If I am retired, can my husband claim the DSP?

Susan is worried about her finances if her husband is not granted a disability pension.

If I am retired, can my husband claim the DSP?

Susan’s husband has stopped working due to an incurable illness and she wants to know if he will be eligible for a Centrelink payment when she retires.


Q. Susan
I will be 66 in June 2020 and I plan to retire from work in July 2020. My husband has been retired from work (due to an incurable illness – myelofibrosis, which is a type of blood cancer) for a few years now. He will not turn 66 until May 2021 (he was born in May 1955).

Will he be able to successfully claim a Centrelink benefit once I am on the Age Pension? At present, because I am working full time, he is naturally not entitled to any benefits. I am concerned that if I retire, we will not be able to live on just the pension I would receive.

A. If your husband’s health issues are stopping him from working, he can apply for a Disability Support Pension (DSP). This is subject to the income and asset test.

To be assessed as eligible for this payment, he will need to undergo a Job Capacity Assessment and then a Disability Medical Assessment with a government-contracted doctor.

Your husband may be medically eligible for a Disability Support Pension if:

  • his disability or medical condition stops him from working at least 15 hours a week in the next two years, and
  • Centrelink gives him an impairment rating of 20 points or more on a single Impairment Table, or
  • 20 points or more combined across more than one impairment.

Use the Claim for Disability Support Pension Medical Evidence Checklist when claiming. It will help you and your husband work out what medical evidence you need to submit with your claim.

Submit all medical evidence with your claim so Centrelink can assess your claim faster. The evidence Centrelink need depends on the medical condition. The evidence you provide should support what you have put in the medical details section of your husband’s claim.

In all cases, your medical evidence should:

  • show your husband’s disability or medical conditions
  • show how his condition affects him
  • include the names and contact details of your treating health professionals.

Your treating health professionals can use the Medical Evidence Checklist for treating health professionals form. This helps them to check that your medical evidence includes relevant information about your condition.

You can find out more about the Disability Support Pension and the medical parameters under which it is awarded at HumanServices.gov.au.


    Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.


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    15th Apr 2019
    Good luck with trying to get the DSP! A friend of mine has a sister who has heart, eye and musculoskelatal health issues dating back years, and she can't get off Newstart and onto the DSP due to petty bureaucratic mindsets who deem her "suitable to work"! So that seems to be the state of the "fair go for those who have a go" mindset of Scomo and his mob!
    15th Apr 2019
    Yep I thought the same about the article.
    The article doesn't say that if you get 20 points across 2 tables, that you have to have the program of support as well. Something a huge amount of people do not realise.
    They spend their time on Newstart getting medical certifcates in order to not have to go to job providors etc. That is all well and good.
    But going to the Job providor for 18 months, gives you the Program of Support letter that you need to show that have been trying to look for work, and even the job providor couldn't help you.
    Centrelink is all about Centrelink. If you tick the boxes with Centrelink, you then stand a fighting chance.
    I got my daughter onto the DSP, but I forced her through the Program of Support. I went every time she went to make sure she didn't say or do anything wrong to jepodise her time there. I made sure she atteneded every appointment, dragging her out of bed on oaccassions. Only once I phoned up and said she was sick, but I could bring her in, but not sure if what she has was catchy. They couldn't rebook her fast enough! The fact was I couldn't get her out of bed(depression etc.) She also received exemptions from mutual obligations from centrelink itself, on 2 occassions. The first she really needed, the 2nd I have no idea why she got it. The point I am getting at here is that centrelink handed out the exemptions, we never needed a mecial certificate.
    By the time we applied for the DSP, she had been on YA then NS as a job seeker for about 3 years. Her diagnosis was a childhood diagnosis. And we had the Program of Support letter with the job providor saying they could not get her a job at all!
    So I felt confident we had ticked all the boxes, and we had as she got the DSP without being rejected.
    It shouldnt be this hard to get the DSP, or support if you are seriously sick and unable to work.
    15th Apr 2019
    Yes getting DSP is now a nightmare, getting classified as unsuitable for work is even harder. I beat them at AAP so I will always have that on my records.
    Scomo is an a grade bs artist, the others a circus tent full of clowns. What a pathetic bunch.
    15th Apr 2019
    The answer to the question is a bit of a joke just mumbo jumbo could have been scomo who answered.

    No he will not get the dsp and you should keep working till you drop or cannot work anymore.

    That's the thing now work yourself to death just like the 1800's and be glad for it....

    Death is your release from money worries.
    16th Apr 2019
    If your husband applies while you are still working and your Income is too high, then they will reject his claim due to this, without assessing his Medical Conditions. Catch 22 unfortunately.

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