If you live with a permanent disability that prevents you from working, you could be eligible for the Disability Support Pension. How much income support you can get depends on your situation.
In this guide, you will find information about how much disability pension you can claim, whether you're eligible and where to get help if you are able and willing to work.
What is the Disability Support Pension?
The Disability Support Pension is a fortnightly payment from the Australian Government for people living with a permanent disability that prevents them from being able to work.
How much is the disability pension?
How much you can claim depends on your situation. Things like your age, relationship status, whether you have children, your current income and assets may affect the amount you are eligible for.
If you are eligible for the Disability Support Pension, you may also be eligible for supplementary payments such as:
Maximum basic rate for people over 21 years old or under 21 with dependent children
The maximum basic rates for people over 21 years old or under 21 with at least one dependent child are listed in the table below.
Figures were last updated January 2022. For up to date figures, make sure you visit the Services Australia website.
* Pension supplement
* Energy supplement
Maximum rate for people under 21 years old with no dependent children
If you are under 21 years old with no dependent children, the amount you can claim depends on whether you are assessed as independent or dependent.
You may need to provide proof of things like:
- Your living situation
- Your relationship status
- Your work situation
The table below shows the maximum amount, depending on your situation. Figures were last updated in January 2022. Please view the Services Australia website for up to date figures.
How much money can you earn before it affects your disability pension?
You may still be eligible for the Disability Support Pension if you are earning some income. However, if you are earning over the limit, it may reduce how much disability pension you can get.
For single pensioners 21 years and older:
- Your pension will not reduce if you earn up to $180 per month.
- Your pension will reduce by 50c per dollar for every dollar over $180.
- You will receive no pension if you earn over $2,115.00 in a fortnight.
For couples who are 21 years and older:
- Your pension will not reduce if you earn up to $320 per fortnight between you both.
- Your pension will reduce by 50c per dollar for every dollar over $320.
- Couples living together will receive no pension if they earn over $3,237.20 combined in a fortnight.
- Couples living apart due to ill health will receive no pension if they earn over $4,190.00 combined in a fortnight.
People under 21 years
For young people under 21 years, different transitional rates apply. See the Services Australia website for up to date information.
Who is eligible for the Disability Support Pension?
If you are an Australian resident aged between 16 and 65 years old with a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that prevents you from working, you could be eligible.
Not everyone who has a disability will be eligible. You will need to meet a number of non-medical rules and medical rules to be able to claim the disability pension.
During the application process, you may need to provide medical evidence and participate in a range of assessments such as:
- Income test
- Asset test
- Impairment Rating (using the Impairment Tables)
- Job Capacity Assessment
- Disability Medical Assessment
Find out if you're eligible: Who is eligible for Disability Support Pension?
What happens if I am able to work?
If a Job Capacity Assessment finds that you are able to work more than 15 hours per week or retrain for another job, you will not be eligible for the Disability Support Pension.
If you're currently looking for work, or recovering from an injury or illness and can't work for the time being, you could be eligible for a jobseeker payment.
If you have the capacity to work and want to find employment, support is available to help you prepare for, find and keep a job.
You may be eligible for government funded programs such as Disability Employment Services and Work Assist.
Disability Employment Services
The Disability Employment Services program helps people living with injury, illness or disability find employment and get the support they need to thrive in the workplace.
When you register with a provider such as APM, you can get support for things like:
- Career advice
- Finding suitable job opportunities
- Gaining employment skills
- Writing resumes and job applications
- Preparing for interviews
- Accessing funding for costs like transport and uniforms
- Accessing mental health services
- Accessing workplace accommodations and assistive technologies
If you want to work, APM can help.
As a Disability Employment Services provider, we believe everyone who wants to work should have the opportunity to experience the life changing benefits it can bring.
We've seen first hand how being employed can give you more financial freedom, a sense of purpose and better mental well being.
Find out if you're eligible, or give us a call on 1800 276 726 to talk with one of our employment consultants.
The information in this article has been last updated in January 2022 and is given as a guide only. For the most accurate, up to date information, please visit the Services Australia website.