Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Centrelink Disability Support Pension for Mental Illness

Topic: Centrelink Disability Support Pension for Mental Illness

16 posts, 0 answered
  1. 3000
    3000 avatar
    1 posts
    18 March 2017

    Hey guys

    My wife has had SEVERE depression, anxiety and panic attacks for nearly 17 years. The depression is up and down at times but in relation to the anxiety/panic she has been virtually housebound for the past 9 years, unable to leave the house without me in the car with her and unable to go any further than a few blocks from home. She cannot go any further than immediate walking distance to the car and we cannot turn the car off due to fear of not being able to immediately get home to her safe zone without experiencing a severe, debilitating panic attack and we're back to her not leaving the bedroom again. She has taken numerous medications, seen counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnotherapy and doctors over this time and has not been able to beat it.

    Introduction over, she is obviously unable to work and cannot fully care for our kids alone so I am forced to be only able to get casual/part-time work while on Newstart allowance (required to be still applying for full-time work) and cannot earn more than $680 per fortnight or I will lose my entire Centrelink payment. Even though there is an extensive catalogue of proof of many years of her condition Centrelink will not approve her for a Disability Support Pension as it is "only mental illness" not an "actual disability" and the only assistance they can offer is $80 per fortnight carer's allowance.

    Does anyone have any experience in a similar situation or have any advice they can offer ?

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11078 posts
    20 March 2017 in reply to 3000

    Dear 3000~

    Thank you for your post. Dealing with Centerlink is a slow and frustrating business and I've head of some victories, these however have involved someone going to bat for you. Perhaps others here have more in-depth knowledge.

    A Disability Support Pension specifically allows for psychiatric impairment.

    The problem may be in their acceptance of your wife's medical documentation. Do you have a doctor or psychiatrist who is ready state your wife meets the technical requirements and is will to interact with Centerlink to sort the matter out?

    Trying to act as a go-between with doctor and Centerlink, particularly if you wife is unable to deal with the matter herself, is a most daunting task. Perhaps this sort of advocacy will do the trick.

    Please post back and say more


    1 person found this helpful
  3. katieg84
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    katieg84 avatar
    3 posts
    1 April 2017 in reply to 3000
    I don't have a personal experience with this myself but I have seen and heard on social media groups I am in on people getting the Disability Support Pension for Mental Health. From what I can understand I do believe there is a lot more supporting evidence required. So letters from as many of the professionals she has already seen stating how bad things are. Have also heard that if you haven't already then maybe seeing an OT for an OT assessment may help as well as they do these for mental health. I hope this is of some help xx
  4. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3188 posts
    3 April 2017 in reply to 3000

    Hi 3000,

    Thanks for your post.

    Unfortunately the likelihood of getting the DSP for a mental illness is incredibly rare; despite the amount of evidence that you have. Centrelink are of the illusion that mental illnesses are not permanent as even though there is no cure they naturally fluctuate.

    My only suggestion would be to either see a Centrelink Social Worker; they can perhaps advise you on other payments; or to look at Austudy (study payment). Obviously this is not ideal however there are a few courses that she could do from home so she would not need any contact hours and it would allow her to receive a payment. I also believe that a Cert IV would be okay for the criteria.

  5. eternaltorment
    eternaltorment avatar
    1 posts
    7 August 2019

    I am suffering with depression myself. I have anxiety too. I've been thinking of going on a disability pension because I can't deal with the outside world. And I'm sick of being a slave. Everyday it gets harder and harder to stay in this world. I am sick of it. I don't want to contribute anymore. I am slowly being murdered. I think I should just end it right now. At least then I would be free.

    How can politicians be allowed to steal money that we worked for and they get away with it? While the rest of us suffer working and they keep taxing us. What have they done to earn it?

    Why doesn't anyone want to stand up and fight them?

