Starting and finishing in DES: Your guide to Disability Employment Services

23 August 2019

Starting and finishing in DES: Your guide to Disability Employment Services

Am I eligible?

Before getting started in Disability Employment Services (DES), we’ll check which of the two types of services you qualify for:

  • DES-DMS – Disability Management Service – If you have a mental health condition, treated illness, injury or disability which might need occasional ongoing support to help you find a job and stay employed.
  • DES-ESS – Employment Support Service – If you have a permanent disability, treated illness, injury or condition (or it’s likely to be permanent). We’ll provide you with regular,
    ongoing support to help you find and keep your job.

When do I start receiving support?

If you’re eligible, you’ll start receiving services as soon as possible. You can register and choose when to start DES if you’re receiving Centrelink income support payments and able to work eight hours per week. If you’re not receiving Centrelink income support
payments, you may also be eligible for DES if you

  • predicted by the Job Capacity Assessor as being unable to work eight hours per week
  • ESAt/JCA exempt (Eligible School Leaver, Special Class Client or Work Assist)
  • a current NDIS participant
  • a Pre-Release Prisoner
  • undertaking a DES program to satisfy Program of Support requirements.

If you’ve applied for the Disability Support Pension (DSP), you’ll also be required to participate in DES as a Program of Support. We’ll wait for your results
from Centrelink to confirm you’re eligible.

Why might I not be able to
start DES?

Even if you meet the eligibility requirements, there are times when you may not be able to start or
stay in DES. You could be ineligible for DES if:

  • you’re predicted by the Job Capacity Assessor as being unable to work eight hours per week
  • you’re predicted by your Job Capacity Assessor as being able to work 30 hours, or more, each week. This applies to your capacity now and for the next two years.
  • you’ve been granted an Activity Test Exemption (for those on JobSeeker or Youth Allowance)
  • you’re studying or undertaking other activities that meet your activity test requirements.

Can I take a break from my DES job search?

If you’ve got Centrelink requirements to look for a job, you’ll need to ask Centrelink for a suspension from DES. You’ll need to present a medical certificate, or other reasons.
If you’re not receiving a Centrelink income support payment and have volunteered for DES, you can request a break from the service at any time.
It’s important to note that if you exit DES and wish to recommence the service at a later date, your eligibility may have changed. For this reason, in some circumstances we recommend requesting a suspension, rather than an exit from DES.

When do I leave the service?

You leave DES when you don’t need our support anymore. Some reasons include:

  • you’ve worked for 52 weeks and don’t need further help from us to keep your job
  • you’ve had 18 months of help and haven’t got a job or aren’t about to start a job
  • you aren’t required by Centrelink to look for a job, and you decide you don’t want to look for a job anymore
  • your circumstances change and your Job Capacity Assessment recommends a more suitable service
  • you no longer receive Centrelink payments and choose to end receiving our services
  • you’re unable to sort through a problem with our service that you’ve raised with the manager. You decide that you want to go to another DES provider.

There may be times where the Australian Government, through the Department of Social Services will ask us to end services. If this happens, you’ll be notified and we can help you to move to a different service.

I still have questions

We’re here to help if you have any questions about the reasons for starting or finishing in DES. If you need to clarify your situation or condition with us, please let us know. Simply get in touch with your Customer Experience Coordinator, whose details are in your Welcome to CoAct letter.

View a PDF of this document.

Interest in learning more about DES? Contact our team.

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