What is Disability Employment Services (DES)?

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What is DES?

Disability Employment Services (DES) is an initiative by the Australian Government to help people with an injury, illness or disability find and keep a job.

This can include helping people to:

  • Manage health issues that may be making hard to get work
  • Identifying their strengths and work capabilities
  • Developing skills for jobs and being part of a workplace
  • Succeed when they start a new job with further information and support

Additionally, part of the support provided by Disability Employment Services is supporting and working with employers from companies and organisations looking to hire staff.

APM is Australia’s largest contracted provider of Disability Employment Services and we deliver support programs to eligible people across the country.

Disability Employment Services has two parts;

  • Disability Management Service
  • Employment Support Service

Call us on 1800 276 276 or register today to get started.

What are the benefits of Disability Employment Services?

When you register and join a Disability Employment Services provider like APM, you get access to a whole range of benefits including access to a dedicated employment consultant.

They can guide you through what can be a challenging task, of finding a job that works for you.

Additionally, an employment consultant can:

  • Discuss any career goals you have
  • Help you create a resume
  • Identify and highlight the skills and attributes and skills you have that employers find attractive
  • Assist you in searching for jobs and prepare you for interviews

The largest Disability Employment Services provider in Australia is APM. We help thousands of people with disability find work and achieve their career goals each year.

What is Disability Management Service?

The Disability Management Service (DMS) supports people with an injury, health condition or disability, to find a job and stay employment.

Participants of Disability Management Service usually require occasional support to stay in work.

Disability Management Service is one of two parts of Disability Employment Services. The second part is Employment Support Service (ESS).

What is Employment Support Service?

The Employment Support Service (ESS) provides support and assistance to people living with a permanent or long term disability or health condition to find and keep a job.

Participants of Employment Support Service usually need regular, ongoing support to stay in work.

Employment Support Service is one of two parts of Disability Employment Services. The second part is Disability Management Service.

Is Disability Employment Services just for people with a disability?

No. A participant does not need to be diagnosed as having a disability.

Disability Employment Services also helps people suffering from short or long term injuries, illnesses and other health conditions.

These usually have to be diagnosed and everyone who seeks Disability Employment Services support will be assessed by Centrelink to make sure they get the right level of assistance.

APM has helped people with a range of health conditions find and keep a job.

What is a DES provider?

A DES provider is an organisation that delivers Disability Employment Services (DES) on behalf of the Australian Government. They are a mix of large, medium, and small, for-profit, not-for-profit organisations.

Providers are usually experienced in supporting people with disability and assisting employers, businesses and organisations with hiring job seekers with disability, and supporting employees with disability in the workplace.

APM is Australia’s largest provider of Disability Employment Services.

We have been helping people find work or keep their jobs for more than 25 years.

Our experienced teams have the skills, knowledge and resources to help people manage and overcome their barriers to find and succeed in employment.

With a network of more than 500 offices, we have local consultants across Australia and in more areas than any other provider.

How does Disability Employment Services work?

Job seekers are usually referred to a Disability Employment Services provider by Centrelink.

Centrelink assesses job seekers to see if they are eligible for Disability Employment Services.

If they are eligible, job seekers are then referred to the Disability Employment Services provider close to their home.

Job seekers are also able to contact a Disability Employment Services provider directly. The provider will then work with Centrelink to make sure the job seeker is eligible to join their program.

If a job seeker has a preferred Disability Employment Services provider they can also request Centrelink refer them to that provider.

The Disability Employment Services provider then meet with the job seeker to assess and understand their individual circumstances and create a plan for the various support programs to help them find and keep a job.

This program includes supporting employers, who are looking to recruit new staff or who want to adjust their workplace for an employee with disability.

How are job seekers eligible for Disability Employment Services?

To be considered for the program you need to:

  • Living with a disability, injury, or health condition that affects your ability to work
  • An Australian resident aged from 14 to the Age Pension age
  • At or above the minimum legal working age in your state or territory
  • Receiving an income support payment, Disability Support Pension, an NDIS participant or an eligible school leaver
  • Able to work between eight to 30 hours per week (with support when required)
  • Not studying full time (unless you’re an eligible school leaver)
  • Not already working at or above your assessed work capacity

How do I find out more about Disability Employment Services?

If you have any questions about APM Disability Employment Services you can contact our support centre.

You can also find out more about the changes to Disability Employment Services, through the Australian Government’s JobAccess website.

Job seekers

If you’re a job seeker with an injury, illness or disability, find out more about how we can help you find employment that works for you.


If you’re an employer looking for new staff, find out how you can get job-ready candidates and access to valuable wage subsidies with our Disability Employment Services.

Who is eligible for disability employment services?

People who have an injury, illness or disability that affects their ability to work are eligible for Disability Employment Services. Check out our list of supported conditions.

To be eligible for Disability Employment Services you will also need to:

  • Have a diagnosed injury, illness or disability
  • Are aged at least 14 to Age Pension age
  • Are at or above the minimum legal working age in your state or territory
  • Are able to work at least eight hours per week (with support when required)
  • Are an Australian resident
  • Receive an income support payment
  • Are not studying full time (unless you’re an eligible school leaver)
  • Are not working at or above your assessed employment capacity

To find out if you're eligible, speak to us today or register and one of our team members will be in touch.

What is DES for school leavers?

If you are in Year 11 or 12, living with disability and planning to work after you graduate, you could be eligible for the Disability Employment Services Eligible School Leaver (DES - ESL) program.

Find out more about eligible school leavers or call us on 1800 276 276 to discuss your options.

What happens if I'm not eligible for Disability Employment Services?

If you need assistance finding a job or managing in the workplace but aren't sure if you are eligible for Disability Employment Services, give APM a call and we can point you in the right direction.

How do I get Disability Employment Services support?

There are two ways to access Disability Employment Services.

1. Through Centrelink

When you contact Centrelink, they may ask you to take an Employment Services Assessment test (ESAt).

If the test shows that you are eligible for Disability Employment Services, Centrelink will recommend you to a Disability Employment Services provider such as APM. You can specifically ask for APM at this stage.

2. Directly with APM - if you're receiving income support payments

If you're already getting income support payments but haven't been referred to APM for Disability Employment Services, contact us via phone, email or by filling out a registration form. One of our employment consultants will be in touch to help you get started on your journey to employment!

What is a Centrelink ESAt assessment?

An Employment Services Assessment test (ESAt) is a job capacity assessment done by Centrelink. It helps them determine what kind of support you might need to help you get a job.

If you are living with an injury, health condition or disability that affects your ability to work, you may be eligible for support from a Disability Employment Services provider such as APM.

What does a DES provider do?

As a Disability Employment Services provider, APM offers a wide range of services including:

  • Career advice
  • Accessing training to get you job-ready
  • Finding job opportunities
  • Resumes and job application assistance
  • Help preparing for job interviews
  • Accessing mental health support
  • Financial assistance for transport or work uniforms
  • Accessing workplace modifications and assistive technology
  • Regular ongoing support in the workplace

We understand that everyone's needs are different when it comes to searching for work. Our services are highly tailored and personal.

An APM employment consultant will work closely with you to help you achieve your employment goals.

How do I change my DES provider?

You have the right to choose your Disability Employment Services provider.

If you are currently with another provider and wish to change to APM, call our support team on 1800 276 276 and we will help you make the switch.