3.6.1.110 Participation Requirements for DSP Recipients

Topic applies to

This topic applies to DSP recipients under age 35 who are subject to participation requirements as part of qualification for DSP.

From 1 July 2014 all DSP recipients under age 35 who are subject to participation requirements are required to have at least one compulsory work-focused activity included in their participation plan.

The participation requirements include:

  • attending participation interviews,
  • signing a participation plan which includes a compulsory work-focused activity, and
  • undertaking that activity.

The compulsory activities will vary depending on the individual's circumstances. They may include:

  • connection with an employment service provider,
  • Work for the Dole,
  • work experience,
  • an education or training activity especially for people under age 22, or
  • a rehabilitation or treatment activity, or reconnection to work activity for people with a psychological/psychiatric condition.

Note: DSP recipients with participation requirements who engage with employment service providers sign a Job Plan with their provider. That Job Plan is their participation plan under the SSAct.

A person receiving DSP is subject to participation requirements if they meet the criteria listed in the following table. Where more detail about a criterion is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Criterion More detail
All of the following apply:
is under age 35, AND  
has an assessed work capacity of at least 8 hours a week, AND  
if the person has one or more dependent children, the youngest dependent child is 6 years of age or older. 1.1.D.70 Dependent child

Note: People who do not meet the criteria set out in the table above may volunteer to participate.

Exemptions to participation requirements may apply to certain DSP recipients. These are outlined in 3.6.1.120 Participation requirement exemptions for DSP recipients.

Assessed work capacity

A DSP recipient who does not have a current work capacity assessment may be required to undertake an ESAt to determine if they meet the criteria for participation requirements. If a DSP recipient is required to undertake an ESAt for this purpose, the result of the assessment will not affect their eligibility for payment.

DSP recipients who have been assessed as being manifestly qualified for DSP are not subject to the participation requirements. This includes DSP recipients who were found to be manifestly qualified under the guidelines that existed prior to 2002.

Participation requirements

From 1 July 2014 a DSP recipient who meets the above criteria is required to:

  • attend participation interviews,
  • agree and sign a participation plan,
  • have a compulsory work-focused activity in their plan, and
  • undertake that activity.

A new plan can be developed and signed to replace the current plan if necessary. This allows the person to update the plan to best meet their needs and change their compulsory activity if it has been completed or is no longer relevant.

DSP recipients with participation requirements have to attend quarterly interviews with DHS for 18 months and then 6 monthly interviews thereafter. If the DSP recipient meets one of the exemption criteria their interviews are put on hold for that period of time. A DSP recipient will continue to attend the 6 monthly interviews until they no longer meet the criteria.

If a DSP recipient is subject to participation requirements and they are working they will have modified participation requirements. Working would meet the requirements of a compulsory activity. They will be required to attend an initial interview and to develop and sign a participation plan but following their initial interview, those who are working will be required to attend annual interviews only.

DSP recipients who are studying will have ongoing interviews

Examples of activities include:

For those under 22's and others

Education and training

  • connection with an employment service provider,
  • approved study designed to increase, vocational skills - part-time or full-time, or
  • apprenticeship/traineeship

Employment

  • participation in disability employment services including DES, and jobactive,
  • work experience (with aim to obtain paid work),
  • CDP (former Remote Jobs and Communities Programme (RJCP)) activities (in remote communities with limited labour market activities), or
  • Work for the Dole.
For those with a Mental Illness
  • participation in a rehabilitation program,
  • drug and alcohol counselling,
  • counselling with psychologist, or
  • Disability Employment Services.
For those subject to POS requirements
  • participation in an employment service including DES or jobactive,
  • CDP (former Remote Jobs and Communities Programme (RJCP)).

Activities that could be included are not limited by these examples.

Compulsory & voluntary activities undertaken concurrently

A person's participation plan must have at least one compulsory work-focused activity included, but can have additional voluntary activities in the plan.

In most cases, connection to employment services is the compulsory activity and the person will enter into a compulsory Job Plan (which is their participation plan under the SSAct) with their provider.

Sometimes, a person's compulsory activity will be another activity (for example study, training, rehabilitation) and engaging with the employment service will be the voluntary activity in their participation plan with DHS. If this is the case, the Job Plan with their employment service provider is voluntary and not their participation plan.

Act reference: SSAct section 94 Qualification for DSP, section 94(1)(d) the person has turned…, section 94A Participation requirements, section 94B Participation plans

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.A.210 Approved course of education or study (YA (full-time student), Austudy, PES), 1.1.E.104 Employment services assessment (ESAt), 3.6.1.120 Participation requirement exemptions for DSP recipients, 3.8.3.10 Qualification for PES

Last reviewed: 9 November 2015