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. Supplementary benefits & employment assistance for DSP recipients

Other departmental benefits

DSP recipients may also qualify for the following benefits, if they meet the relevant qualification criteria:

  • mobility allowance
  • rent assistance
  • pension supplement (see Note 1)
  • remote area allowance
  • crisis payment
  • education entry payment
  • pensioner concession card
  • incentive allowance
  • pensioner education supplement
  • bereavement assistance
  • youth disability supplement
  • energy supplement
  • PhA, TAL, UA (see Note 2), and
  • APWS for recipients participating in the following activities: WFD, NWEP, RYLDC (Youth Corps), or CDP (former RJCP) structured activities.

Note 1: DSP recipients who are over 21, or are under 21 and have dependent children, may be eligible for pension supplement.

Note 2: DSP recipients who are under 21 and without dependent children may be eligible for PhA, TAL and UA.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.6 MOB - qualification & payability, 3.8 Supplementary benefits - qualification & payability, 3.12.1 Pension supplement - qualification & payability, 3.9 Concession Cards - Qualification Provisions, 3.7.4 CrP - qualification & payability, 3.8.6 EdEP - qualification & payability, Work for the Dole, 3.15.1 CEA - qualification & payability, 3.15.2 ES - qualification & payability

JSP provisional

Applicants who are awaiting determination of their claim for DSP may claim JSP as an interim measure. This is known as JSP provisional.

Act reference: SSAct section 593(1B) Qualification for JSP

Policy reference: SS Guide JSP provisional - payment to DSP claimants

Employment assistance

DSP recipients are actively encouraged to participate in the workforce, training and the community.

From 1 July 2012 certain DSP recipients under age 35 will be subject to participation requirements as part of qualification for DSP.

DSP recipients can volunteer to participate in an employment service if they would like assistance to prepare for, find or maintain work. The Australian Government funds a number of employment assistance services including Workforce Australia, DES, CDP (and formerly funded jobactive and RJCP) and Australian Disability Enterprises.

DES provides support and assistance to people with a disability, injury or health condition to help prepare them for, find and keep a job. DES provides 2 support services:

  • Disability Management Service, and
  • Employment Support Service.

DSP recipients requiring and receiving a high or moderate level of ongoing support from an ESS provider to maintain their employment will continue to demonstrate a CITW for DSP eligibility purposes. Recipients receiving flexible ongoing support from a DMS or ESS provider will be considered to be working independently of a program of support (1.1.I.95) and will not have a CITW.

Referral to a Commonwealth funded employment assistance service is an administrative decision and is not made under the SSAct.

Recipients may pursue issues relating to the provision of these services through the mechanisms that the providers set up for this purpose.

Act reference: SSAct section 94A Participation requirements, section 94B Participation plans

Policy reference: SS Guide Qualification for DSP - 15 hour rule, DSP assessment of continuing inability to work - 15 hour rule, Participation requirements for DSP recipients

Employment incentives

DSP recipients who participate in employment may receive the following incentives to take up a job:

  • from 1 July 2012 DSP recipients continue to receive DSP if they obtain paid work of at least 15 and less than 30 hours a week
  • suspension of DSP payment for up to 2 years, rather than cancellation upon a return to work
  • continued use of their PCC for 12 months
  • accelerated restoration of DSP following reduction or cessation in employment within 2 years
  • access to working credits
  • payment of certain supplementary benefits during the employment income nil rate period, and
  • a higher rate of MOB.


  • DSP permanent blindness recipients can accrue and deplete working credits if their income details are obtained for the purpose of paying RA.
  • Supported wages are employment income (1.1.E.102) that can be offset by working credits.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(4A) Despite subsection (4) …, section 23(4AA) For the purposes of subsection (4A) …, section 1073J Working credit balance prevents loss of qualification in certain cases, section 96 Continuation of DSP

Policy reference: SS Guide Qualification for DSP during employment - 30 hour rule, Qualification for DSP during employment - 15 hour rule, Payability of DSP, 3.1.11 Working credit, 3.1.12 Employment income nil rate period, PCC extension rules, Continuation, variation or termination of DSP

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