A program of support is a program that is wholly or partly funded by the Commonwealth Government which is designed to assist people to prepare for, find or maintain work.
A program of support can also be one which the (delegate of the) Secretary considers to be similar to a program of support that receives Commonwealth Government funding.
Example: State or territory funded transition to work programs for people with disability may be considered similar programs.
Working independently of a program of support means a person is able to reliably work 15 or more hours per week in the open labour market where wages are at or above the relevant minimum wage without requiring regular and ongoing assistance that is significant, either in hours or intensity, to maintain the employment.
A person is treated as doing work independently of a program of support if the person:
Example 1: A person working 15 or more hours per week in the open labour market while receiving moderate or high level ongoing support from an ESS provider is not considered to be working independently of a program of support because the person requires significant and regular assistance over the long-term to maintain their employment.
Example 2: A person working 15 hours or more per week in the open labour market while receiving flexible ongoing support from a DES provider is considered to be working independently of a program of support because the person requires occasional support provided intermittently on an as needs basis to maintain their employment.
Act reference: SSAct section 94(4) A person is treated as doing work independently of a program of support...
Policy reference: SS Guide 188.8.131.52 Assessment of Continuing Inability to Work - 15 Hour Rule
Occasional support is support provided intermittently to a person with a disability on an as needs basis. Support is generally considered occasional if it is provided less than fortnightly, a maximum of 6 times in any 26 week period.
Example: Flexible ongoing support provided by a DES is support which is occasional, as it is provided on a sporadic, episodic or irregular basis.
Ongoing support is support provided to a person with a disability which is expected to be required by the person long-term. Support is generally considered to be ongoing if it is required beyond an initial 26 week period of post placement support provided to a person after commencement in employment.
Example: Moderate or high ongoing support provided by a DES is support that is ongoing.
Support is not ongoing if it is expected to be required by a person with a disability only in the short-term. Support is generally considered to be non-ongoing if it is provided for a maximum of 26 weeks after a person commences employment.
Example: Six months post placement support provided by a DES is support that is not ongoing.
DES provides support and assistance to people with disability, injury or health conditions to help them prepare for, find and keep a job.
DES provides 2 support services:
DMS provides services to people with temporary or permanent disability, injury or health conditions who are expected to require support that is occasional or not ongoing to maintain employment in the open labour market.
ESS provides services to people with a permanent disability who are expected to require ongoing support to maintain employment in the open labour market. Support under the ESS is provided at 3 levels:
A DSP recipient will continue to demonstrate a CITW while requiring and receiving high or moderate support from an ESS. Recipients receiving flexible support from either a DMS or an ESS will be considered to be working independently of a program of support and subject to the work test.
Recipients who require work based personal assistance in employment are considered to have support requirements and they will continue to demonstrate a CITW for as long as this assistance is being purchased or provided. In some instances this may be provided after a DES program has ceased.
A recipient who participates in SWS does not have to demonstrate a CITW. SWS is an Australian Government program designed to address barriers to employment in the open workforce faced by people with disability whose productivity and employment competitiveness are reduced because of their disability. Employees under SWS are paid a proportion of a full wage based on their productivity.
Supported wages are employment income (1.1.E.102) and any available working credits will be used to offset this employment income under the income test.
DSP recipients working in an ADE are generally accepted as being unable to work independently of a program of support while they remain in an ADE. There is no time limit on the duration of their involvement in an ADE.
Recipients working with assistance from an ADE funded under the Disability Services Act 1986, are not paid at or above the relevant minimum wage, so the hours worked are not subject to the work test.
A recipient's participation in RJCP activities is usually on a part-time basis. In considering whether a recipient continues to qualify for DSP it is necessary to determine how closely the activities performed by the recipient resemble open employment conditions, and therefore whether the recipient is capable of work in open employment for at least 15 hours (or 30 hours for grandfathered recipients) each week.
Delegates need to:
Last reviewed: 1 July 2013