Disability Employment Services (DES)

We believe that everyone should have access to the right job for them. That’s why with AimBig Employment, we’re here to make a bigger difference in your life.

If you have an injury, disability, illness or mental health condition, our highly specialised and experienced Job Coaches are here for you and committed to delivering you a bigger, brighter future by connecting you to a job that is right for you.

The steps to working together

While everyone's journey is unique, here’s what you can expect with AimBig Employment.

If you are referred from Centrelink, we will contact you to arrange your first appointment. We’ll send you the address of where to meet and connect you with an experienced Job Coach.

To make it simple we will also send you a cheat sheet on what your journey with us may look like, so you are in the driver’s seat.

We’ll remind you about the first meeting with a text or call.

Make an enquiry

If you have contacted us directly, there are some eligibility criteria you will need to meet:

  1. You’re an Australian resident aged between 14 to 65
  2. You have a disability, injury or health condition
  3. You’re receiving an income support payment, or disability support pension, are an NDIS participant, or an Eligible School Leaver (include link to elaborate on ESLs)
  4. You’re able to work between 8 and 30 hours per week
  5. You’re not studying full time (unless an Eligible School Leaver)
  6. You are not already working at or above your assessed work capacity.

Don’t worry we can help you with the registration process, pick up the phone or fill out our enquiry form.

Make an enquiry

Your first meeting with us will usually be in-person however, in some cases it may have to be virtual. When we do say ‘Hi’, here’s what you can expect:

  1. You will meet your Job Coach and get to know a bit about each other
  2. Your Job Coach will chat with you about your passions and talents
  3. We will make sure you are aware of your rights and obligations
  4. At AimBig, we’ll review any assessments provided by Centrelink
  5. This meeting is to get to really understand you, and where you are on your job search journey. That way, at AimBig, we can go the extra mile to find work that is right for you.

What to bring with you. Any paperwork from Centrelink, a past resume if you have one, your ideas and enthusiasm

Make an enquiry

The next step is the most exciting one and generally starts at your first meeting. It’s developing your own, unique Job Plan. Once complete, we’ll meet up regularly to give you the support you need. Here’s how we help you:

  • Firstly, we create your Job Plan. It’s just for you to get you job-ready. It may involve some of our innovative wellbeing programs or pre-employment programs, all design to build your work readiness and determine your unique pathway to employment.
  • We will work with you to design a suitable Resume
  • Provide assistance and coaching to help you with interview techniques
  • Organise any training that you may require to get you job-ready. In some cases, this may mean connecting you to community supports to increase your life skills
  • We also work with you on techniques to manage functional and other barriers you might face, that might include connecting you to community supports
  • If there are any financial barriers to you finding work, we help identify potential funding options. That could be assisting with transport costs or paying for a uniform or equipment. Let us help remove the money worries so you can focus on your next job.
Make an enquiry

Now you have your Job Plan, we want to give you every opportunity to find the right job and nail it. Here’s how we’ll support you:

  • We’ll assist you in checking out job opportunities you’re interested in and help you with where else to look
  • With our strong connection to local, disability friendly employers, we can speak to them directly about job openings for you
  • When it comes to your interview for a job posting, we’ll be right there to support you
  • Sometimes a job needs to be modified to suit you – we call that job carving. It might mean ensuring the job does not have too much standing time or changing of the hours of work. At the end of the day, it’s all about making it work for you.
Make an enquiry

Well done. You’ve got the job. It’s now that more support may be just what you need. The good news is we’re here to provide that support for you, so that you thrive in your new role. Here’s how we continue to help:

  • With your new job, some financial support may be the first thing you need. So, we’re for you, whether you need to purchase a new uniform, or a device, such as a phone, to stay in contact with your employer
  • Starting a new job can sometimes be a challenge. You can reach out to us if you need on the job training, or if there is a need to chat with your employer about making workplace modifications
  • With your job, you will now be earning an income. Part of your obligations will involve some reporting of this, don’t worry we will help you through this process.
Make an enquiry

