Am I eligible for Disability Employment Services (DES)?

You’re eligible for Disability Employment Services (DES) if you:

  • have a disability, injury, mental health condition, or health condition
  • are over 14 years of age and are not yet retirement age
  • are eligible to receive an income support payment (e.g., JobSeeker Payment or disability support pension), are an NDIS participant, or are an Eligible School Leaver
  • can sustain work for at least eight hours per week
  • are not studying full-time (unless you are a school student completing year 12)
  • are not working your full employment benchmark hours
  • are an Australian resident
  • live in one of our service locations.

If you are still unsure if you qualify, please give us a call or visit one of our offices to talk about your individual circumstances and how you can access our services.

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Pamela lifts cardboard fruit boxes in the factory she works at
EPIC Assist’s Disability Employment Services (DES) program helped Pamela find a job she loves at Orora, Bundaberg.

Disability Employment Services eligibility FAQs

Still confused about whether you qualify for EPIC’s disability employment services? Our frequently asked questions (FAQs) will help answer any questions you have about your eligibility.

If you’re still unsure, please give us a call or visit your closest office.

I’m a secondary school student

Disability Employment Services (DES) for students and school leavers

If you are a secondary school student completing Year 12, we can help you through the Disability Employment Services (DES) program to get a head start in your career through a school-based traineeship or apprenticeship. You might also be eligible for our support to prepare for, find, and keep a casual or part-time job you love.

Students and recent school leavers are eligible for Disability Employment Services (DES) as an Eligible School Leaver if they:

  • are in a disability special school
  • are in a disability special class in a mainstream school
  • are in a mainstream class and attract additional funding due to a disability
  • have an NDIS plan
  • are eligible for income support payments (e.g., Disability Support Pension).

Unsure if you’re eligible?

If you are a part-time secondary school student who is over 14 years of age and not yet completing Year 12, please give us a call or visit your closest office so we can discuss your individual circumstances.

I’m a university student

If you’re studying part-time at university, we might be able to help you find and maintain a job you love.

Part-time study is usually defined as less than 75% of your course’s full-time study load. If you’re unsure whether or not your study load is eligible for Disability Employment Services (DES), please give us a call or visit your closest office so we can discuss your individual circumstances.

I’ve never worked before

You don’t need any prior work experience to be eligible for EPIC’s disability employment services. Everyone has a right to meaningful employment, and we’re committed to helping you become job-ready.

Many of our job seekers are looking for their first job. When you choose EPIC as your disability employment services provider, we work with you to develop skills, create a great resume, prepare job applications, practice interview skills, and attend job interviews. After you land a job, we continue to support you for as long as you need to feel comfortable.

“My employment consultant is very empathetic and understanding of my circumstances and condition. She helps without being pushy and I feel like a person who matters, not just a number.” – Triana, Launceston

I’m already registered with Centrelink

If you are already receiving income support payments from Centrelink, you can ask for EPIC Assist to be your Disability Employment Services (DES) provider. We can help you liaise with Centrelink if you wish, or you can get started today.

I’m not registered with Centrelink. Can I still access Disability Employment Services (DES)?

From 1 July 2021, if you are not eligible for an income support payment (e.g., Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Youth Allowance), you can still register for Disability Employment Services (DES) if you are:

  • an Eligible School Leaver – full-time, final year secondary school students with a significant disability or a young person transitioning from School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) to Disability Employment Services (DES)
  • a Special Class Client – job seekers with an acquired disability because of a notified event
  • a worker eligible for Work Assist – if you are having difficulty completing your current job requirements due to an injury, disability, or health condition
  • a Pre-Release Prisoner
  • joining Disability Employment Services (DES) to satisfy Program of Support requirements.

If you’re unsure if this is you, get in touch with us today to have a personalised discussion about your unique eligibility for DES.

I need to complete an Employment Services Assessment (ESAt). Can you help me?

Before you are deemed eligible EPIC’s disability employment services, you may be required to complete an Employment Services Assessment (ESAt).

At EPIC, we support you every step of the way and are committed to making your journey as simple as possible. We can help liaise with Centrelink and guide you through the ESAt process if you wish.

I’m at risk of losing my job

If you’re at risk of losing your job because of disability, injury or illness, you may be eligible for Work Assist. EPIC can work with you to identify any barriers in your workplace and implement tailored solutions to help you keep your job.

You do not need to be already registered for Disability Employment Services (DES) or receiving income support payments to access Work Assist.

Is there an EPIC Disability Employment Services (DES) office near me?

EPIC has disability employment services located along the east coast of Australia with offices in Queensland, New South Wales, and Tasmania. We also offer a range of services for disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in Scotland.

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