220.127.116.11 Qualification for DSP during self-employment - 30 hour rule
Topic applies to
This topic applies to people who are subject to the 30 hour rule for DSP qualification.
For people who are subject to the 15 hour rule, refer to 18.104.22.168.
People who are self-employed may still qualify for DSP if they have an impairment rating of at least 20 points under the Impairment Tables (1.1.I.10) and a CITW (1.1.C.330). Any income earned from self-employment is subject to the pensions income test. With exceptions (e.g. for assessment for RA), the pensions income test is generally not applied to DSP blind.
Working less than 30 hours per week
A self-employed person who works less than 30 hours per week may qualify for DSP, if their capacity to work 30 hours or more per week is limited solely by their medical condition.
Participation requirements from 01/07/2012
From 1 July 2012 certain DSP recipients under age 35 will be subject to participation requirements as part of qualification for DSP.
Participation requirements from 01/07/2014
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.
Young people up to age 22 are required to include a compulsory education or employment activity in their plan, and DSP recipients with a mental illness are required to include a treatment, rehabilitation, reconnection with work or social skills activity in their plan.
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 for people under age 22, or
- a rehabilitation or treatment activity, or reconnection to work activity for people with mental illness.
For DSP recipients engaged in work, it is a requirement to attend ongoing interviews on an annual basis, until the person no longer meets the criteria for participation requirements.
Act reference: SSAct section 94A Participation requirements, section 94B Participation plans
Policy reference: SS Guide 22.214.171.124 Participation requirements for DSP recipients
Working 30 hours or more per week
A self-employed person who works 30 or more hours per week may qualify for DSP. The following factors will be considered in determining whether such a person has a CITW:
- whether the person is capable of working in open employment (1.1.O.10) for 30 or more hours per week,
- how closely the business tasks and activities performed by the person compare with work (1.1.W.60) in open employment,
- to what extent the business activities have been adapted to suit the person's disability,
- the nature of the work, the skills required and the hours worked by the person,
- whether the rate being charged for the work is equivalent to or above the relevant minimum wage (1.1.R.133),
- whether support is provided to the person by others in the work environment, and
- the person's level and type of participation in the business.
The level of profitability of the business is not, in itself, a good indicator of whether the activities performed by the person are equivalent to open employment.
Act reference: SSAct section 94(5) Meaning of 'work'
New enterprise incentive scheme
A self-employed person who receives NEIS payment may still qualify for DSP.
For a NEIS recipient to remain qualified for DSP, the person must continue to satisfy the 30 hour rule qualification criteria.
Payments made under NEIS are excluded from the ordinary income test under SSAct section 8(8)(t) and subject to the NEIS provisions under SSAct Part 3.15.