Residence rules

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

How long you need to have been a resident

To get Disability Support Pension (DSP) you need to have been an Australian resident for either:

  • at least 10 years in a row
  • a total of 10 years with no break in residence for at least 5 of these years.

We may need information to find out how long you’re been an Australia resident. If we do, we’ll ask you to complete the Residence in Australia and other countries form.

How else you may meet the rules

Some people can get DSP if they don’t meet the 10 year rule. This means they’ve been an Australian resident for less than 10 years. They may need to meet further criteria based on their situation.

Not an Australian resident

You may be eligible to lodge a claim for DSP if you either:

  • meet the conditions under an international agreement
  • are the holder of a non-protected Special Category Visa.

Refugee or former refugee

If you’re a refugee or former refugee you are exempt from the 10 year rule.

Unable to work

The 10 year rule doesn’t apply if you became unable to work or you became permanently blind while you were either:

  • an Australian resident
  • born outside Australia as a dependent child of an Australian resident.

Page last updated: 2 December 2019