Residence rules

Generally you must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day you claim Disability Support Pension.

How long you need to have been a resident

To get Disability Support Pension (DSP) you need to have been an Australian resident for either:

  • at least 10 years in a row
  • a total of 10 years with no break in residence for at least 5 of these years.

We may need information to find out how long you’ve been an Australian resident. If we do, we’ll ask you to complete the Residence in Australia and other countries form.

Lived or worked overseas

You may meet the 10 year rule if you've lived or worked in an agreement country and meet further criteria.

When the 10 year rule doesn’t apply

The 10 year rule doesn’t apply if you’ve been an Australian resident for less than 10 years in the following situations. But you may still need to meet further criteria based on your situation.

Refugee or former refugee

If you’re a refugee or former refugee you are exempt from the 10 year rule.

Unable to work

The 10 year rule doesn’t apply if while you were an Australian resident you became either:

  • unable to work
  • permanently blind.

The 10 year rule may not apply if all of the following apply. You:

  • were born overseas and not an Australian resident when you became unable to work or became permanently blind
  • were the dependent child of an Australian resident when you became unable to work or became permanently blind
  • continued to be the dependent child of an Australian resident when you became an Australian resident.

Page last updated: 15 July 2021