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Disability Support Pension Application Process

Recommended Steps for Disability Support Pension Application


Obtain medical evidence reports from your doctors (e.g., GP, specialists etc).

Obtain medical evidence letters from your doctors (e.g., GP, specialists etc). These reports will need to outline the following:

  • Your diagnosed medical conditions (i.e., must be formally diagnosed by a medical practitioner).
  • Your medical conditions must be:
    o Fully treated (i.e., everything that can reasonably be done to improve your conditions has been done).
    o Fully stabilised (i.e., your medical conditions will not likely improve over the next 2 years).
  • Your medical conditions must cause you to have a functional impairment. Having a functional impairment means there are things you cannot do in your daily life, including work. An occupational therapist can help you determine your functional impairment(s).

See an occupational therapist for an OT assessment

To qualify for the DSP, you must have at least 20 points or more based on Centrelink’s Impairment Table list. The Impairment Table lists provide a guide about your disability for different parts of the body which help you state what you can and can’t do, and what you could do with treatment. Your occupational therapist will use the impairment table to know your functional capacity.

An example of functional capacity is:

1. You have a disability in your legs as stated in your doctor’s medical letter/report.
2. You can only walk up to 5 metres before resting.
3. You cannot walk to the bus stop and local shops.
4. Treatment could only help you walk down your street but not to the bus stop or local shops.

Your functional capacity is how far you can walk after treatment.

The impairment tables will give your functional capacity points. You need at least 20 points for a DSP.

Once the assessment is completed, your occupational therapist can write this in a letter. You give this letter to Centrelink when you apply for a DSP.


  OT Assessment for DSP Application
What’s involved Functional Capacity Assessment for DSP Application (based on Centrelink’s Impairment Table list)
What you’ll receive Letter of support
Cost $1,357.93 (no Medicare/insurance rebates, flat fee)


Frequently Asked Questions

What types of pain conditions do you treat at Lifeworks Occupational Therapy?

Our team of occupational therapists has experience in treating a wide range of pain conditions, including but not limited to arthritis, fibromyalgia, traumatic injuries, complex regional pain syndrome, whiplash-associated disorders, and residual pain following surgery. We also work with clients who have chronic conditions that impact their daily activities, such as chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. Our therapists are skilled in addressing the unique challenges and needs of each individual, creating personalised treatment plans to help manage pain and improve function.

Do I need a referral to access your persistent pain recovery services?

While a referral is not always required to access our occupational therapy services, certain insurance providers or funding programs may require a referral from a healthcare professional, such as your primary care physician, specialist, or case manager. We recommend checking with your insurance provider or funding program for specific requirements. Additionally, if you have any concerns or questions about whether our services are appropriate for you, discussing your situation with a healthcare professional can provide valuable guidance and recommendations.

How do I know if occupational therapy is right for me?

Occupational therapy can be beneficial for individuals experiencing persistent pain, difficulty with daily activities, or reduced quality of life due to chronic conditions. To determine if occupational therapy is the right fit for you, we recommend scheduling a consultation with one of our therapists, who will assess your needs and develop a personalised plan tailored to your unique situation.

How long does it take to see improvements in my pain and function?

Each person’s recovery journey is different, and the timeline for improvements can vary depending on factors such as the severity of your condition, your overall health, and your commitment to the therapy process. Our occupational therapists work closely with you to set realistic goals and monitor your progress, adjusting your treatment plan as needed to ensure optimal results.

What should I expect during my first occupational therapy session?

During your initial session, your occupational therapist will conduct a comprehensive assessment to understand your unique needs, challenges, and goals. They will ask about your medical history, current symptoms, and daily activities, and may perform various tests to evaluate your physical and cognitive abilities. This information will be used to create a personalised treatment plan tailored to your specific situation.

Is this service covered by insurance or government funding programs?

Many insurance plans and government funding programs, such as Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), offer coverage for occupational therapy services. We recommend contacting your insurance provider or funding program to verify your coverage and discuss any necessary steps to access these services.

Can I receive occupational therapy services in my home or community setting?

Yes, our occupational therapists at Lifeworks Occupational Therapy can provide services in various settings, including your home, workplace, or community. We believe in offering flexible and convenient options to ensure you receive the support you need in an environment that is comfortable and familiar.

Still Have Questions?

If you can’t find an answer to your question in the FAQ’s above, you can always contact us and we’ll respond asap.

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