Disability Support Pension

What is the disability support Pension?

A disability pension is a social security benefit that provides financial support to individuals classified as disabled, under the definition they have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that causes impairments, activity limitation and restricts them from working.

Who is entitled to it?

To qualify for the Disability Support Pension, a person must satisfy age, disability and residency requirements. A person must:

  • Have an illness, injury or disability
  • Be age 16 or over and under Age Pension age at the time of claiming, and
  • Not be able to work for 15 hours or more per week, or;
  • Be working under the Supported Wage System ( a process of productivity-based wage assessment). Or
  • Be permanently blind.

To assess and understand your disability, medical evidence is to be provided from your doctor and you may need to attend an assessed by a Job Capacity Assessor and government contracted doctor. This process is to allow Centrelink to determine the extent of your disability.

How much income is received?

Benefits paid under the Disability Support Pension are assessed under the pension income test and assets test. An income maintenance period (IMP) is also applied. The IMP has the effect of deeming a level of income on a person for a period of time, commencing from the day the person receives their benefits. Before you start receiving your Disability Support Pension, the IMP assess leave payments as income over the period of time that the leave payments relate to. The level of income assessed takes into account the leave amount paid by the employer and the period of time it represents. If the level of income determined during this period is greater than the income limits, a client will not eligible for an allowance during the period. If the level of income is less than the cut off limit then they may be entitled to a reduced payment until the end of the IMP that is applied.
The rate of the disability support pension may vary depending  if the recipient is aged 21 year and over or under 21 years.  The payment of the Disability Support pension may also be affected by your partner’s income and assets. The tables below illustrate Maximum payment rates for the Disability Support Pension:

Maximum payment rates for individuals  aged 21 years or over
Pension rates per fortnight

Single

Couple each

Couple combined

Couple each, separated due to ill health

Maximum basic rate

$794.80

$599.10

$1,198.20

$794.80

Maximum Pension Supplement

$65.00

$49.00

$98.00

$65.00

Energy Supplement

$14.10

$10.60

$21.20

$14.10

Total

$873.90

$658.70

$1,317.40

$873.90

 

Maximum payment rates for individuals  under 21 years of age with No Children
Single, under 18 years of age, at home

$360.60

Single, under 18 years of age, independent

$556.70

Single, 18-20 years of age, at home

$408.70

Single, 18-20 years of age, independent

$556.70

A member of a couple, up to 20 years of age

$556.70

How to start receiving Disability Support Pension benefits and who can set it up?

If you are suffering a physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition and feel you need financial support, it is best to contact Centrelink to discuss if you are able to receive a Disability Support pension. To receive benefits you will have to provide doctors reports and show shows that your medical conditions stops you from working at least 15 hours a week and that you are unable to be trained to do a job. Forms to be complete can be found under Claiming Disability Support Pension.
To assist you in your difficult time, a financial adviser can help you to contact Centrelink and assist you with completing and submitting the relevant documents.


Where can I get more information?

You can read more on allocated pensions here at: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/disability-support-pension

IMPORTANT – The information on this website is general in nature and does not take into account your personal needs and objectives, you should not act upon any of this information without first seeking advice from a qualified professional.