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DES eligibility rules

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Disability Employment Service (DES) providers use seven criteria to decide whether someone is eligible for DES.

To be eligible for DES you must:

  1. have a disability, injury or health condition
  2. be at least 14 years’ old, but not old enough to qualify for the Age Pension
  3. be at or above the minimum legal working age in your state or territory
  4. be an Australian resident or eligible visa holder
  5. not be studying full-time, unless you are an eligible school leaver  (eligible school leavers can be studying full-time and still be eligible for DES)
  6. have a valid Employment Services Assessment (ESAt) or Job Capacity Assessment (JCA). Whichever assessment you have, it needs to recommend you work with a DES and include a future work capacity of eight or more hours a week
  7. not be working at or above your assessed work capacity (according to an ESAt or JCA assessment).
The Age Pension is the main payment from government for people who are 66 years or older who do not work or are no longer working.
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An Employment Services Assessment (ESAt) is a test done by Centrelink. This test helps Centrelink decide what kind of employment service you need to help you find and keep a job.
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A Job Capacity Assessment (JCA) is a test Centrelink uses when people apply for the Disability Support Pension (DSP).
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Work capacity is Centrelink’s assessment of how many hours of work you can do a week without support. Future work capacity is Centrelink’s assessment of how many hours you could work if you got Disability Employment Service (DES) support for up to two years.
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