DSP assessment of impairment ratings


As part of the qualification for DSP a person must have one or more physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment/s that attract a total impairment rating of 20 points or more under the Impairment Tables (1.1.I.10).

Note: A claimant who has a total impairment rating of at least 20 points, must also have a CITW (1.1.C.330) to qualify for DSP.

Explanation: Some claimants may have an impairment rating of at least 20 points but do not have a CITW because they can work full-time where wages are at or above the relevant minimum wage or be re-skilled for such work within 2 years.

Act reference: SSAct section 94(1)(a) the person has a physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment …, section 94(1)(b) the person's impairment is of 20 points or more …

When can a rating be assigned?

An impairment rating can only be assigned for permanent conditions which cause an impairment that is more likely than not to persist for more than 2 years (1.1.P.220). A condition is permanent if:

  • the condition has been fully diagnosed by an appropriately qualified medical practitioner
  • the condition has been fully treated, and
  • the condition has been fully stabilised.

In limited circumstances diagnosis of a psychological/mental health condition may be provided by a registered Services Australia psychologist (see Medical & other evidence for DSP).

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.F.240 Fully diagnosed, fully treated & fully stabilised (FDTS) (DSP), Qualification for DSP - 30 hour rule, Qualification for DSP - 15 hour rule, DSP assessment of continuing inability to work - 15 hour rule, 3.6.3 Guidelines to the Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for DSP

HPAU (1.1.H.60)

If, following an assessment of all the available medical and other information, there is still a need for an expert medical opinion, the HPAU can provide advice, clarification and interpretation of medical information to assessors and Services Australia staff for DSP claim, review and appeal purposes.

The HPAU's advice must be recorded and forms part of the medical evidence used to support the decision about qualification.

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