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What happens if my application is rejected?

Step 1: Application is rejected

If Centrelink decide you are not eligible for the DSP they will reject your application. If you do not agree with this decision, you may ask Centrelink to review it.


Step 2: Internal review

You may ask Centrelink to have your rejection reviewed by an Authorised Review Officer.

Authorised Review Officers review Centrelink decisions and decide if they are correct. If an Authorised Review Officer decides a decision is not correct, they will change it.

It is important to ask Centrelink to review their decision within 13 weeks of receiving it.

If you disagree with the decision of an Authorised Review Officer, you may ask the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to review it.


Step 3: AAT Social Services and Child Support Division

You may ask the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (‘AAT’) to review an Authorised Review Officer’s decision.

The AAT reviews Centrelink decisions and decides if they are correct. If the AAT decides a decision is not correct, they can ask Centrelink to reconsider it.

You do not need a lawyer to attend the AAT. You may ask a lawyer to assist you if you like.

It is important to ask the AAT to review the Authorised Review Officer’s decision within 13 weeks of receiving it.

If you disagree with the decision of the AAT you may ask for a review in the AAT General Division


Step 4: AAT General Division

You must request a review of the AAT Social Services and Child Support Division decision within 28 days.

You do not need a lawyer to attend the AAT General Division. You may ask a lawyer to assist you if you like.

Centrelink are usually represented by a lawyer at the AAT General Division.

If you disagree with the decision of the AAT General Division you may appeal to the Federal Court.


Step 5: Federal court

You may appeal a decision made by the AAT General Division to the Federal Court.

There may be costs associated with this appeal.

You should seek legal advice before pursuing an appeal to the Federal Court.


I need help

You may seek help when applying for the DSP or if you have been rejected.

Social Security Rights Victoria (SSRV) is a community legal centre that can help with the DSP. SSRV may be able to give you advice about your specific situation. In some cases, SSRV may be able to assist you with an appeal if your claim for the DSP has been rejected.

You can read more about the help available here.

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Has this page helped you better understand your options if your DSP application is rejected?

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.

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