The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.J.10 Job capacity assessment (JCA)


A JCA is a comprehensive assessment of an individual's level of functional impairment and work capacity, usually conducted to assist in determining qualification for DSP. The assessment identifies a person's:

  • level of functional impairment resulting from any permanent medical conditions
  • current and future work capacity (in hour bandwidths), and
  • barriers to finding and maintaining employment and any interventions/assistance that may be required to help improve their current work capacity.

A JCA can result in:

  • referral of a person to employment or support services that meet their individual needs, including Workforce Australia providers, DES providers and CDP (former RJCP) providers, or
  • referral of a person to a DMA (1.1.D.180).

JCAs are conducted by job capacity assessors (assessors) (1.1.J.20)

As part of the assessment process, assessors have access to relevant available information about the person, including details about current and past medical conditions and disabilities, and prior participation and employment history. Assessors can also liaise with treating doctors and other relevant health professionals as required.

The JCA report may be provided to the GCD (1.1.G.40) if a DMA is required, and is used by Centrelink to inform decisions on income support and participation requirements if applicable. A copy of the JCA report (not including impairment information) is also made available to the person's employment services provider.

Target groups

People may be referred for a JCA if they:

  • are applying for DSP
  • are having a medical review of DSP
  • need to satisfy the impairment and CITW criteria for DSP in order for Centrelink to apply the appropriate conditions to their SpB payment
  • need to satisfy the impairment criteria for DSP for entry into the SWS
  • require an assessment to inform DSP eligibility when residing overseas, or
  • are required to have their level of impairment and work capacity assessed for the purposes of eligibility for principal beneficiary of a special disability trust (1.1.S.242).

Referral reviews & reassessments

Generally, a JCA will remain current and valid for 2 years unless there is a significant change to a person's circumstances that affects their level of functional impairment and work capacity.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.1 DSP - qualification & payability

Last reviewed: