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

Written by Ben


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