If you live with a diagnosed health condition, injury, illness or disability you could be eligible for extra employment support through the National Disability Employment Service (DES).
If you are eligible for the Disability Employment Service you get to choose which DES provider you use.
It is your right to choose your DES provider and change providers if you wish. This right is protected by the National Standards for Disability Services.
You can make an informed choice by researching the providers in your area. Below are some tips on how to assess the suitability of DES providers. Finding a job has a big impact on your life and if you choose a provider that does not suit your unique needs and values you as an individual, then you are potentially missing out on a life-changing opportunity!
Things to consider when choosing a Disability Employment Service provider:
Find out who the Disability Employment Service providers are in your area
All DES providers are contracted by the Federal Government of Australia. The government lists all providers for your area on the jobsearch website.
You can access a list of local providers by visiting the ‘Find a Provider’ page at jobsearch.
Search their name and see the results
Type the name of your potential provider into an internet search engine. Not only will you be able to look through their website, you can also find insights, such as community involvement, press coverage, reviews or awards for innovative programs.
Ask around for word of mouth referrals
Ask around your local and community networks and get trusted feedback from the personal experiences of local people. If a past customer is satisfied with the service and support they’ve received from a DES provider – and is a positive advocate – you can feel more confident in the choices you make.
Request an in-person meeting
Asking to meet with a representative from the DES provider will give you a good insight into how the organisation operates. You will be able to see if they are they professional, timely and supportive. Most providers tend to specialise in certain areas but this may not be evident on their promotional material or website. Find out if they do specialise and if that suits your circumstances. They might have a focus on education but you are after employment, or they might focus on youth but you are older. It can be worth asking how the team at that site is structured, the roles of team members, and their qualifications.
Try a trial period
Give your provider a trial period, for example, maybe six months or even a year. This way you can get a good feel for the suitability and sustainability of their service. You can see if their service meets your needs, makes you feel comfortable and is helping you work towards your employment goals.
How to change DES providers
Remember – you get to choose your DES provider. If you would like to change provider, call the National DES Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260. You can also tell your current DES consultant that you wish to change and they can help to facilitate a transfer to your newly chosen provider.