188.8.131.52 Qualification for DSP during self-employment - 15 hour rule
This topic applies to people who are subject to the 15 hour rule for DSP qualification.
For people who are subject to the 30 hour rule, refer to 184.108.40.206.
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 15 hours per week
A self-employed person who works less than 15 hours per week may qualify for DSP, if their capacity to work 15 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 are 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:
- participation in a POS (1.1.A.30, 1.1.P.440),
- 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 220.127.116.11 Participation requirements for DSP recipients
Working 15 hours or more per week
A self-employed person who works 15 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 undertaking work (1.1.W.60) of 15 or more hours per week without requiring regular and ongoing assistance,
- how closely the tasks and activities performed by the person compare with work,
- 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.
From 1 July 2012 DSP recipients may continue to receive DSP if they obtain paid work of at least 15 and less than 30 hours a week.
Act reference: SSAct section 94(5) Meaning of 'work'
Policy reference: SS Guide 18.104.22.168 Continuation, variation or termination of DSP
New enterprise incentive scheme
A self-employed person who receives NEIS payment may still qualify for DSP.
For a recipient to remain qualified for DSP, the person must continue to satisfy the 15 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.