Service Directory for Drug and Alcohol Users

disability support pension

To be eligible you must be between the ages of 16 years and Age Pension age, and able to prove to Centrelink that you have:

  • an intellectual, physical or psychiatric disability; and
  • because of that disability or disabilities have an impairment rating of 20 points or more according to the Impairment Tables in the Social Security Act; and
  • a continuing inability to work (for at least two years) or be participating in the Supported Wage System. Work means 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 more than 15 hours per week. Also, you must be unable to be retrained for some other type of work that you can do for more than 15 hours per week, or unable to work for more than 15 hours per week with rehabilitation, within two years,


  • be permanently blind. If you are assessed as permanently blind, you don't have to meet the income or assets test for the Disability Support Pension (or Age Pension).

To apply 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.

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