The DSP exists to help Australians who have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops them from working. It is a critical part of our welfare model and is often a lifeline for the 760,000 people who receive it.
Unfortunately, some myths are going around about the Disability Support Pension (DSP). In this blog, we will go through some of those myths, and in doing so, hopefully, clear the air.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has replaced the Disability Support Pension (DSP)
The NDIS is not a replacement for the Disability Support Pension (DSP). Some people may receive one and some people may receive both – it just depends on your situation.
The two funding and welfare models have been designed to work alongside each other, not instead of.
Your NDIS plan will help fund disability supports and your DSP exists to help cover your day-to-day living costs.
Your DSP is paid by Centrelink and your NDIS plan is paid by the agency called National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIA).
Need help with the NDIS?
Everyone with disability gets the Disability Support Pension (DSP)
This is simply not true. Many people with disability do not receive the DSP, and this can be for a variety of reasons. Some of these are:
You earn too much or have too many assets to be eligible
Many people with disability work, and if your job pays over a certain amount, this means that you are not eligible to receive the Disability Support Pension (DSP).
Unlike the NDIS, the DSP is means tested.
The amount of DSP you can get depends on your income and assets. As part of your DSP application process, Centrelink will conduct some income and assets tests.
There are a few exemptions to this, so it’s worth reading up about it here.
Your partner earns too much for you to be eligible
Like most things when dealing with Centrelink, they take in to consideration what your partner earns as well. If you have a partner and they earn over a certain amount, you may not be eligible.
You may not be an Australian resident
To get the Disability Support Pension (DSP), you must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day you claim.
Centrelink may decide you do not meet the requirements
At the end of the day, it will be Centrelink that assesses your disability or condition and they may decide that you do not meet the requirements. They have a process that they use to assess this. If you want to read more about how they assess applicants, you can do so here.
The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is a lot of money
More than one third of people receiving the Disability Support Pension (DSP) are living in poverty.
Yep – one third.
In Australia, people with disability are disproportionately represented when it comes to poverty.
Anyone who thinks that the DSP is a lot of money is grossly misinformed.
If you’re interested in knowing what the DSP rates are, go here.
Everyone’s Disability Support Pension (DSP) payment is the same
The amount people receive in their Disability Support Pension (DSP) varies person to person.
Your age, income, and marital status can all be factors that influence how much you will receive.
You don’t need to do anything to receive the Disability Support Pension (DSP)
To receive the Disability Support Pension (DSP) you may need to meet ‘participation requirements’ (or you may not – it’s assessed on a case-by-case basis) This essentially means that you may need to participate in activities to help you find and keep work.
Whether or not you do this depends on a variety of factors, like age, severity of your disability or if you have dependent children.
It’s easy to get the Disability Support Pension (DSP)
This is not true. In fact, around one third of Disability Support Pension (DSP) applications are knocked back.
There are many hoops to jump through to access the DSP. There can be a lot of paperwork, medical referrals and interviews. It can be difficult to apply for the DSP.
It’s also worth noting that Centrelink can be quite strict on the accessibility criteria. You will only be eligible if “your disability or medical condition stops you from working at least 15 hours a week in the next two years”.
You can only receive the Disability Support Pension (DSP) if you have an NDIS plan
Not everyone who has an NDIS plan will receive the Disability Support Pension (DSP), just as not everyone who receives the DSP will have an NDIS plan.
They are two separate schemes that work alongside one another, but can operate without one another.
The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is for life
The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is not a ‘set and forget’ payment.
As your circumstances change, so to can your DSP payments. You may need to do some reporting, and Centrelink may review your payments at any time.
It’s also worth noting that you cannot receive the DSP if you are over the age of 65. This is because people over 65 generally get the Age Pension.
The NDIS will organise your Disability Support Pension (DSP)
The NDIS will not organise your Disability Support Pension (DSP).
Not everyone who has an NDIS plan will receive the DSP, just as not everyone who receives the DSP will have an NDIS plan.
You need to apply for your DSP through Centrelink.
Need help with the NDIS?
Your Disability Support Pension (DSP) payment is determined by your NDIS plan
Your Disability Support Pension (DSP) payment is not determined by your NDIS plan.
The DSP and NDIS are managed by two different groups, and treated differently.
There are two different sets of criteria to access the DSP and NDIS. If you are eligible for one, it does not automatically mean that you are eligible for both.