What happens when you give us a medical certificate

We use your medical certificate to work out if you need an exemption from your participation requirements. This is so you can keep getting Disability Support Pension while you recover.

We assess your need for an exemption based on your medical certificate. Giving us a medical certificate doesn’t always mean we’ll give you an exemption.

This might be where:

  • there’s not enough information from the doctor for us to decide
  • your inability to work isn’t temporary, which means it’s not likely to be resolved within 2 years
  • you’re able to work for more than 8 hours per week
  • substance abuse is the main reason you’re unable to work.

If we need more information, we may contact you.

If we give you an exemption

We may give you an exemption if your medical certificate shows you’re unable to work for at least 8 hours per week. We will then decide if you can do any suitable work.

If we give you an exemption, we’ll tell you:

  • how long the exemption is for
  • if you need to do any activities
  • if there’s a change to your reporting requirements.

Maximum exemption period

Generally, the maximum exemption you can get is 13 weeks from the start date on the medical certificate.

Further exemptions

You can ask for a further exemption when your medical certificate ends if both of these apply:

  • you still can’t work for at least 8 hours per week
  • you give us a new medical certificate.

You may not get a further exemption if your inability to work isn’t temporary. We may refer you for an Employment Services Assessment to assess this.

If we don’t give you an exemption

If we don’t give you an exemption, we’ll discuss what your options are. This may include other activities or services to help you meet your participation requirements.

If you have an ongoing sickness or injury

Your employment services provider may refer you for an Employment Services Assessment.

This will help us understand how your sickness or injury affects your ability to work. It also determines which employment services program is right for you.

You need to attend the assessment even if we’ve given you an exemption.

Page last updated: 21 December 2021.
QC 54331