NEW IMPAIRMENT TABLES: On 1 April 2023 new DSP Impairment Tables were put into force. DSP Help has now been updated to reflect these changes!

Applying for the Disability Support Pension

A step by step guide to the application process

Step 1: Understanding if you are eligible—non medical rules

To claim the DSP you must meet several non-medical rules.

You must be 16 or older. You must be below Age Pension age.

Your income and assets must fall within certain limits.

You must be an Australian Resident. In most cases, you must have been in Australia for 10 years

If you are unsure whether you meet the residency rules, you should call Social Security Rights Victoria.

Step 2: Understanding if you are eligible—medical rules

You must have one or more diagnosed medical conditions that prevent you from working.

Your medical conditions must be reasonably treated and stabilised.

Reasonably treated means everything that can reasonably be done to improve your conditions has been done.

Stabilised means your medical conditions will not likely improve over the next 2 years.

Your medical conditions must cause you to have an impairment. Having an impairment means there are things you cannot do in your day to day life or at work.

You must have an impairment rating of 20 points or more. An impairment rating is assigned by comparing your impairment to the Impairment Tables.

You must be unable to work for 15 hours or more each week.

If you have multiple impairments, you may also have to participate in a Program of Support. You can read more about Programs of Support here.

Step 3: Getting the application form

There are several ways to claim the DSP.

If you use myGov, you may make an application online via your myGov account.

If you do not use myGov, you may download the application form here.

You may also ask Centrelink for the application form, either in person or over the phone.

The application form is a long document with many questions. Many of the questions asked are about your income and assets.

It is important to remember that completing this form is only one part of applying for the DSP. The most important part of the application process is showing you are medically qualified for the DSP. To do this you need to support your application with medical evidence.

Step 4: Getting medical evidence

Centrelink uses medical evidence to decide whether you are eligible for the DSP.

Supporting your application with the right kind of medical evidence is the most important part of applying for the DSP.

Whether you are granted the DSP or not will likely depend on the medical evidence you provide.

You need to speak to your doctors and specialists about medical evidence.

Doctors and specialists often do not understand the DSP and what they need to do to help show you are eligible. It can also be difficult to explain this to them yourself.

To help you with this, we have a tool that can help you put information together to take to your doctors or specialists. You can launch the Medical Evidence bot here.

You can read more about medical evidence here.

Step 5: Submitting the application

When you are ready to apply, you can submit your application online, in person, or using the post.

It is important you include all your supporting evidence with your application, including any medical evidence you have gathered.

What should I do next?

Understand how Centrelink deals with applications, and read What happens if my DSP application is rejected?

Has this page helped you better understand the DSP application process?

Social Security Rights Victoria respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the Aboriginal nations within Victoria where our work takes place. We pay our respects to Elders both past and present.

This website is supported by funding from the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner under the Victorian Legal Services Board Grants Program. Copyright © 2020, SSRV. All rights reserved.