Social Security Rights Victoria’s (SSRV) Disability Support Pension Toolkit.

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SSRV recently launched its Disability Support Pension (DSP) Toolkit, a resource for medical practitioners, social and community workers who want to help their clients obtain medical evidence for their DSP application.

SSRV developed the DSP Toolkit as a resource which is accompanied with a training session conducted by SSRV staff. The training aims to educate medical practitioners, social workers and community workers about the evidence required for a successful DSP claim. The training sessions share SSRV’s knowledge of social security law, navigating the DSP claim process, the onus placed on evidence in DSP matters and how to use the DSP Toolkit.

The DSP Toolkit contains:

  • overview of DSP eligibility requirements,
  • instructions on how to use pro-forma reports,
  • examples of sample letters to clients and letters to caseworkers,
  • examples of medical report templates for severe, moderate and mild disabilities, and
  • an explanation of program of support requirements.

The DSP Toolkit was developed by John Berrill, Principal at Berrill and Watson Lawyers, as a pro bono project for SSRV. The DSP Toolkit was developed in consultation with a working group comprising members from a range of disability, legal, medical, community and academic organisations.

John Berrill smiling with SSRV’s DSP Toolkit.

Since its launch on 21 November 2018, SSRV has provided several training sessions to medical practitioners, disability organisations and community workers. The DSP Toolkit has been widely supported by the community sector, disability organisations and health partners for its accessibility and its ability to break down and simplify the complex DSP claim process.

SSRV and John Berrill have told us that since the launch there have been several people with disabilities who have been granted DSP after using the Toolkit. They had previously struggled with the DSP claim process, lodging several unsuccessful claims over the past few years which were knocked back.

The DSP Toolkit has assisted people with severe disabilities to gather evidence and be granted DSP.  John Berrill, told us that he “was assisting a gentleman with a Disability Support Pension matter and it became clear that providing him with a template report to take to his doctor to complete would be very useful. The doctor completed the form and the gentleman submitted it with his application at a Centrelink office. The Centrelink Officer who took the forms was quite negative about the report, saying that it was ‘self-serving’. However, with that medical evidence, the Disability Support Pension application was successful.”

The DSP Toolkit is making a difference to the lives of people who are very vulnerable as it continues to assist people to successfully lodge claims for DSP while also sharing expert knowledge of social security law with the medical profession and other support workers.

The DSP Toolkit will soon be available on SSRV’s website www.ssrv.org.au .

If you are a Victorian medical practitioner, social worker or community organisation and are interested in receiving training from SSRV or in relation to the DSP Toolkit please contact info@ssrv.org.au or call (03) 9481 0299.

Inquiries from workers and organisations outside of Victoria will be directed to the specialist social security/welfare rights service/s in that state or territory.