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6838 posts
    8 August 2019 in reply to eternaltorment
    Hi eternaltorment, 

    Thank you for feeling like you can open up here - our supportive community are truly here to listen and support you as best as they can. 

    We are sorry to hear that your journey has been such a difficult one for you. Please know that you are not alone in this and there is a lot of support out there. We are writing to you as we are concerned about your wellbeing. We feel that if you are at risk of self-harm or if you are feeling suicidal, we would strongly urge you to seek professional help as it is really important that you take immediate steps to keep yourself safe.

    We would encourage you to call our Support Service on 1300 22 4636. We can help 24 hours a day, seven days a week with counselling support, information and referrals.

    Please write back and let us know how you're going when you feel up to it. 
  7. Voxie
    Voxie avatar
    4 posts
    23 August 2019 in reply to 3000
    The disability pension for mental health in this country is an absolute joke. I applied recently and was rejected. In the last twelve months I have been off work due to an acute bipolar relapse. I was hospitalised. For the time I had off my workplace fired me. After a year of no improvement of severe, crippling depression I was hospitalised again. I now have also been diagnosed with ADHD. Centrelink has the evidence of (withing twelve months) two hospitalisations, being fired, an in-depth letters from my GP, psychologist and psychiatrist. They said they only need a letter from my GP. I have given them way more than what they asked, and also, it was Centrelink who suggested I apply for the disability pension. My assesment interview was one week after being released from a psychiatrist hospital, and they deemed me as "fine and stable". They require 20 points to be eligle. I only scored 10. They don't tell you where you "failed". The lady I spoke to yesterday said to appeal, so I have, bit don't have high hopes. I have no idea what to do. The advertising that's carried on in this country with R U ok? And the anxiety and depression ads in the shopping centre toilets etc is utter rubbish. The general public see it as a movement, and it's not true. I know other people in this situation who are scared they'll end up on the streets. I've never been so disappointed in my country, the way we are treated with mental health revolts me when it comes to Centrelink.
    3 people found this helpful
  8. Voxie
    Voxie avatar
    4 posts
    24 August 2019 in reply to katieg84
    Trust me. None of that works. I think you need to lose a leg for the government to take us seriously.
  9. paddyanne
    paddyanne avatar
    127 posts
    4 September 2019 in reply to eternaltorment
    Hi all, just to add to the general conversation re: C'link. I started the age pension 5 years ago. I provided C'link with all the details they requested. I am a citizen, I have the certificate. Now C'link in their infinite wisdom is requesting all these documents yet again or they will stop my pension. I wish they would actually TALK to each other and keep all relevant documents so the public didn't have to keep updating for them. I was called in about 6 weeks ago and had to fill out countless forms as requested, indicating NO CHANGE in my circumstances. I received a call requesting I hand in all documents or the pension will be ceased. I understand there are millions receiving various pensions, disability, aged, Newstart, Austudy etc. However, you would think that by now 2019, all this unnecessary crap would cease. Are ex govt employees who receive pensions being audited or just the ones who are 'unlucky' enough to never have worked for them.
    1 person found this helpful
  10. Emillio
    Emillio avatar
    2 posts
    31 August 2021

    Hello everyone, I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right forum.. But I'm on centrelink and I'm with DES (Disability Employment Service) I've been suffering from extreme depression and anxiety. The reason I'm with DES is because my local Gp put on my medical certificate that my condition is permanent.

    I've been asking, pretty much begging if I can do my mutual obligations over the phone, I do all my job searchs online through mygov, everything I need to do I can do through mygov. I've explained myself many times that I am suffering bad from my mental health illnesses and that my anxiety is really bad, I can barely take my rubbish down to the bin without experiencing a bad panic attack.

    They tell me I need to go into the office and all they tell me to do is my job search and then I leave, it takes them less than 2 minutes when i can do that online. I was literally having a panic attack and I started crying in front of all the workers and other jobseekers. I felt embarrassed. I've tried so many times and asked if I can have my appointments over the phone but they won't allow it and they will suspend my payment.

