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.

3.6.3 Guidelines to the Tables for the assessment of work-related impairment for DSP


The Impairment Tables (1.1.I.10) were reviewed and updated in 2023 to bring them up to date with contemporary medical and rehabilitation practice. The current Impairment Tables, which came into force on 1 April 2023, are used for the assessment of new DSP claims lodged on or after that date, and for reviews commencing on or after that date, regardless of a recipient's start date on DSP.

These Guidelines provide further explanation of the Impairment Tables and include background information as well as case studies.

Impairment Tables used prior to 01/04/2023

Links to the pre-April 2023 Impairment Tables are included as they are still used for DSP claims lodged prior to 1 April 2023. All DSP claims lodged on or after 1 April 2023 will be assessed under the 2023 Instrument.

The objective & intended use of these Guidelines

The objective of these Guidelines is to assist in the application of Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for Disability Support Pension (the Tables).

The Tables and the rules to be complied with in applying them, are contained in the Social Security (Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for Disability Support Pension) Determination 2023 (the Determination) made by the Minister under the applicable provisions of the SSAct.

These Guidelines do not in any way alter or substitute the contents of the Tables and the rules for their application contained in the Determination. They are intended to provide assistance in interpreting these rules and the Tables' contents, consistent with their intent.

It should be emphasised that the Determination is the primary instrument to be used when applying the Tables while these Guidelines are a supporting source. As such, the Determination is always to be used when assessing impairments with the Guidelines to be used if further assistance in applying the provisions of the Determination is required.

Note: The Determination must always be used when assessing impairment. The Guidelines alone must never be used in applying the Tables.

To reflect these dependencies, the structure of the Guidelines corresponds with the structure of the Determination.

Although examples have been included in the Guidelines to assist in applying the Tables, it is emphasised that these examples are not intended to be strictly prescriptive for the purpose of assessing functional impact of impairment caused by medical conditions. Functional impact of each person's impairment must be assessed on an individual basis to account for the varying levels of impact a particular medical condition and its resulting impairment may have on different people.

Act reference: Social Security (Tables for the Assessment of Work-related Impairment for Disability Support Pension) Determination 2023

Policy reference: SS Guide Guidelines to the rules for applying the Impairment Tables - applying the Tables

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