DES: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Disability Employment Services (DES)?

CoAct and our network of Service Partners provide Disability Employment Services (DES) on behalf of the Australian Government. We have a tonne of experience supporting people with disability, illness or injury to find work by connecting them with employers who are committed to supporting employees with disability in the workplace.

How can Disability Employment Services (DES) help me get work ready?

We’ve helped over 10,000 people get work ready through DES and are one of Australia’s leading providers.

Our team can help you overcome any challenges to finding a job so that you can enjoy the benefits of being part of the workforce. This could include assistance with:

  • Building confidence and motivation to start your job search
  • Managing health issues or barriers to work
  • Searching for suitable employment opportunities
  • Writing your resume, cover letters and job applications
  • Preparing for job interviews
  • Getting the training and qualifications you need
  • Connecting with local employers who understand your needs
  • Ongoing job support for 12 months.

Who is eligible for Disability Employment Services?

Job seekers might be eligible for DES if they’re:

  • Living with a physical or intellectual disability, learning difficulties, mental health conditions or those that are blind, visually impaired, deaf or hearing impaired
  • an Australian citizen or hold a Permanent resident, Temporary Protection, Special Category or Safe Haven Visa
  • aged between 14 and 65
  • able to work at least 8 hours per week
  • receiving an income support payment from Centrelink or are a current NDIS participant.

I have never worked before, can I receive support from Disability Employment Services (DES)?

No job experience? No problem! If you are new to work or returning to employment after an extended break it can feel overwhelming to get started on your job search.

Our dedicated DES team can assist you to get your first job regardless of your experience level. We can help organise the appropriate training and local work experience or a work trial in a local business.

I am a school leaver or high school student. Can I access Disability Employment Services (DES)?

Yes. Students and recent school leavers are eligible for Disability Employment Services (DES) as an Eligible School Leaver if they:

  • are in a disability special school
  • are in a disability special class in a mainstream school
  • are in a mainstream class and attract additional funding due to a disability
  • have an NDIS plan
  • are eligible for income support payments (e.g. Disability Support Pension).

I am a university student. Can I access Disability Employment Services (DES)?

If you’re studying part-time at university and are living with illness, injury or disability (including depression and anxiety), we might be able to help you find and maintain a job via DES.

I am already working but am struggling to fulfill my duties or am at risk of losing my job. Can I get support?

Yes.Through the Work Assist program, we can provide support to eligible employees who are having difficulty fulfilling the essential requirements of their role due to their injury, disability or health condition.

We can work with you and your employer to provide assistance and maximise the supports available to keep working.

I am already registered with a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider. Can I transfer to CoAct?

Yes. Our team will assist you with the transfer process. Read more about the DES transfer process.

Can I access Disability Employment Services (DES) if I don’t receive a Disability payment?

Yes. You do not necessarily need to be on a Disability Payment to access Disability Employment Services (DES). Our team will speak with you regarding your eligibility.

Yes. Our team will work with you to register you for Disability Employment Services (DES).

Can I receive the Disability Support Pension and still work?

Yes. If you get DSP, you can have paid work up to 29 hours a week. You can do this without losing your DSP payment providing you meet the income test. Our team will discuss this with you during the DES registration process. Read more about working and the DSP.

What is DES-DMS?

This stands for Disability Employment Service – Disability Management Services.

This is the service for you if you:

  • have a injury, illness or disability
  • need help to find a job, and
  • may need occasional support at work.

What is DES-ESS?

This stands for Disability Employment Service – Employment Support Services.

This is for you if you meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • have a permanent injury, illness or disability
  • need help to find a job, and
  • will need regular, ongoing support in the workplace.

Who is CoAct?

CoAct is a pioneering not-for-profit that helps people across Australia find jobs. Our vision is a community where everyone can reach their potential through meaningful employment. We’re a membership organisation and partner with local not-for-profits to deliver employment services.