If you’re independent through work

If you’re 20 or younger, you may be independent for Disability Support Pension (DSP) if you’ve supported yourself through work.

You may be independent if you supported yourself through paid work that met certain conditions.

Paid work includes:

  • paid leave
  • overseas work
  • unpaid leave due to employer shutdown outside of your control
  • full time apprenticeships and traineeships.

You need to give us proof of your paid work when you claim DSP.

Keep in mind, you can’t include hours that you worked and income earned while still in secondary school.

When we assess independence through full time work

You may be independent if you supported yourself through full time paid work. Full time work is an average of 30 hours a week.

You must have worked full time for at least 18 months within any 2 year period. You don’t need to have worked for 18 months in a row, or in the same job.

You may not have worked 30 hours every week. If this is the case, you can average your work hours over a period of up to 13 weeks.

When we assess independence through part time work

We may assess you as independent if you did part time paid work. This work must be both:

  • at least 15 hours a week
  • ongoing for 2 years or more since leaving secondary school.

When we assess independence through work in any 18 month period

You may be independent if you supported yourself through paid work in any 18-month period since leaving secondary school. During this time, you need to have earned at least 75% of the National Training Wage Schedule (NTWS) rate.

You can read more about the National Training Wage Schedule on the Department of Social Services website.

Page last updated: 10 December 2021