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Disability Support Pension and overseas travel

Are you on Disability Support Pension and want to travel overseas?

You can only be paid Disability Support Pension while you are overseas for up to 28 days in any 12 month period.

Want to travel longer?

  • You should ask Centrelink to suspend your DSP payments if you will be overseas for longer than 28 days. If your payments are suspended you will not be paid while you are overseas, but when you return to Australia your payments should start again.
  • If your DSP is cancelled while you are overseas you will need to reapply for DSP when you return to Australia. New rules that started in 2012 make it harder to get DSP. You might not get DSP again.
  • In limited circumstances you can apply for and then be paid DSP indefinitely (forever) if you go to live overseas. If you apply for indefinite payment, Centrelink will ask you to have a medical review. There is a risk that Centrelink will decide you no longer qualify for DSP, especially if you started getting DSP before 2012. Get legal advice before applying for indefinite payment of your DSP overseas.

Family crisis overseas?

  • If you have already been paid DSP for 28 days of overseas travel in a 12 month period but need to go overseas again because of an acute family crisis you may be able to be paid DSP overseas for another four weeks. You must check with Centrelink before you go overseas to see if you qualify. For example, you may qualify if you need to go overseas to visit a critically ill family member or for the funeral of a family member. Centrelink may ask for evidence, such as a letter from your relative’s doctor or a death certificate.
  • These rules also apply if you need to go overseas for medical treatment that is not available in Australia or for some legal proceedings. Remember: Make sure you tell Centrelink when you are leaving Australia and when you get back.

Need more help?

Legal Aid NSW provides free legal advice and assistance about Centrelink problems. To make an appointment call:

  • Central Sydney 9219 5790
  • Campbelltown 4628 2922
  • Coffs Harbour 6651 7899
  • Dubbo 6885 4233
  • Fairfield 9727 3777
  • Gosford 4324 5611
  • Lismore 6621 2082
  • Liverpool 9601 1200
  • Newcastle 4929 5482
  • Nowra 4422 4351
  • Parramatta 9891 1600
  • Penrith 4732 3077
  • Port Macquarie 5525 1600
  • Wagga Wagga 6921 6588
  • Wollongong 4228 8299

Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) provides free interpreters if you do not speak English. TIS can help you talk to us in your language. Call TIS on

131 450. If you are hearing or speech impaired, you can contact us by

calling the National Relay Service (NRS) on: 1300 888 529 or TTY 1300 889 529.


This information is intended as a general guide to the law. It should not be relied on as legal advice and it is recommended that you talk to a lawyer about your particular situation.

At the time of updating, the information shown is correct but may be subject to change. If you need more help, contact LawAccess on 1300 888 529.

A print copy of this brochure may be ordered online.

May 2015