disability support pension
To be eligible for the Disability Support Pension, you must:
- Be 16 years old or over and under Age Pension age;
- Meet the income and assets tests that apply to you; and
- An Australian resident.
You need to be able to prove to Centrelink that you have:
- A permanent (likely to persist for at least two years) physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability;
- At least one impairment rated at 20 points or more according to the Impairment Tables in the Social Security Act 1991 (Cth); and
- A continuing inability to work: this means you are unable to do any work or train to work for at least two years, or that you could re-train for a job, but it won’t prepare you to work within two years. The work must be 15 hours or more per week. ‘Work’ can be any type of work (not just the work you are trained for or have done in the past) that you are capable of undertaking for 15 hours or more a week.
- You are permanently blind If you are assessed as permanently blind, you don’t have to satisfy the ‘continuing inability to work’ requirement, or meet the income or assets test.
If you have a disability but do not have an impairment rating of at least 20 points under the Impairment Tables, you must also have actively participated in a program of support. A ‘program of support’ is designed to assist you to find, prepare for and maintain work. If your condition made you unable to participate in a program of support and led to its termination, you can be exempt from this requirement.
To apply for Disability Support Pension, go to your local Centrelink office. You will usually have to attend an appointment with a doctor employed by Centrelink as well as supply information from your own doctor (called the 'treating doctor').
problems you can run into with disability support pension
It may be difficult to prove you have a 20 point impairment rating and a continuing inability to work.
The process of getting the disability support pension can take months. Make sure you are on another social security payment while you are waiting. This may be Newstart or Youth Allowance, but you won't have to look for work.