Now you have a job, we’re on hand to help you keep it. Here’s how:

  • Our support for you normally covers your first year in the job. We’ll check in with you regularly to see how you’re doing
  • Sometimes our support will continue for longer, and we’ll chat to you and your employer about what further assistance you may need.
Make an enquiry

How we'll work together

With AimBig Employment, we're here to support you by:

  • Understanding you and what you’re looking for
  • Providing meaningful training and assistance
  • Knowing what’s available in your local area
  • Getting you work-ready
  • Helping you find work and making sure it's the right job for you

Choose a bigger future with AimBig

Because at AimBig Employment, our goal is to make a bigger difference in your life by finding the job that’s right for you.

Over 24 years

When you choose AimBig, you are part of the Arriba Group, which has over 24 years of experience supporting people with disabilities.

Thousands placed

Our fresh and engaging approach to getting you job-ready has seen us place thousands of people into jobs they really enjoy.


With AimBig Employment, you’ll work with highly specialised and experienced coaches through the Arriba Group, an Australia-wide team that includes Allied Health professionals.


You’ll also benefit from innovative bespoke programs designed to enhance your skills, get you job-ready and support you in employment.


Plus, you can access our extensive connection to local disability friendly employers.

Kane, AimBig Employment Participant

I am really glad I found AimBig Employment. Having someone on my side who took an interest and helped me felt good and helped me realise that I could be successful and happy.

Brittany, AimBig Employment Participant

Working with Adrian has brought out my confidence. I’m good at garden maintenance and it’s something I can see myself doing as a career. I love being outside in a calm environment. I’m really thankful that AimBig Employment helped me to find a job that suited my circumstances and abilities.

Anita, AimBig Employment Participant

I absolutely love getting experience in an area that I am truly passionate about. I love that everyone is so supportive of my mental health and well-being I am so grateful to have the help and support of AimBig Employment and Karen Sheldon Group to move towards my dreams!

Debbie, AimBig Employment Participant

Having the support of AimBig Employment has been a huge help to me. I feel like life is looking up! I’m very thankful for the support from AimBig Employment and Cousins Motor Inn for helping me through this difficult time. It’s nice to know people are and gave someone like me a go.

Robin, AimBig Employment Participant

I am very happy that AimBig Employment were able to help me move in the right direction. I definitely recommend people get in touch if they have a disability and need some assistance.


Get in touch with AimBig and we will contact you.


We’d love to hear about your experience with us.


We are never too far with offices Australia-wide.


What is a Disability Employment Services (DES) Provider?

Disability Employment Services (DES) are a suite of employment services to people with disability, injury or health conditions who are looking for ongoing employment in the open labour market.

Participating in DES also satisfies mutual obligation requirements for people on some types of income support who are required to actively look for work in order to receive their payments.

DES also assists in boosting the productive capacity of the workforce, addressing skills shortages and better meeting the needs of employers. Emphasis is placed on building local linkages with employers and enhancing employer engagement to meet employer needs and achieve sustainable employment outcomes for participants.

There are two separate programs within DES:

  • DES-Disability Management Service (DMS) - provides services to eligible job seekers with disability, injury or health condition who need assistance to find a job and occasional support in the workplace to keep a job.
  • DES-Employment Support Service (ESS) - provides assistance to eligible job seekers with permanent disability to find a job and who need regular, ongoing support in the workplace to keep a job. AimBig offer both programs in most locations.
Can I Access DES if I am Not Eligible?

DES eligibility is generally determined by the nature of a job seeker's disability and the need for and intensity of ongoing support (if required), as assessed through an Employment Services Assessment (ESAt) or Job Capacity Assessment (JCA). The assessment is conducted by a Services Australia assessor and is used to determine eligibility for DES.

An ESAt provides a comprehensive work capacity assessment for people with disability and/or other potentially serious barriers to work. ESAts recommend the most appropriate employment services assistance and support interventions based on an assessment of a job seekers barriers to finding and maintaining employment, and work capacity hour bandwidths.

JCAs provide a similar level of assessment for employment programs, but are primarily used to inform decisions about assess to the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

For more information on Employment Services Assessments go to the Services Australia website.

Unfortunately, you can’t access Disability Employment Services if you are not eligible.

What is the role of a DES Provider?

Disability Employment Services (DES) providers are experts at connecting people with disability to prospective employers. DES providers work directly with people with disability to help them become ‘job ready’. DES providers not only source eligible candidates for jobs. They can offer advice on promoting job vacancies, shortlisting candidates and interviewing people with disability. They can also provide guidance on disability awareness in the workplace, available financial support, flexible workplace arrangements and disability legislation. Jobaccess.gov.au – DES Providers

How to Access DES?

Jobseekers can access DES either through referral by Services Australia —generally for those receiving Centrelink payments who have Mutual Obligation or Compulsory Participation Requirements — or by directly registering with a DES provider of their choice like AimBig. Jobaccess.gov.au – Eligibility.

How to Change Disability Employment Services?

The Disability Employment Services (DES) program gives participants flexibility and choice in the services that they receive and how they are to receive them. If a participant is unhappy with the services they are receiving, they can change their provider at any time by calling the National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.

Participants can change their provider five times, no questions asked, during their time in the program. After these transfers, the participant can still request a transfer but that request will be subject to an assessment. Jobaccess.gov.au – DES Participant Choice

Is DES Accessible for School Leavers?

For people with disability that are leaving school, transferring into Disability Employment Services is an option. Eligible school leavers are able to receive assistance from AimBig Employment to find and keep a job while they are studying full time.

If the person with disability is not ready to undertake employment or has large barriers to employment, the School Leaver Employment Support (SLES) scheme may be better suited. This is a service for people with significant disabilities to support the transition from school to employment.

What are mutual obligations?

Mutual obligation requirements are tasks and activities you agree to do, to help you find a job. This can include looking for work, attending appointments with your DES provider, reporting any income and more. If you do not uphold your mutual obligations, you are at risk of suspensions, demerits or financial penalties. You can find out more about your mutual obligations in your job plan, or here.

Do I need an Assessment from Centrelink?

Yes. The assessment is called an ESAt (Employment Services Assessment) which will be conducted by Centrelink to verify that you have a medical condition/injury/disability. This will determine that you are eligible for Disability Employment Services (DES).

What is a Disability Assessment?

A Disability Medical Assessment can be completed by a government-contracted Doctor, Medical Practitioner or Clinical Psychologist to help Centrelink determine if you meet the medical rules for the Disability Support Pension. This assessment is of no cost to you, and you will be made aware if you need to undertake this assessment. You can read more on this here.

What is a Job Plan?

A job plan is what your job coach will set up with to identify how you will work together with them to find a job. This can include activities the participant will do and the support your job coach will provide to ensure you get a job.

What do I do if I’ve missed an appointment?

If you miss an appointment, your income support payment may be stopped, and depending on the circumstances, may also be reduced. If you can't make your appointment, we advise that you reschedule with your job coach or reach out to us to assist.

What is the role of my job coach?

A job coach will guide you in the right direction and assist you in finding work. Right from the outset, your job coach will:

  1. Explain AimBig Employment’s services, resources and how you can receive them.
  2. Explain your rights and obligations as a job seeker.
  3. Ensure you are provided with the necessary DES program documents.
What does ongoing support look like?

After you’ve maintained employment for 52 weeks, we’ll work with you and your employer to determine the level of ongoing support you require, with regular contact enabling us to assess the additional support you may need to work independently.

What is the difference between SLES and DES?

SLES and DES are similar government schemes as they both work to support people who are leaving school into the workforce that are living with disability. 

The key differences are:

  1. Disability: SLES is designed to support school leavers with significant disability into employment. 
  2. Readiness for work: Participants that are in the SLES program may need to undertake preparation to build independent living and vocational skill, as well as the aspiration to work. DES participants are self-motivated and have the skills to look for and maintain regular employment.

There is a great fact sheet if you are looking for more information here.