Do you need an assessment for your disability?

If you have a disability and are not sure what to do next, we may be able to support you. The first step will be to have an Employment Services Assessment (ESAT) or a Job Capacity Assessment (JCA). The results of your assessment will allow the Government to determine how many hours you are able to work each week and the best kind of supports for you.

Do you need an assessment for your disability

What is an employment services assessment (ESAT)?

The employment services assessment or ESAT helps us and Centrelink to understand the challenges you face when looking to work, your capacity to work and the best employment services program to suit you.

What is a Job Capacity Assessment (JCA)?

A Job Capacity Assessment or JCA considers medical evidence and how your condition affects your ability to work, if you’re medically eligible for the Disability Support Pension and any assistance you may need to get a job.

The Australian Government has two main ways of providing employment support to people with disability.

  • National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) - the NDIS provides support for Australians with a permanent and significant disability so they can achieve their goals and ambitions
  • Disability Employment Services (DES) connects those with disability, injury or health condition with the support they need to find the work they want.

Getting an Employment Services Assessment (ESAT) or Job Capacity Assessment (JCA)

Generally, if you require an ESAT or JCA, Centrelink will contact you to make an appointment. Your employment services provider (for example MAX) may refer you to Centrelink for an ESAT.

Most assessments are conducted at Centrelink service centres. Although it is best to confirm at the time of your appointment, you will likely need to bring the following things to your appointment:

  • Any new medical evidence you haven’t already provided to Centrelink
  • Any aids, equipment or assistive technology you use, such as hearing or visual aids
  • A relative, friend or advocate if you would like support.

During the assessment, the assessor will talk to you about any challenges you may face when working, any recent help or rehabilitation you’ve had and services to help you find and keep a job, if needed.

What happens next?

After your assessment, Centrelink or your assessor will explain to you what happens next. Depending on the result of the assessment you will be referred on to an employment program, provided information about the Disability Support Pension or referred for further assessment.

After an ESAT
You will be referred on to an employment program such as Workforce Australia, Disability Employment Services of the Community Development Program.
After a JCA
Centrelink will contact you about the outcome of your assessment and if you need to attend a further medical assessment.