Disability Support Pension

Financial help if you have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops you from working.

Eligibility basics

  • at least 16 and under age pension age
  • have a permanent medical condition that prevents you from working 15 hours or more per week within the next 2 years
  • under the income and assets test limits
Eligible Disability Support Pensioners will automatically get a one-off Energy Assistance Payment from 26 June 2017.

Eligibility & payment rates

Eligibility

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

Read more about eligibility

Residence rules

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

Read more about residence rules

Income and assets tests

The amount of Disability Support Pension (DSP) you can get depends on your assessable income and assets.

Read more about income and assets tests

How we assess your disability or condition

To get Disability Support Pension we need to assess how your condition affects you.

Read more about how we assess your condition

Medical evidence

You need to submit medical evidence if you claim Disability Support Pension (DSP), or have a medical eligibility review.

Read more about medical evidence and assessment

Job Capacity Assessments

You may need to attend a Job Capacity Assessment for a Disability Support Pension (DSP) claim or medical review.

Read more about assessments

Disability Medical Assessment

You may need to attend a Disability Medical Assessment for a Disability Support Pension (DSP) claim or medical review.

Read more about Disability Medical Assessment

Program of Support

You may need to take part in a Program of Support for at least 18 months in the 3 years before you claim Disability Support Pension (DSP).

Read more about the Program of Support for Disability Support Pension

Payment rates

How much Disability Support Pension you can get depends on your age and living conditions.

Read more about payment rates

Claiming

Check if you’re eligible before you start your claim.

Then:

  1. contact the department to discuss claiming Disability Support Pension
  2. read the conditions for claiming
  3. complete your claim form and supporting documentation
  4. obtain medical evidence
  5. submit your claim and all supporting evidence
  6. we’ll then assess your claim and let you know the outcome

Next

Managing your payment

Someone to deal with us on your behalf

If you want someone else to deal with us, you can authorise them to enquire, act or get payments for you.

Read more about someone to deal with us on your behalf

Change of circumstances

You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving Disability Support Pension.

Read more about reporting your change of circumstances

Medical reviews

If you get Disability Support Pension (DSP), we may review your medical eligibility to make sure you’re still getting the right support.

Read more about medical reviews for DSP

Participation requirements

You may need to participate in activities to help you find and keep work if you’re getting Disability Support Pension (DSP).

Read more about participation requirements

Hours you can work

You can work less than 30 hours a week and still get Disability Support Pension.

Read more about the hours you can work

Income reporting

How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn so we pay you the right amount.

Read more about income reporting

Advance payment

You may get part of your income support early. This is an advance. You pay it back out of your normal payments from us.

Read more about advance payment

Weekly payment option

Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.

Read more about weekly payments

If you travel outside Australia

Travelling outside Australia may affect your Disability Support Pension payment. Some rules may stop your payment if you leave Australia.

Read more about the Disability Support Pension if you travel outside Australia

Transitional rate of pension

The transitional rate started in 2009 for pensioners who would get a lower rate if we used the new income test.

Read more about the transitional rate of pension

Income Stream Reviews

Each financial year we review certain types of income streams. We do this in August and February.

Read more about Pension Income Stream Reviews

When you reach age pension age

If you’re getting Disability Support Pension and reach age pension age, you can transfer to Age Pension.

Read more about Disability Support Pension when you reach age pension age

My bank account is overdrawn

You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn

Resources

News for people with disability

Receive a monthly email about news for people with disability by subscribing. Read more about people with disability

Disability champion videos

Watch videos featuring our Disability Champions who share their stories and achievements with us.

Watch the Disability Champions videos

Improve your skills for education and employment

The Skills for Education and Employment program may help you improve your speaking, reading, writing or maths.

Read about Skills for Education and Employment.

Payment and Service Finder

Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out what a change in circumstance might mean for the payments and services you currently get from us.

Start using Payment and Service Finder

Manage your money

 

We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.

Read about how to manage your money.

Regular deductions using Centrepay

You can use our free and voluntary service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.

Read more about how Centrepay works.

Page last updated: 16 October 2017