Understanding Disability Employment Services (DES) Eligibility

Have you ever wondered about Disability Employment Services (DES) eligibility? Because disabilities include a wide range of injuries, illnesses and health conditions, it can be hard to know if you are eligible for DES. Learn more about DES eligibility and how WISE can help you find meaningful employment, below.

What is Disability Employment Services (DES)?

Disability Employment Services (DES) is a government program designed to support people living with a disability, illness, health condition or injury with finding and maintaining employment.

To be eligible for Disability Employment Services (DES), you must:

  1. Have a medically diagnosed disability, health condition or injury
  2. Receive an income support payment or disability support pension from Centrelink (as from 1 July 2021)
  3. Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  4. Not be studying full time
  5. Live in VIC, NSW, QLD, SA, TAS or NT
  6. Be assessed as having capacity to work less than 30 work hours per week (as from 1 July 2021)

Please read more about Disability Employment Services (DES) eligibility here.

What counts as a disability for DES?

When is come to Disability Employment Services (DES) eligibility, there are a wide range of disabilities which qualify. These include physical, intellectual, sensory, psychological, learning, medical and neurological disabilities, along with diseases, injuries, health conditions and illnesses.

You likely qualify for DES if your disability, injury, health condition or illness impacts your daily life and affects your ability to find and maintain work. In most cases, the only requirement is to obtain a medical diagnosis or an ESA (Employment Services Assessment), to verify your disability, injury or health condition.

Some disabilities that are likely to be eligible, include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic Illnesses
  • Epilepsy
  • Diseases such as cancer
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 1
  • Hearing loss
  • Blindness
  • Injuries (short and long term)
  • Several more

Find a full guide of recognised disabilities, health conditions, injuries and illnesses here.

How does WISE help people with a disability find work?

After registering your interest as a job seeker, a WISE team member will be in contact with you to set-up your first appointment with your local office. During this meeting, we will discuss you your employment goals, your skills and your experience. Once we create your tailored job plan, our consultants will start searching for suitable employment.

WISE helps you through every step of your employment journey, including resume preparation and cover letter writing. Our team coaches you through interviews and speak to employers on your behalf. We can even organise support, such as an Auslan interpreter in job interviews when needed.

After you gain employment, WISE can:

  • Assist you with your contract
  • Ensure you have the necessary information to start your new position
  • Provide additional training when required
  • Workplace assessments to ensure you have the right tools and set-up to succeed in your employment
  • Equipment and clothing you need to perform your new role
  • Education for your employers and colleagues
  • Ongoing support for both you and your employer, providing a safe space for you to raise any concerns

We work closely with inclusive and supportive employers. These employers are open to flexible work arrangements for employees with mental illness or other disabilities, as long as the employee shows commitment and deliver agreed-upon outcomes related to the job.

You can see examples of how we helped our job seekers find meaningful employment by reading some of our job seeker success stories.

Have a look at the job seeker programs and services we offer.

Signing up as a WISE job seeker who has a disability                      

The easiest way to sign up with WISE DES services is by registering your interest via online job seeker form. After submission, the WISE customer service team will be in contact within two working days to discuss your eligibility and start you on your employment journey.

If you have further questions, you can reach out to your local WISE office either by phone or email. Our expert consultants will provide you with information around your eligibility for Disability Employment Services, and help you sign up to our services. Contact your local WISE office, today.

We look forward to helping you find meaningful employment.

Don’t have a disability, illness or injury and looking for work?

If you don’t have a disability, injury or health condition, we may be able to help you via Workforce Australia employment services. Read all about Workforce Australia employment services. 


Stay up to date with the latest WISE Employment news and information.

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Stay up to date with the latest WISE Employment news and information.