DSP Resources

Disability Support Pension Senate Inquiry

On 13 May 2021, the Senate referred an inquiry into the purpose, intent and adequacy of the Disability Support Pension to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 November 2021. 

The experiences of people trying to access the Disability Support Pension (DSP) are set to be examined as part of a Senate inquiry into the payment’s eligibility criteria and review processes. The inquiry will look into the purpose, intent and adequacy of the DSP, with the expectation of releasing a final report by the end of November. 

The department is seeking the views of stakeholders including people with disability, advocacy and welfare groups, disability peak bodies, and members of the public to inform the development of the new Impairment Tables. 

If you would like to make a submission, you may find it helpful to look at the guide for preparing a submission. It includes suggestions on what to include in a submission, a check list, and information about what happens to your submission once it has been received by the committee.

The committee welcomes submissions from people receiving disability support payments or others affected by the disability support payments system. However, the committee cannot advise on, advocate for, or take action on individual cases.

The committee can decide to receive submissions as public documents—which are published on the committee webpage. If your submission is published, the information in it, including your name, can be searched for on the internet.

The committee can also decide to receive submissions on a confidential basis or with your name and personal details withheld. If you do not want your submission to be publicly available, you can ask the committee to keep your submission confidential – please include the word confidential on the front of your submission as well as a reason for requesting confidentiality.

The closing date for submissions is 9 July 2021. If you cannot send your submission by this date, an extension is possible under special circumstances. You can contact the Committee Secretariat via the details below:

Phone: +61 2 6277 3515
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829
community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

AFDO has compiled a number of resources to assist with writing submissions as well as research into the DSP for your reference below.

The Review of the DSP Impairment Tables

The Impairment Tables are used to determine eligibility for the DSP by assessing how a person’s functional impairment affects their ability to work. The current impairment tables came into effect in 2011 and will expire on 1 April 2022. Prior to a new legislative instrument being implemented, a review of the Impairment Tables is being conducted. 

To determine eligibility for the Disability Support Pension, Services Australia use a legislative instrument, the Impairment Tables, to assess how a person’s functional impairment affects their ability to work. In 2011, changes to the Impairment Tables were implemented to ensure they were up-to-date with current medical and rehabilitation practice. It is now time to review the tables to ensure they still remain fit for purpose and reflect the advances in medical treatments and assistive technology over the last nine years. As part of the review, feedback was being sought from stakeholders about the experience of people with disability when the Impairment Tables are applied to their individual health condition and related impairments.

Job Capacity Assessors provide assessments to Centrelink to assist in determining eligibility for DSP. These assessors include a range of medical and allied health professionals such as registered psychologists and rehabilitation counsellors.The Impairment Tables are the assessment instrument used in determining impairment ratings to inform DSP qualification.The Impairment Tables consist of 22 tables that are mainly based on body systems. For example, there are tables for Loss of Cardiovascular and/or Respiratory Function (Table 1), Upper Limb Function (Table 3), Endocrine Disorders (Table 19).

Key documents on the impairment tables can be found below:
Final Impairment Tables Review Issues Paper
2011 Review of Impairment Tables for DSP

Resources to assist with writing submissions

Additional DSP resources

Research into DSP

You can find a diverse number of academic and industry reports on the Disability Support Pension below.

DSP Media