Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Paid at last!

That shd keep DH quiet for the time being, though she reserves the right to find other things to complain about from time to time as required.
She's off to live it up and deliriously blow the lot on ... who knows ... overseas travel.  Once she has paid back the borrowed money, the $200 on bank overdrawing fees and late fees, the credit card interest on the 10 weeks, she reckons she'll definitely have enough for the slow boat to Manly, with fish and chips at the other end.
And she's not complaining - what more do you need for true happiness, but a sunny day, a picnic, and some reasonable shelter, hopefully without an eviction notice,  when you get back home.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Now they want DH's citizenship papers! Again!

First up, DH was informed that legislation says that after her last
complaint, CentreLink had to respond within 3 hours.
They didnt. Surprise.
So having made the trek to Centrelink again, (without, you will recall,
having a transport concession card to pay for the bus trip) she was
astonished to find that there, on her file was. "We cannot process your
claim till we get your citizenship papers".
This is BRAND new, 10 weeks after her initial application.
"But I GAVE you my citizenship papers already".
So out comes a very nice young woman from back office who explains that
because her citizenship papers date back to the 60's and because for some
arcane bureaucratic reason that completely went over DH's head, someone had
to fill in 1988 somewhere because who knows why??? So therefore, DH has to
show her citizenship papers.
DH is worried because she doesnt know where her citizenship papers are
anymore. She is absentminded because of depression brought on by carer
stress, being painted by the Right of both Liberal and Labor as the
"Devalued Other", and she has taken her papers on so many outings , that she
fears they maybe lost.
So today will be spent at Chateau D'oH ransacking the joint for her
certificate of citizenship.
DH came to Australia as a reffo, and she doesnt have a birth certificate.
The way things are going, and not wishing to be total drama queen, much,
she's thinking... "Hmmm, maybe I cd be deported back to Eastern Europe. The
way things are going here, I cd have a higher standard of living over there.

Guess what? Carers are not entitled to emergency payments!!!!

DH went down to Centrelink at 4 to collect her emergency payment.
But guess what? Newstart recipients who have been messed around by
are entitled to emergency payment. So are applicants for Disability Pension.
But apparently Carers do not have to pay bills or eat or anything.
OK, so DH still has some acquaintances she can hit on for a loan to buy the
But what about say older people, or people who are disabled themselves, or
are totall disempowered by years of poverty and isolation?
What are they supposed to do?


Time to ring up HREOC and the Welfare Rights Centre. And maybe Tanya
Plibersek cd ask a question or two in Parliament?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Hallelujah! Emergency payment promised

DH has been promised an emergency payment from Centrelink by the end of

Will be able to roast the fatted mung bean tonight!

Meanwhile, 76 millionaires have no probs getting $65 pw FTB

Last year, 76 single-income families who earned at least $1 million a year
received Family Tax Benefit part B, introduced in 2000 by the Howard
Government to assist sole parents and stay-at-home mums. A year earlier,
only 31 recipients earned at least $1 million. www.smh.com.au

Dont you just LOVE the Howard Govt up the comfortable end of town!!!

Centrelink has Aha! moment

Finally someone at Centrelink has figured out the mystery.
People applying for Disability Pension can go on Newstart.
People applying for Carer's Pension can not!
Families on Carer's Pension dont have to eat????
This is novel!!!
The poor guy in the Customer Service infantry explains that the rationale for this masterpiece of cost saving is that people on Carers Pension are allowed to work for up to 20 hours. So they can go out and get a job.
Shdnt it be the people who are looking for work who get Newstart?
It's all a puzzlement to poor DH.

DH becomes hot potato tossed betw Disab services and Newstart

DH is on the phone to Disability Services at Centrelink as she types.

New information that she has not heard before. It cd take another 42 days
from receipt of documentation no-one told her she needed to send in before
her application can be processed.

She asks the poor frontline foot soldier what she is supposed to buy food,
medications and bus tickets with till then.

He says, well, we tell everyone to register for Newstart.

DH explains to him gently, that she has already applied for Newstart, sat
through the amateur video afternoon that they subject you to, only to be
told that since she has an application in progress for Carer's payment. that
she is not eligible.

He has put her on hold while he confabulates with his superiors on this
unexpected turn of events.

Normally, DH loves Mozart, (she used to be one of the middle class elites,
there but for fortune go you, dear reader) but there might be a Clockwork
Orange moment coming on if she has to listen to 10 more rounds of the Sonata
in D, K514 or whatever.

It is now 10 weeks since DH has had any income except for $82.40 per ftnight

How has she been surviving?

Credit card

Borrowing from her mother's overseas pension. Her mother doesnt mind.
Unfortunately it means her mother cant get her dentures fixed.

Her mother's overseas pension is now exhausted.

DH has had to ask friends.

Most of DH's friends are single women.

They dont have money either.

So she has to ask more distant acquaintances. .

Humiliating in a materialistic culture like ours.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Welcome Cherie Burton, new Minister for Housing

Cherie is an ex houso herself, so hopefully she will have the understanding and the will to reverse the Reshaping Public Housing "reform" package, before she finds herself the Minister for Short-Term Hostels...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The long trek back to CentreLink

Despite being there yesterday, DH has to go in to her local office again. Unfortunately, since she hasnt been able to afford anti-depressants this month, she is having withdrawal symptoms, and is too dizzy to drive. Which makes her feel even more depressed. This will cost the taxpayer dearly in the the long term via Medicare rebates to GPs and shrinks. But I guess this is all rocket science to Howards Razor...

Centrelink just called!

Apparently they needed a bank statement from DH, but since DH didnt know, and nobody bothered to notify her, there the matter stood.
Meanwhile, she has not been entitled to a concession card or a health care card for 8 weeks, though she has no real income, and still has to travel and buy medications.
She remembers palmy days when you used to get interim concession cards, but obviously, this must have cost Canberra hundreds of dollars from the 2 or 3 people per annum who were later deemed ineligible. 

Its 8 weeks since DH had a wage, and Centrelink STILL hasnt processed her Carers Pension Claim.

She went in yesterday to Centrelink, as the people on the phone knew n-n-nothing about her claim lodged 8 weeks ago for Carer's Payment. She was told that someone would contact her today from Redfern Office.
Nothing so far.
She has now used up her mother's pension as well, and only has 30 dollars left in the world till next Tuesday when she can seize upon her daughter's Student Allowance ($214) to buy some more groceries for the next fortnight.
And lets not forget the massive sum of $82.40 for her Carer's allowance, which the Federal government in its generosity hands out per fortnight to pay for the extra expenses of raising a child with a disabilitiy.
She cant begin to imagine what people who have children with high medication and nursing needs do with this princely sum. Blow it all on champagne and caviar no doubt.
Its all getting a bit serious folks.