Characteristics of Disability Support Pension Recipients 2009

This report has been published annually since 2001 and provides the characteristics of the population of Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients.

What’s new, what’s different?

The 2009 report has been significantly changed to highlight key trends over time.  The changes include:

  • more historical information in tables and figures; and
  • redesigned tables and figures.

Who is the Disability Support Pension for?

DSP is designed to give people an adequate means of support if they are unable to work for at least 15 hours per week at or above the relevant minimum wage, independent of a program of support, due to a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for DSP a person must be 16 years or over and be under age pension age at the time of claim (as at June 2009 – 63.5 for women and 65 for men) and:

  • be permanently blind; or
  • have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment (assessed at 20 points or more under the Impairment Tables);
  • be unable to do any work of at least 15 hours a week, or be re-skilled for any work, for a period of at least two years; and
  • have become unable to work while in Australia, or have 10 years qualifying Australian residence.


  • The information contained in this report has been sourced from Centrelink Administrative Data as at 26 June 2009 and previous editions of this report. If an alternative source of data has been used it has been noted.

Where items have been grouped, resulting percentages may not be equal to the sum of the constituent figures due to rounding.

For an alternative format of this report please email

An accessible version of this report is currently being developed and will be available soon.

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