A new claims process for some Disability Support Pensions is now in place. As of January 1, 2015, the Treating Doctor Report is no longer part of the DSP claim process for those under 35 years of age and will apply to all new DSP claimants from July 1, 2015.

Existing medical evidence will be needed as part of the claim. Claimants will still be referred for a Job Capacity Assessment (JCA), unless they do not meet the non-medical eligibility requirements for a DSP or have been assessed as being manifestly eligible.

Following a JCA, claimants may be referred for a face-to-face disability medical assessment with a government-contracted doctor who will review the medical evidence to confirm the following:

  • the diagnosis is supported by the evidence
  • the condition is fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised
  • the condition is permanent for the purpose of DSP qualification
  • the impairment rating assigned by the JCA using the Impairment Tables is supported by the evidence.

The report will be sent to the Human Services Department who will make the final decision on the claim.

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Other changes have been made for those on the DSP travelling temporarily overseas. Recipients will receive the DSP for up to four weeks in any 12-month period. Previously the DSP was paid under a 6-week ruling. Exceptions are for those:

  • Studying a part or full-time Australian course outside Australia
  • Are severely disabled and dependent on and living with a family member who has been temporarily posted to work outside Australia.
  • Who have been assessed in Australia prior to departure as having a permanent, severe impairment and no future work capacity. Assessment involves a DSP review and job capacity assessment.
  • Are severely disabled and the DSP can be paid under an international social security agreement Australia has with the country being stayed in.

For more information go to: