Australian Government support at work

The Australian Government provides a range of programs and incentives to help people with disability find, keep and change jobs. Some of these programs are designed specifically for people with disability. Other programs are available to the wider community, but may be especially helpful to people with disability who are looking for work.

Work Based Personal Assistance

If you need help at work to eat a meal, use the toilet or take medication, you may be able to get financial help through Work Based Personal Assistance. Work Based Personal Assistance reimburses the costs of personal support services in the workplace for people who need regular help due to their disability or medical condition. For information on Work Based Personal Assistance, including eligibility, speak to your Disability Employment Services (DES) provider.

Supported Employment

Supported employment is when businesses employ mostly people with disability and support them in their job. Supported employees are usually people who work in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).

All over Australia, ADEs provide work as varied as packaging, assembly, production, recycling, screen-printing, plant nursery, garden maintenance and landscaping, cleaning services, laundry services and food services.

If you work in an ADE and would like to get a job in open employment, you may be eligible to receive assistance from a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider. This arrangement includes people who receive National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding for supported employment.

You don't have to give up your ADE job to receive DES assistance. An eligible ADE employee can receive assistance through DES for up two years to help them find a job in the open labour market.

Once a suitable job is found, a DES Provider can continue to support you in your job as long as required. You can choose whether to continue your ADE employment and continue to receive NDIS funding for supported employment.

Funding for supported employment provided by ADEs is gradually transitioning to the NDIS. NDIS planners can incorporate supported employment services into NDIS plans, at the request of each participant. For more information on NDIS supported employment, you can visit the NDIS website or call the NDIS on 1800 800 110. If you want to find an ADE or learn more about supported employment visit the BuyAbility website.

Mobility Allowance

Do you have a medical report that says you are unable to use public transport? If you need to travel to and from home for paid work, voluntary work, study or training or to look for work you may be eligible for the Mobility Allowance. The Mobility Allowance can help you cover the costs of travelling for work-related activities. For more information on the Mobility Allowance, speak to your DES provider, visit the Department of Human Services website, or call 13 27 17.

Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program

If you need financial support to move so you can get a job, the Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job program may be able to help you. This program can reimburse relocation costs for eligible people with disability, up to set limits. For more information, speak to your DES provider, visit the Department of Jobs and Small Business website or call 1800 805 260.

Job Seeker Classification Instrument and Employment Services Assessment

If you are registered with Centrelink or are seeking assistance from a DES provider and are looking for work, you may need an assessment to help work out the services and support that best meet your needs. These assessments are called the Job Seeker Classification Instrument and the Employment Services Assessment. For more information, speak to a DES provider or visit the Department of Human Services website.

Work Assist

If you are having trouble fulfilling the essential requirements of your job due to an injury, disability or health condition, you can seek Work Assist support from a Disability Employment Services (DES) provider. A DES provider can work with you and your employer or just you, to help keep you in a job. Assistance available can include:

  • Advice about job redesign
  • A comprehensive workplace assessment
  • Free workplace modifications and/or special equipment
  • Support in the workplace to help manage the impact of injury, disability or health condition
  • Interventions such as occupational therapy, pain management, physiotherapy and psychological counselling.

A DES provider may also link you with other available services, such as assistance offered by JobAccess.

The help is provided at no cost to you or your employer. For more information call the JobAccess advice line on 1800 464 800 or contact a DES provider. To find a DES provider near you, go to our list of DES providers

Fair Work Commission and Fair Work Ombudsman

The Fair Work Commission may be able to help you if you are being treated unfairly in the workplace because of your disability. The Fair Work Commission can help with disputes that relate to working conditions, workplace bullying and unfair dismissals. For more information, visit the Fair Work Commission website or call 1300 799 675.

If you have issues that relate to your rate of pay, your leave or workplace entitlements, the Fair Work Ombudsman may be able to help you. For more information, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website or call 13 13 94.

New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS)

If you want to start and run a new small business, you may be eligible to participate in NEIS. NEIS can help you become a self-employed business owner. NEIS providers offer support to turn a good idea into a viable business through accredited small business training, income support (if eligible) and business mentoring in your business’ first year. For more information, visit the Department of Jobs and Small Business website or call 13 62 68.

National Work Experience Programme (NWEP)

You may be interested in doing paid or unpaid work experience to help you gain on-the-job skills and confidence. Work experience can help you test which types of jobs you might enjoy and allows you to show an employer your capabilities and positive attitude. For more information, speak to your DES provider or visit the National Work Experience Program.

Community Development Programme (CDP)

The CDP helps people in remote Australia get ready for work and find jobs. For more information on CDP, speak to your Disability Employment Services (DES) provider or visit the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website. You can search for a CDP provider in your local area on the jobactive website.

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Need more help?

Contact a JobAccess Adviser by phoning 1800 464 800 or fill out our enquiry form.