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Disability Maintenance Instrument: Frequently Asked Questions

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The Score

How is the DMI scored?

In total, there are 126 questions (assessment items) in the DMI. When all of these questions have had ratings selected, a total 'score' is automatically generated using a computer program – there is no manual processing or third-party interpretation.

How does the computer program do it? It's a complex mathematical system, that's based on giving the domains and each question a certain weighting. They are weighted differently in recognition that some items will have a greater impact on employment assistance than others. These weightings are kept confidential so that the system is fair for all business services.

This final score is designed to reflect the level of assistance a client requires – the higher the score, the greater the level of assistance required. The final score is not visible to business services.

How do DMI scores impact on funding?

The DMI score directly determines the amount of funding a business service receives, so it's vitally important that the DMI is completed correctly.

The final DMI score translates into one of four pre-determined funding levels – and this is what the business service will receive to support the client in maintaining their employment. Level 1 is for the lowest scores, and therefore is the lowest funding level; Level 4 is for the highest scores, and therefore is the highest funding level.

All personnel in the organisation need to understand the importance of the DMI. Everyone may have some involvement in collecting evidence for the DMI – and the evidence will ultimately determine the ratings selected, and the final DMI score. There is no room for 'guess work'.

How does the DMI score impact on the client?

The DMI score should not impact on the client at all. If the DMI has been completed correctly, the final score will accurately reflect the level of support the client needs to maintain employment – and therefore translate into an appropriate funding level to maintain that support.

If the amount of funding received for a client is not enough to maintain the required level of support, there could be two issues.

What if I don't agree with the final score?

When the DMI has been submitted, the final score is exactly as it says – final. Scores cannot be changed or manipulated after the DMI has been submitted to FaCSIA. That's why it's important to collect good evidence, and double-check the ratings you select.

If you don't agree with the final score, you should first go back and look at the evidence. The evidence should have directly determined an appropriate final score. If not, there may be issues with your evidence collection – and a review of your systems may be required.

Remember, the DMI score is automatically generated. It reflects the information that's been fed into it.

What if a client's support needs change after their DMI score is determined?

If a client's support needs change significantly three months or more after their DMI was completed, you can contact FaCSIA and request a DMI reassessment. You must provide evidence to support the need for a reassessment. It must show that the client has experienced significant change which has directly affected work performance or hours of work and the level of support required. Examples include changes in:

For more detailed information about the evidence required for reassessments, in these circumstances see the DMI Reassessment Triggers Table.

DMI Reassessment Triggers Table
Circumstance Details Evidence required
Change in worker's health status Significant change in the worker's health status, stamina or physical capacity affecting work performance or hours of work that results in changes support requirements.
  • Documentation from an independent health professional demonstrating the onset of the health condition and describing the medium or long term impact on attendance and/or ability to continue work at the required standard, for example, a medical certificate.
Change in worker's disability Profound change in disability affecting work performance or hours of work that results in changed support requirements.
  • Documentation from an independent health professional demonstrating the change in disability, for example, a medical certificate.
  • Documented observations ... demonstrating impact on work performance and support requirements.
Onset of new episodic symptoms Onset of episodic symptoms not previously factored into DMI assessment, with a pronounced impact on work performance or hours of work, that results in changed support requirements.
  • Documentation from a health professional, for example, a medical certificate.
  • Documented observations ... demonstrating the appearance of symptoms in the work place.
  • These observations should indicate that the symptoms were not accounted for in the previous DMI assessment.
  • Documented observations demonstrating the impact of the symptoms on the level of maintenance support required since the previous DMI reassessment.
Change in personal circumstances Significant change in personal circumstances affecting work performance or hours of work resulting in changed support requirements.
  • Self reported information from the worker, and/or a communication from a carer, advocate or family member, ... is preferable.
  • Documented observations ... that demonstrate the impact on work and subsequent impact on support requirements.
  • These observations should indicate that the support was not accounted for in the previous DMI assessment.
  • Documented observations demonstrating the impact of these symptoms on the level of maintenance support required since any previous DMI reassessment.
Onset of behavioural problems Onset of behavioural problems or significant escalation in behavioural issues affecting work performance or hours of work resulting in changed support requirements.
  • Documented observations ... demonstrating the occurence of symptoms in the workplace.
  • These observations should indicate that the support was not accounted for in the previous DMI assessment.
  • Documented observations demonstrating the impact of these symptoms on the level of maintenance support required since any previous DMI reassessment.
Increase or decrease in work loads Employer increases or decreases required work loads of the worker or hours of work resulting in changed support requirements.
  • Documented observations ... describing the changes in work load or hours of work and impact on level of support required.
Change in employment environment If the employment environment changes, (eg re-employment or re-skilling) which affects work performance or hours of work, subsequently results in changed support requirements.
  • Documented observations ... describing the changes in the employment environment and the impact on the level of support required.

After: Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, 2006, Disability Maintenance Instrument Guidelines (Draft).

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