    Is there any help out there, or a number I can call for help regarding my mutual obligations? I've searched every where and had no luck. Many thanks in advance!

    1 person found this helpful
  11. krainb01
    krainb01 avatar
    2 posts
    6 September 2021 in reply to Emillio
    Are you referring to DES or Centrelink when you say "they" won't let you have appointments via phone? My daughter is linked with APM Employment Services through Centrelink and suffers from severe anxiety and depression. She hasn't actually needed to do any job searching as yet though because she decided to go to TAFE instead once her initial exemption was up. We have found APM great so far and very understanding of her disability. Since she's at TAFE now she no longer has to see APM and Centrelink told me to call the Employment Services National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260 to sort that out. Have you tried this number?
    2 people found this helpful
  12. jenshe
    jenshe avatar
    1 posts
    1 October 2021 in reply to Emillio
    good morning sounds what l went through two weeks ago l asked to talk about my issues to the doctor the job provider provided over the phone l did . I went to my appointment to pick up her letter to take to my doctor l was treated terrible l had a panic attack crying and was told ring your doctor now l was bullied my son was there he comes with me . Was so unprofessional l spoke up about my issues with metal health for years and l was treated like that ...... l am reporting them l want no one else to go through that l find it hard to even leave the house at best of times l have a phone interview with centrelink today lets see what happens ..... my doctor has provided a medical cert for myself atm
    1 person found this helpful
  13. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6838 posts
    1 October 2021 in reply to jenshe
    Hi Jenshe, 

    We are really sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience, you should never be treated so poorly because of a mental health conditions (or for any reason!). 

    If you feel like talking to someone, or are feeling distressed, you can call us anytime on 1300 22 4636 and chat to one of our wonderful team. 

    Thank you for posting here today, please feel to drop back in and let us know how you are feeling. 

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
  14. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16471 posts
    2 October 2021 in reply to jenshe

    Hello Jenshe, can we ask how did the conversation with Centrelink go, to your satisfaction or not.

    Also how long did your doctor give you, sorry for the questions.


  15. Emillio
    Emillio avatar
    2 posts
    1 March 2022 in reply to krainb01
    Sorry, I was referring to the DES, I'm still asking if they can meet me half way to make things easier for myself, a week ago I had an extremely anxious time because I thought I had caught covid, but it was just a common flu. My provider asked if I was sick and I said yes, i was really crook, she then proceeded and said 'Well I booked you another appointment tomorrow morning at 11:00' I told her I was tooo sick to make it in and she was just flat out rude.They really have been nothing but rude.. I thought they would be a bit more understanding, it's just been a roller coaster.
  16. Safety
    Safety avatar
    1 posts
    25 May 2022 in reply to Emillio

    My DES is absolutely an angel. I have had an exemption from all tasks, meetings included for 2yrs. Now that exemption is up I still have to attend the office or have a phone call with him once a fortnight but he has marked me as inactive, until my ongoing issues are resolved and I'm ready to return to a max of 15hrs/week.

    My history started with long term chronic back pain from a workplace accident 5yrs ago, due to an overcompensating gait now have severe arthritis in one hip. Recently had a fall and tore a muscel in that hip and spent 10 days and hospital and now 7 days at home with visits from physio. Anxiety has been an issue for 5yrs and now suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts. Am being looked after by a marvelouse team of people from the hosp and the acute mental health team but they referred me to my GP for ongoing mental health plan, medication and medical exemption for centrelink. GP prescribed anti depressants but would not supply anyexemption or DSP documents as I was being managed by the acute mental health team. I have been advised by Services Australia that the sliding scale for a DSP is hard enough to justify for less then 1 limb lost and almost impossible for mental health. I know of people that have been on DSP for being "unemployable due to educational limitations, but I guess mental health isn't as important as an issue to qualify.

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.

Sign me up