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9.8.7 Special Rate Disability Pension and further education
Please refer to section 2.6 of the Rehabilitation Policy Library for detailed information about eligibility for Special Rate Disability Pension (SRDP).
There may be instances where a person who is eligible for SRDP requests assistance with undertaking tertiary studies and provides medical evidence from their treating health professional supporting their request, on the basis that the study will promote their wellbeing. However, as a general rule, funding for tertiary studies should not be provided under a psychosocial rehabilitation plan. This is because generally, study is regarded as an activity which will assist a person to pursue a vocational rehabilitation goal of securing suitable and sustainable employment. Implicit in this is that a person seeking assistance under a vocational rehabilitation plan has the capacity to undertake remunerative work of more than 10 hours per week, or is likely to develop that capacity over time.
Therefore, if the treating health professional of a person who is receiving SRDP recommends that they pursue tertiary studies, but states that they remain totally incapacitated for work, then the person will not receive any financial assistance towards their studies and will need to meet all of these costs themselves. In this scenario the person would remain SRDP eligible, based on evidence from the treating health professional.
The desire to undertake tertiary study does not necessarily indicate that a person who is SRDP eligible has the ability to undertake remunerative work. However, if the person has been assessed by a Rehabilitation Provider as having the ability to undertake tertiary studies, then this may be indicative of an ability to undertake remunerative work. The person's ability to undertake remunerative work of more than 10 hours per week should therefore be assessed by the Rehabilitation Provider as well, in order to confirm whether the person continues to be eligible for SRDP.