What the rules are

If you leave Australia for the short term, you may be able to get your Disability Support Pension (DSP) payment.

Payment for up to 28 days

You can get DSP for up to 28 days travel overseas in a 12 month period. It doesn’t matter if you make a single trip or multiple trips.

Example of a single trip

If you left Australia for the first time on 3 March 2019, you may get DSP for up to 28 days. This is from the date you leave.

If you’re still overseas after 28 days, your payment stops.

If you return and then travel overseas again before 3 March 2020, your payment stops when you depart.

Example of multiple trips

If you left Australia for the first time on 15 April 2019 for 14 days, you’ll get DSP for up to 14 days. This is from the date you depart.

If you return and then travel overseas for 21 days on 17 February 2020, you’ll get DSP for 14 days. This is from the date you depart.

Your payment stops at the end of the 14 days.

Payment for more than 28 days

You may get DSP for more than 28 days in a 12 month period if any of the following apply. You:

  • are studying outside Australia as part of a full time Australian course
  • are severely disabled and depend on, and live with, a family member posted outside Australia temporarily for work
  • had an assessment before leaving and you meet the manifest medical rules.

Your payment may also continue if we do an assessment to confirm your work capacity before you leave. At the assessment we’ll confirm that your medical professional has diagnosed you with a permanent and severe disability that stops you from working. We may ask you to show us some evidence to prove your diagnosis.

If you’ve already travelled overseas for 28 days in 12 months, you may still get DSP if you travel again. You may get it for up to 28 days per trip. But, you must be travelling for any one of these approved reasons:

  • to attend an acute family crisis – for example to visit a family member who is critically ill
  • for humanitarian reasons – for example to adopt a child or attend custody proceedings
  • to get eligible medical treatment that is not available in Australia
  • to take part in the Paralympic Games
  • to take part in a qualification or preparation event in the 12 months before the Paralympic Games.

If you go to a country with an international social security agreement

You may get DSP for more than 28 days if both of these apply:

To use a social security agreement, both of these must apply. You:

  • are severely disabled
  • meet all the rules under the agreement.

The amount you’ll get under the agreement may be different to your current DSP rate.

Page last updated: 14 January 2022