Over the past two years Social Security Rights Victoria (SSRV) have been working on our DSP Help Project. We’ve been using human-centred design and technology to build a resource applicants, support workers, health workers and others can use to simplify accessing the Disability Support Pension (DSP). In March 2022 we wound up the project. We’d like to take a moment to talk about our achievements and the future of DSP Help, notably in terms of how this can assist financial counsellors and their clients.
What did we do?
The core of the DSP Help Project was the online resource: dsphelp.org.au. Designed with the needs of DSP applicants and those supporting them in mind, DSP Help provides information and guidance to help navigate the DSP application and appeals processes. The resource includes:
- Information about DSP eligibility and supporting medical evidence.
- A medical evidence “chatbot” applicants can use to generate a customised evidence kit they can take to their doctors when seeking a letter or report in support of their application.
- Information about appealing a rejected application.
- Resources for doctors and other health workers who may be producing medical evidence for applicants.
- Links to get further help from SSRV where needed.
The resource was supported by and complements SSRV’s legal practice. Some people need more assistance than a website can offer, and the DSP Help Project was able to assist them by resourcing a dedicated community lawyer to help provide advice and representation for people appealing DSP rejections.
So what did we achieve? In the two years we ran the DSP Help Project:
- More than 30,000 people made use of the DSP Help website.
- Almost 3,500 people used the medical evidence chatbot, and more than 2,000 created customised medical evidence kits to support their application or appeal.
- 191 legal services were delivered to individuals, including 18 representations at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
- Community Legal Education was delivered to almost 300 community, support and other workers helping people with the DSP.
Stay tuned for the DSP Help Project Year Two report which is currently being finalised.
What’s in store for the future?
While the project may have come to an end, DSP Help and SSRV’s work in this space has not. The DSP Help website will remain online for the foreseeable future, so please, if you or someone you support needs information about the DSP please visit dsphelp.org.au.
The DSP will likely remain one of the biggest reasons people get in touch with us and our lawyers will continue to provide advice and casework to people appealing rejected applications. If you or someone you support needs assistance, please contact us.
On top of that, Dermott Williams – the community lawyer leading the DSP Help Project over the last two years – has now taken up a new role with SSRV’s Integrated Services Project. She’ll be working with Graeme Parsons to help strengthen the link between legal and financial counselling services, bringing better outcomes to social security recipients.
Get in Touch
SSRV is a state-wide community legal centres that provide specialist legal advice and assistance regarding Centrelink matters. DSP Help is part of the range of services offered by SSRV, including:
Legal Assistance Line (for individuals and carers): 0419 793 652 or 03 9481 0355
Worker Help Line (for support workers and health professionals): 0429 450 346 or 03 9481 0655
Or visit our websites: