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
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 and Employment Support Service.

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 20 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 400 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 hire participants, who are looking to recruit new staff or who want to adjust their workplace for an employee with a disability.

How are job seekers eligible for Disability Employment Services?

To be considered for the program you need to:

  • have an injury, illness or disability that affects the work you can do
  • be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or someone whose residency in Australia is not time limited by law
  • be aged between 14 and 65
  • have an assessed work capacity of at least eight hours per week

What’s changing in Disability Employment Services in 2018?

From July 1 it will become easier for eligible job seekers to choose their Disability Employment Services provider.

If you’re receiving Disability Employment Services support, check our guide to the changes for participants

Why is Disability Employment Services changing?

The Australian Government asked people with disability, peak organisations, service providers and employers for feedback on how to improve the Disability Employment Services initiative.

This has led to changes to provide eligible job seekers and participants with greater choice of providers and of the services they receive and how they receive them.

The changes intend to give more control to people with disability and participants on how they receive their support.

The changes aim to improve the overall experience of being a participant of Disability Employment Services and help more people with an injury, illness, health condition and disability into employment.

What changes can Disability Employment Services participants expect?

A small number of providers are expected to close and no longer deliver Disability Employment Services.

Participants of these providers will be told how to choose a new provider before July 1.

There are no planned changes to the service participants receive as part of the Disability Employment Services program.

What do the changes to Disability Employment Services mean for APM?

APM will continue to deliver the high standard of Disability Employment Services we provide our participants.

As part of the changes the Australian Government awarded APM 91 Employment Service Areas to deliver Disability Employment Services from July 1.

This will see an increase of more than 100 new APM offices to help more people improve their lives through employment.

How do I find out more?

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. 

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.

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