3.6.1.32 Qualification for DSP during Self-employment - 15 Hour Rule

Background information

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 3.6.1.30.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.1.12 Qualification for DSP - 15 Hour Rule, 3.6.1.30 Qualification for DSP during Self-employment - 30 Hour Rule

Overview

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.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.1.12 Qualification for DSP - 15 Hour Rule, 3.6.2.100 DSP Assessment of Impairment Ratings, 3.6.2.112 DSP Assessment of Continuing Inability to Work - 15 Hour Rule

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 3.6.1.110 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 3.6.1.100 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.

Act reference: SSAct section 8(8) Excluded amounts-general, Part 3.15 New Enterprise Incentive Scheme

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.1.12 Qualification for DSP - 15 Hour Rule, 4.3.3.80 Income from New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS)

Last reviewed: 9 February 2015