3.6.2.50 Assessment of People with Intellectual Impairments for DSP

People with intellectual disability

A claimant with an intellectual disability may be manifestly granted (1.1.M.30) DSP where they have an IQ of less than 70.

Medical evidence

In order to make a manifest grant of DSP, the medical evidence in support of the claim must include a current assessment of intellectual function that clearly indicates an IQ of less than 70 using the WAIS IV or equivalent contemporary assessment.

Claimants with intellectual disabilities who are about to turn 16 years of age, and have been in a school which provided tailored education for children with disability, or classes within a mainstream school which were tailored to meet their needs, should be asked to provide a report from the school to support their claim including the latest result from IQ testing conducted by their school. In some cases a report from the school may indicate that the recipient has a very severe intellectual disability and is therefore not able to undergo an IQ test - these recipients may also be manifestly granted DSP.

Explanation: In these situations this type of testing is often done within the child's school and THPs may not have any record of IQ testing.

People with low intellectual function

People with low intellectual function, meaning an IQ score of 70 to 85, who are not manifestly eligible for DSP may be found eligible following assessment depending on their level of functional impairment (1.1.F.270). Impairment Table 9 - Intellectual Function should be used to assess the person.

To qualify for DSP the person's condition resulting in low intellectual function must have originated before the person turned 18 years of age.

Medical evidence

In order to complete an assessment under Impairment Table 9 an assessment of intellectual function must be undertaken in the form of a WAIS IV or equivalent contemporary assessment.

A standardised assessment of adaptive behaviour must also be undertaken in the form of either the Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System (ABAS-II), the Scales for Independent Behaviour - Revised (SIB-R), the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales (Vineland - II) or any other standardised assessment of adaptive behaviour that:

  • provides robust standardised scores across the 3 domains of adaptive behaviour (conceptual, social and practical adaptive skills),
  • has current norms developed on a representative sample of the general population,
  • demonstrates test validity and reliability, and
  • provides a percentile ranking.

Note: Claimants with an intellectual disability must have an assessment of intellectual function in the form of a WAIS IV, or equivalent contemporary assessment. Where the WAIS IV is not the most appropriate test to use, the IQ test as determined by a psychologist as being the most appropriate given the person's circumstances may be used. The IQ test must be one recognised by the relevant professional body. Consideration should be given to the adaptation of recognised assessments of intellectual function for use with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as required.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.3 Guidelines to the Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for DSP

Last reviewed: 1 July 2015