Program of Support, you must have either:
- participated in the program for at least 18 months in the 3 years before claiming Disability Support Pension, or
- completed the program, if the length of the program was less than 18 months
We may consider you to have participated in the program if you started it but couldn’t continue because of your medical condition.
You need to actively participate in a Program of Support for it to count. Any periods where you don’t participate won’t count. For example, if you give us a medical certificate for a temporary exemption, it doesn’t count towards participation in the program.
Example 1 – Sabeena’s program of support stopped due to her condition
Sabeena is 32 and lives in a remote community. She worked as a tour guide in the tourism industry until she suffered serious injuries in a car accident.
After recovering, Sabeena still found it hard to concentrate and remember things. She was unable to go back to her job so she looked for other work with help from the Community Development Programme.
Unfortunately, Sabeena’s condition got worse over time. Her doctors told her she would be unable to return to work.
Her service provider stopped her participation due to her worsening condition. Sabeena lodged a claim for Disability Support Pension. She had only completed 11 months in the Community Development Programme.
As part of her Disability Support Pension claim, Sabeena attends a Job Capacity Assessment. The assessor uses 2 impairment tables to assess Sabeena. The assessor gives her a total impairment rating of 20 points. Because the assessor used 2 Tables, Sabeena must show she’s actively participated in a Program of Support in the 3 years before she claimed Disability Support Pension.
Sabeena tells the assessor about her 11 months in the Community Development Programme. She also tells the assessor that her provider stopped it because of her worsening health. This meets Program of Support requirements. We grant Sabeena’s claim for Disability Support Pension.
Example 2 – Tony didn’t start a program
Tony has worked as a storeman for 35 years. Due to failing health, Tony has been finding it more difficult to do physical work and resigns. He applies for Disability Support Pension a few months later.
Tony attends a Job Capacity Assessment. The assessor uses 2 impairment tables to assess Tony’s medical evidence. The assessor gives Tony a total impairment rating of 20 points.
Tony needs to show he’s actively participated in a Program of Support in the 3 years before claiming Disability Support Pension. Tony never started a Program of Support because he was working shortly before claiming Disability Support Pension.
Tony isn’t eligible for Disability Support Pension because he never started a Program of Support.
Program of Support providers
A provider is someone that works with you to help you prepare for, find and keep a job. They may help you look for a job, study, or get work experience.
Read more about the Program of Support providers: