Disability Support Pension - entitlements and eligibility

If you are forced to give up work it can be difficult to ascertain your entitlements and how you can access these benefits, as YOURLifeChoices subscriber, Dianne, and her friend has realised.

Q. Dianne
I have a friend who is 60 years old. She is not particularly well and is unable to continue working. Can you please advise:
1. What options for income support and health benefits might be available for her?
2. What should she do to access this sort of income and health support?

A. Provided by Centrelink
Thanks for your enquiry. I would encourage your friend to contact Centrelink to discuss her individual circumstances.

There are a range of income support options for people in situations like this, such as Disability Support Pension. This payment is designed to support people unable to work for at least two years due to illness, injury or disability. People who apply for Disability Support Pension may be eligible for Newstart Allowance (free of any activity test requirements) while their claim is being determined. Another option may be Sickness Allowance, a payment for people unable to work temporarily because of illness, injury or disability and who have a job to return to when they recover.

For more information about these options, customers can contact Centrelink on 13 2717 or visit the website

Your friend may also wish to make an appointment to speak with a Centrelink Financial Information Services (FIS) officer before she makes any decisions about her future. These officers are available to help people maximise their income in retirement, even if they are not currently a Centrelink customer. The number to call is 13 2300.