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JobSeeker Payment and the DSP

A lot of people have been asking about whether they should switch to the JobSeeker Payment from the Disability Support Pension (DSP) during coronavirus.

The DSP helps support people (16 or over) who have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops them from working.

People on the JobSeeker Payment will be getting an extra amount each fortnight. But if you change from the DSP to the JobSeeker Payment, you may not be able to change back.

Before you decide to give up your DSP, make sure it’s the best option for you. The DSP is a more suitable payment if:

  • you have a long-term disability or medical condition
  • you can’t work 15 hours or more per week in the next two years.

What happens if you change to the JobSeeker Payment?

If you switch from the DSP to the JobSeeker Payment:

  • your DSP will be cancelled
  • you’ll lose your Pensioner Concession Card
  • you’ll get the Coronavirus Supplement.

The Coronavirus Supplement is an extra payment each fortnight of $550. The supplement starts on 27 April 2020 and will go for up to six months.

When the Coronavirus Supplement ends, the JobSeeker Payment will go back to being lower than the DSP.

If you’re getting the JobSeeker Payment, you may also need to meet mutual obligations.

Mutual obligations can include things like:

  • searching for and applying for jobs
  • taking part in training and employment services.

The Australian Government has suspended mutual obligations until 1 June 2020. We understand they will gradually be re-introduced after 1 June 2020 and will update you with the latest information as it is released.

What happens if you want to go back to the DSP?

If you want to apply for the DSP again:

  • the DSP eligibility rules may not be the same as when you applied before
  • you may not be able to get the DSP again
  • you will need to submit a new DSP claim, including recent medical evidence
  • you may need to meet other requirements, like a Job Capacity Assessment and a Disability Medical Assessment
  • the process can be long and stressful.

You might also need to take part in a Program of Support before you can get back on the DSP. A Program of Support helps people with disability to prepare for, find and keep a job.

Comparing the DSP to the JobSeeker Payment

SupportDSPJobSeeker
Pensioner Concession CardYesRules apply
Health Care CardNoYes
Long-term supportYesNo
Rent assistance sharer exemptionYesRules apply
Economic Support Payment 1YesYes
Economic Support Payment 2YesNo
Coronavirus SupplementNoYes

Original resource

For this resource we used information comparing the DSP to the JobSeeker Payment from:

Advocacy tips

  • Support people with disability by giving them the information they need to decide if they will stay on the DSP or move to the JobSeeker Payment. They will need to understand that changing to the JobSeeker Payment could leave them worse off in the long run.

  • Carers also need support to decide if they will continue receiving the Carer Payment, or if they will move onto the JobSeeker Payment. They will need to understand that changing to the JobSeeker Payment could leave them worse off in the long run.

  • Important difference to note – The JobKeeper Payment is managed by the ATO. The JobSeeker Payment is managed by Services Australia.

Date
28 April 2020
Category
Payments
State
Applies to all states