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. Qualification for DSP during 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

Policy reference: SS Guide Qualification for DSP - 30 hour rule, 1.1.T.147 Transitional applicant (DSP)


People who are employed may still qualify for DSP if they have an impairment rating of at least 20 points under the Impairment Tables and a CITW (1.1.C.330).

Any income from employment will be considered income for the purposes of the income test and may reduce the amount of DSP paid to the person.

Working less than 30 hours per week

A DSP recipient 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/s.

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 Participation requirements for DSP recipients

Working more than 30 hours per week

A DSP recipient who undertakes work (1.1.W.60) on an ongoing basis does not have a CITW and will no longer qualify for DSP. These recipients will have their DSP payment suspended ( and may be eligible for JSP or YA.

It is not intended that a person who can only increase their hours of work for short periods and with significant effort should lose their qualification for DSP. For example, a person who can work for more than 30 hours per week for several weeks over Christmas but who could not sustain that level of work in the longer term because of their disability does not lose their qualification for DSP.

A person who is assessed as being permanently blind (1.1.P.210) and qualified for DSP under SSAct section 95, maintains qualification for DSP regardless of the number of hours they work.

Act reference: SSAct pre-1 July 2006 section 94(2) A person has a continuing inability to work because …, section 94(5) In this section: educational or vocational training does not include …, section 95 Qualification for DSP—permanent blindness

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.1 JSP - qualification & payability, 3.2.3 YA - qualification & payability, Qualification for DSP - 30 hour rule, Sustainability of work & DSP, Continuation, variation or termination of DSP

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