Thinking about work

Disability Employment Services (DES) offers specialist employment assistance to help people with disability, injury or health conditions, find and retain suitable employment in the open labour market. DES can also offer support to their employers.

There are two parts to Disability Employment Services:

  • Disability Management Services - they help job seekers with disability, injury or health conditions, find a job. They can also provide occasional support in the workplace.
  • Employment Support Services - they help job seekers with permanent disability to find a job if they need regular, ongoing support in the workplace.

For help finding and connecting with a DES, visit the Job Access webpage  or talk to your local Centrelink representative.

If you are thinking about starting a business, talk to your local Centrelink representative about New Business Assistance with New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) or visit the Department of Jobs and Small Business, self-employment webpage

If you are not quite ready to look for work but want to learn more about what work might be right for you

Planning to work can feel like a big step. Your LAC, NDIA planner or Support Coordinator can help you think about some steps towards working. For example, you might use a part of your NDIS funding to do some work experience or volunteer work to find out what you enjoy and what skills you have.

For help to start thinking about work, you can use the ‘Let’s talk about work’ booklet.

Getting ready to discuss employment

Your planning meeting or plan review meeting is between you, your LAC or NDIA planner, and your nominated family member or carer if you want them there.

This meeting is a chance to talk about work and any new or existing employment goals. It is also a good opportunity to talk about any barriers you have faced with work or looking for work, or why you think you have not been able to find work in the past.

Your LAC or NDIA planner will discuss your situation and may ask the following types of questions:

  • If you haven’t thought about getting a job, can you tell us why?
  • Do you have any specific work skills, qualifications or work experience?
  • Have you done any courses?
  • What level of education have you completed?
  • Do you look after your own money?

If, as a result of the impact your disability, you need a support worker in your workplace, talk to your Local Area Coordinator or Support Coordinator because NDIS plan funds may be available to support you.

To help you prepare for your planning conversation, you can use the ‘Let’s talk about work’ booklet.

Exploring your employment goals

One of our key goals is to support you to achieve more independence, and greater social and economic participation. This is why we encourage you to include your employment goals in your NDIS plan.

Setting an employment goal

Here are some employment goal examples and how NDIS participants can use their funding to help achieve them.

Adrian’s goal: “I want to get a part-time job by the end of the year.”

Adrian wanted a job but was not sure if he was ready, or what an employer might expect of him. Adrian decided he would like to start work at an ADE to help him learn more about his skills and working. Down the track, Adrian might like to try something new. An ADE might be the right place for him to learn about his skills and interests.

Maevis’ goal: “I’d like to explore what jobs might best suit me and find work.

Maevis used some SLES funding in her NDIS plan to gain supported work experience in a supermarket. She soon discovered she loved working in the bakery section. Her support worker is developing her skills to work more independently. When Maevis is ready, she will start looking for work with the help of DES.

Mohammed’s goal: “I want to do some volunteer work with animals.”

Mohammed used some of his Core Supports budget to pay for a support worker to assist him in his volunteer duties at a locat Vet. The Vet owner said Mohammed is now getting paid work at the Vet one day a week and would like to increase it to two days.

Lachlan’s goal: “I want to get a new job.”

Lachlan has worked three days a week at a café for the past two years but he wants to work full-time and learn new skills. Lachlan and his LAC had a great conversation about how he works independently with minimal support but he might need some assistance to develop his skills further. His LAC is helping Lachlan to identify the supports he needs to take the next step.

For more examples of employment goals and help setting your own goals, you can use the ‘Let’s talk about work’ booklet.

'Let's talk about work' booklet

The 'Let's talk about work' booklet can help you get ready for your conversation about work, record key information about your work capacity, strengths, barriers and challenges, previous experience in employment or transferable skills. 

This page current as of
6 November 2019