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. Payability of DSP


Even though a person may be qualified, DSP is NOT payable to the person in the circumstances listed in the following table.

Criterion More detail
Specific provisions
The claimant is already receiving a pension or income support supplement from DVA. This topic.
DSP may not be payable to a recipient travelling overseas. Application of portability rules (portability table)
Common provisions
Allowance is not payable before the start day. 8.3 Start days
The rate of allowance would be nil. 3.1.6 General payability provisions
The claimant has not:
  • provided their TFN
  • provided their partner's TFN
  • nominated a bank account, or
  • complied with an obligation under the Act.
8.1.3 Provision of TFN & other information
The claimant has not taken reasonable steps to obtain compensation. Requirements to pursue & obtain compensation
The claimant is serving a compensation preclusion period. Lump Sum Preclusion Period - General.
The claimant is in prison or psychiatric confinement because of a criminal charge. 3.1.4 Imprisonment, psychiatric confinement & prison release
The claimant is serving an SWPP. 3.1.7 Seasonal work preclusion period
The claimant is serving an IMP. Application of the income maintenance period (IMP)

Act reference: SSAct section 16A(1)-'seasonal work preclusion period'

SS(Admin)Act section 63 Requirement to attend Department etc., Schedule 2 Rules for working out start day

Policy reference: SS Guide DSP - current rates

Employment income nil rate period - an incentive to take up work

A DSP recipient whose rate of payment is reduced to nil because of ordinary income (1.1.O.30), made up entirely or partly of employment income (1.1.E.102), may qualify for an employment income nil rate period. During the employment income nil rate period a DSP recipient can:

  • be paid certain supplementary benefits, and
  • have their payment resumed if they report a fall in income sufficient for DSP to be payable again.

Explanation: This policy provides incentives for recipients to take up work, particularly casual or short term work.


  • DSP recipients who are permanently blind may choose to be subject to the income and assets tests if they wish to qualify for RA. These recipients can accrue and deplete working credits for the purpose of calculating their rate of pension.
  • The employment income nil rate period does not apply to people who no longer qualify for DSP, or whose DSP has been suspended because they have paid work of 30 hours per week or more on a long term basis.
  • DSP recipients retain their PCC for 2 years from the start of the employment income nil rate period.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(4A) Despite subsection (4)…, section 23(4AA) For the purposes of subsection (4A)…

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.12 Employment income nil rate period, Continuation, variation or termination of DSP, PCC extension rules

Receiving a pension or income support supplement from DVA

DSP is not generally payable to a claimant who is receiving or is eligible for:

  • a DVA service pension or veteran payment, OR
  • a DVA income support supplement under the VEA
    • and receives a pension under Part II or Part IV of the VEA, or
    • is receiving a weekly amount under s234(1)(b) or a lump sum under 236(5) of the MRCA.

Special rules apply to some DSP claims made prior to 20 March 1995.

Act reference: SSAct section 103(3) Multiple entitlement exclusion

Last reviewed: