Tribunal: Member I Fletcher
The Department of Human Services (the Department) refused the applicant’s disability support pension (DSP) application. The applicant sought a review of this decision on the basis that she had permanent impairments that affected her continuing capacity to work or train. The AAT affirmed the decision under review.
The issues for determination were whether, as at the date of the claim, the applicant:
had a physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment for the purposes of the Social Security Act 1991 (the Act)
if so, whether the applicant had an impairment rating of at least 20 points under the impairment tables
if so, whether the applicant had a continuing inability to work for at least 15 hours per week in the next two years.
The Department accepted the applicant had conditions for the purposes of the Act, but stated that those conditions did not reach the required 20 points under the impairment tables at the time of their claim (the qualification period).
When the AAT assessed the applicant’s capacity for work or training, one factor was evidence that the applicant was engaged as a full-time student during the qualification period. The applicant’s ability to undertake a university degree was compelling evidence that her impairments would not prevent her from work or training in the next two years.
The AAT found that the applicant’s conditions did not attract 20 points under the impairment tables during the qualification period, nor did she have a continuing inability to work. Therefore, she did not qualify for the DSP.
Read the full decision.