APS advocacy in action as we secure positive changes to the Disability Support Pension

Australian Psychological Society

The APS is pleased to share news that our advocacy efforts have been recognised as a new Determination for the Disability Support Pension (DSP) Impairment Tables was announced by the Department of Social Services (DSS). This important news will have beneficial impact for many Australians living with a disability or caring for someone with disability.

The new Determination will take effect from 1 April 2023. The new Legislation and Impairment Tables can be found here.

Read on for our detailed analysis of these changes.

The APS has been consistently advocating for changes to the DSP and the Impairment Tables over the past few years, involving many meetings and consultations with DSS, Senate Inquiries, as well as submissions and engagement with members. As APS President I have also represented the APS and the profession of psychology on national committees related to disability.

APS has called for recognition of the skills of all psychologists in assessing and diagnosing mental health disorders, removing the need for a mental health-related disability to be permanent, and other changes.

In line with APS focus on professional unity we have also actively called upon the DSS to broaden DSP assessments under Table 5, beyond clinical psychologists, to include other psychologists recognised as having completed advanced training. We recommend further consideration be made to recognise the expertise of all psychologists in making a formal diagnosis of mental health conditions, not just medical practitioners.

Whilst we recognise and appreciate that the changes were carefully considered by the Advisory Committee, we also note that some of the APS’ recommendations have not been included. However, this is still a hugely positive result and a powerful example of the strength of the APS in action, advocating for our members and Australians alike.

Below you will find a snapshot of the work we’ve been doing since 2021 on this issue as well as a more detailed analysis of the changes to the Tables and what it means for you.

APS advocacy on the Disability Support Pension

  • July 2021 – The APS responded to the initial consultation from the DSS’ Review of the Disability Support Pension (DSP) Impairment Tables.

  • October 2021 – APS meeting with the DSS.

  • October 2021 – APS provided a response to additional questions DSS asked specifically of the APS.

  • November 2022 – APS responded to the Proposed changes to the Disability Support Pension (DSP) Impairment Tables.

  • January 2023 – APS meeting with the DSS.

/Public Release. View in full here.