Can we get DSP outside Australia?

Joan and her husband are considering moving back to the UK after residing 28 years in Australia and are keen to know what payments they can hope to receive.

Q. Joan

My husband and I have lived in Australia for 28-plus years and we have both been on a Disability Support Pension (DSP) for a number of years. We are Australian citizens with dual nationality from the UK.

What would be the process if we relocated back to our to the UK? Would we be eligible to receive benefits on our arrival? 

My husband is 63 and I’ve just recently turned 60.

A. As a general rule, your DSP will cease after being outside of Australia for 28 days.

You can be paid your DSP indefinitely if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • are terminally ill
  • left Australia prior to 1 July 2004, and at the time of leaving you were told that you could be paid indefinitely, and you have not returned to Australia to live since that time, or
  • have been assessed in Australia prior to the departure as having a permanent, severe impairment and no future work capacity. Assessment involves a review of your DSP qualification and a Job Capacity Assessment.

It is also worth noting that when you reach eligibility age, you will not be able to claim an Australian Age Pension from the UK. You would need to return to Australia and live here for a period of two years after your Age Pension is granted.

In regards to whether or not you will be able to claim UK benefits as soon as you arrive in the country, I’m afraid this is out of our area of expertise. However, you may find this factsheet from Age UK useful.