Program of Support for Disability Support Pension
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 have to participate
You don’t need to take part in a Program of Support if we assess that you either:
- meet manifest medical rules
- have an impairment rating of 20 points or more on a single Impairment Table.
You can read more about Impairment Tables on the Department of Social Services website.
Who has to participate
You need to participate in a Program of Support if both the following apply:
- we assess your total impairment rating as 20 points or more
- your impairment rating is less than 20 points on any single Table.
Impairment rating with at least 20 points on a single Impairment Table example
We assess Kate’s impairment rating as 30 points from a single Impairment Table. This means Kate doesn’t need to do a Program of Support.
Impairment rating with less than 20 points on a single Impairment Table example
We assess Mike’s impairment rating as 10 points on 1 Impairment Table and 10 points on another Impairment Table.
Mike’s total impairment rating is 20 points, but less than 20 points on a single Impairment Table.
This means Mike needs to participate in a Program of Support.
Showing you have participated in a Program of Support
To show you have participated in a Program of Support, you must either:
- participate for at least 18 months in the 3 years before you claim
- complete the program, if the length of the program was less than 18 months.
You need to actively participate in a Program of Support for it to count. Any periods where you don’t participate won’t count.
Your medical condition or disability may stop you from improving your ability to work by staying in the program. If this applies to you, a shorter period may count.
Example 1 – Jess's Program of Support stopped due to her condition
Jess is 32 and lives in a remote community. She worked as a tour guide until she suffered serious injuries in a car accident.
After her recovery, Jess found it hard to concentrate or remember things. She was unable to go back to her job. She looked for other work and took part in the Community Development Program for 11 months.
Her condition got worse over time and doctors told her she would be unable to return to work.
Jess submits a claim to get DSP. As part of her claim, she needs to go to a Job Capacity Assessment. The assessor uses 2 Impairment Tables to give Jess a combined impairment rating of 20 points.
Jess now needs to show she’s participated in a Program of Support in the 3 years before her claim. Jess tells the assessor about her time in the Community Development Program.
The assessor accepts that Jess couldn’t improve her ability to work by staying in the program.
Jess meets the requirements. She can get DSP.
Example 2 – Tony didn’t start a program
Tony has worked in a store for 35 years. Due to failing health, he has been finding it more difficult to do physical work, so he resigns.
He submits a claim for DSP a few months later. As part of his claim, Tony needs to go to a Job Capacity Assessment. The assessor uses 2 Impairment Tables to give Tony a total combined impairment rating of 20 points.
Tony now needs to show he participated in a Program of Support in the 3 years before claiming DSP.
Tony never started a Program of Support. He was working before he put in a claim for DSP.
Tony can’t get DSP as he doesn’t meet the Program of Support requirements.
Who the Program of Support providers are
The following Program of Support providers can work 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.
Disability Employment Services (DES) and Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE)
DES helps people with permanent disability find work and keep a job.
ADE provides supported employment to people with disability.
Visit the jobactive website to find employers who may help you find a job.
Parents Next can help people prepare for getting a job when their youngest child goes to school.
Read more about Parents Next on the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business website.
Community Development Program
The Community Development Program supports job seekers in remote Australia. It helps them to build skills, address barriers and contribute to their local community.
Read more about the Community Development Program on the National Indigenous Australians Agency website.
Page last updated: 11 November 2019