Monday, September 11, 2006

For Centrelink Appeals Committee's eyes only

What, still here?
    • What are you, some kind of masochist?
    • Do you have a paper fetish?
    • Get off on being disciplined by bureaucratic troikas?
    • Do you just love to crawl cap in hand before appeals committees?
    • Do you like to ring Centrelink just to hear inexperienced young CSO's whisper acronyms into your ears?
Then read on, you're in the right place.

DH will be using this diary to record contacts with Centrelink in all their mind-numbing detail.

Why? Because the unequal onus of proof on what transpires in interviews with Centrelink penalises its clients. This diary will be an outside witness to her claims.

Frinstance, [see below for blow-by-blow) DH phone Kafkalink on 3rd August to claim Newstart. Advised that all was hunky-dory and her Newstart allowance would be back-dated to that date. However, though she has the receipt number to prove her call, nevertheless, Centrelink now will only pay her from the 16th.

Centrelink's computer system, while recording her phone call and receipt no, did not record the purpose of the call and therefore denies all responsibility for backdating her payment.

However, dont bother wasting your life reading this unless you are
    1. on the Centrelink Appeals Committee
    2. have an academic interest in the level of control Centrelink now exerts on the day to day life of Australian citizens

Record of phone conversation with Centrelink (receipt # available on request)
NB: As usual the Call Centre Blokeperson (CSB) on the other end of the line was very helpful, really nice, and had a good sense of humour. He was very knowledgable as well, which is unfortunately not always the case given the reputedly high turnover rate of call centre staff. It's the policies that are crook, not the Centrelink workers who do an impossible job with great consideration and kindness.

  1. DH's dole diary is due on the 11th
  2. Her application for payment form is due on the 12th
  3. Therefore she wants to know if this is a slip-up, or whether she seriously is expected to take the bus to Leichhardt on 2 consecutive days.
  4. She is doing a training course all day on the 12th, and cannot hand the form in personally anyway
  5. Her Activity Agreement also stipulated that she must make at least 1 job search contact per ftnight via a job network member (JNM), and she has not yet got an appt with one.
  6. She was advise by the CSB that
    • it wd be OK to hand in boths form on the 13th, or else fax the form and take in the diary at a later date.
    • that it was not DH's responsibility to seek a JNM, but that she should have been referred to one by Centrelink at her 3rd interview
  7. The CSB undertook to refer her case back to the CSO at the intake interview, re getting her in touch with a JNM by phone in the next 2 or 3 days
  8. The CSB assured her that she would not be penalised due to not having been in contact with a JNM
  9. The CSB undertook to post her an appeals form.
Centrelink, it's your call.

Posted by DH to Diary of a Desperate Houso at 9/11/2006 01:56:22 PM

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