The Disability Support Pension

If you “move off” workers compensation and still are medically unable to work you may be eligible for the disability support pension from Centrelink.

(this information is taken straight from the Centrelink website: Disability Support Pension)

What is the Disability Support Pension?

Financial support if you have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops you from working.

The basic requirements:

  • are between 16 years and age pension age
  • meet residency requirements
  • meet income and assets tests
  • have a permanent and diagnosed disability or medical condition, or
  • get a Department of Veterans’ Affairs special rate disability pension due to total and permanent incapacity

What is the income and assets test?

Centrelink assess your income from all sources. This includes financial assets such as superannuation. To work out how much your financial assets are worth as income, they use deeming.

Pensions have income and asset limits. If you’re over these limits, you get a lower pension.


Standard pension income test

These are the income rules for most pensioners.

Single person

If your income per fortnight isyour pension will reduce by
up to $164$0
over $16450 cents for each dollar over $164

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

If your combined income per fortnight isyour combined pension will reduce by
up to $292$0
over $29250 cents for each dollar over $292


If you or your partner get a payment for compensation or damages, it may affect the amount Centrelink pays you.

How we assess your condition

To get Disability Support Pension (DSP), Centrelking need to assess how your condition affects you.

When you give Centrelink your medical evidence with your claim, they will be able to tell if you’re medically eligible if you:

  • are permanently blind
  • have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of less than 2 years
  • have an intellectual disability with an IQ of less than 70, or
  • need nursing home level care

Fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised

If you don’t meet any of those situations, your medical condition must be fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised. You may need to attend a Job Capacity Assessment to assess if your disability or medical condition is fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised.

Fully diagnosed

To decide if your condition is fully diagnosed Centrelink assesses if:

  • a qualified medical professional examined you
  • you have medical evidence for your condition
Fully treated

To decide if your condition is fully treated Centrelink assesses if:

  • you’ve received treatment or rehabilitation
  • treatment will continue or you have a plan for the next 2 years
Fully stabilised

To decide if your condition is fully stabilised Centrelink assesses if:

  • treatment will help you work 15 hours or more a week in the next 2 years, or
  • there are medical or other reasons why you can’t receive treatment

Impairment rating

If your condition is fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised, Centrelink then assesses how your condition impacts your ability to function each day. A health professional does this using Impairment Tables.

There are 15 and they’re used to give an impairment rating that helps Centrelink know if you’re eligible for DSP.

You can read more about Impairment Tables on the Department of Social Services website.

You may be medically eligible

You may be medically eligible for DSP if Centrelink give an impairment rating of:

  • 20 points or more on a single Table
  • 20 points or more combined across more than 1 Table – if this is your rating, you also need to have completed a Program of Support

If the Job Capacity Assessment recommends you’re medically eligible, you may also need to attend a Disability Medical Assessment.

You’re not medically eligible

You’re not medically eligible if Centrelink assesses that your condition:

  • isn’t fully diagnosed, treated or stabilised, or
  • has an impairment rating of less than 20 points, or
  • doesn’t stop you from working 15 hours or more a week in the next 2 years