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Accessing the Disability Support Pension (DSP)

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The Disability Support Pension

The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is a pension paid to people who have a permanent condition or disability that stops them from working for at least two years.

Most people who get the DSP don’t need to look for work to get the payment. Unlike income support payments like the JobSeeker Payment.

Who can get the DSP?

To be eligible for the DSP you need to meet two sets of rules:

The DSP medical rules are about the condition that is stopping you from working. Most people with intellectual disability meet the medical rule called DSP manifest medical rules. These rules say that all people with intellectual disability who have an IQ of less than 70 are eligible for the DSP.

Everyone who gets the DSP must also meet the DSP non-medical rules.

DSP non-medical rules look at things like your age, residency and income.

How do you apply for the DSP?

To get the DSP, you need to:

  • work out if you’re eligible
  • make sure your income is less than the cut-off point
  • provide medical proof of your condition or disability from your doctor or other health professionals
  • find out if you need to take part in a Program of Support before you apply for the DSP
  • set up a MyGov account
  • fill out the online or paper claim form.

You can find more information about how to claim the DSP on the Services Australia website.

You can also find information about the income test and cut-off point on the Services Australia website.

Australia’s social security system

Australia has a social security system where the government pays money to eligible people who are not able to work for an income and some who need support. Some common government payments include:

  • Pensions – pensions are paid to people who are not able to, or expected to, do paid work. People often need pensions for a long time. Examples include the Age Pension and Disability Support Pension.
  • Income support payments – income support payments are made to eligible people who can’t work for an income. Examples include the JobSeeker Payment for people who can’t find a job, and Carer Payment for people who are unable to work because of their caring responsibilities. Payments are usually less money than pensions because people aren’t expected to need this money for a long time. They’re expected to get a job eventually.
  • Allowances – allowances are paid to people who aren’t able to work full-time or have agreed extra costs, such as university students or parents of children with disability. Types of allowances include Youth Allowance for students and other young people looking for work, and Carer Allowance (child) for carers of children with disability. Allowances are less money than the pensions and income support payments because the government assumes that people can work some of the time.
The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is a payment the Australian Government makes to people with a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition.
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Disability Support Pension (DSP) medical rules are one set of rules Centrelink uses to assess if you’re eligible for the DSP.
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DSP non-medical rules are the second set of rules Centrelink uses to check if you’re eligible for the Disability Support Pension (DSP). Everyone must meet these rules to be eligible for the DSP.
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The manifest medical rules for the Disability Support Pension (DSP) are rules about what conditions make you automatically eligible for the DSP.
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Programs of Support include different types of Australian Government- funded employment support services.
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myGov is a website people can use to access and keep track of their government services online.
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