Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our lives on Kafkalink's lawn



DH has been peremptorily summonsed to an interview with Kafkalink for a "random sample survey" being conducted on her Newstart Allowance.

She will have to rustle up in short order:

  • proof of birth
  • original documents to the value of 50 points that will help confirm your identity
  • proof of Australian residence, if you were born outside Australia (for example, your passport or
  • details of any employment undertaken in the last 12 months (for example, payslips)
  • all current bank, building society or credit union statements or passbooks
  • details of any income you receive from any other sources (for example, real estate, boarders,
  • details of any assets with proof of income (if any) you get from these assets
  • details of what you have done to find work in the past 4 weeks (if you have a Job Seeker Diary

There is nothing "random" about it. Centrelinks's internal administration is so hopeless that their left hands don't know what their right hands are doing. DH is, as befits her advancing years, on quarterly reporting, rather than fortnightly reporting. So when she reported her last job, a contract for 4 weeks beginning in May, she was told not to worry, just report it on the 1st of July. Idiot she is, she trusted them and didn't insist on a written copy of the determination. Meanwhile, data matching apparently shook her out in the interim, thus it was that the system once again went into fibrillation with all the alarm bells going hysterical

Now you would think that with so many people on quarterly reporting, Kafkalink would have figured out a process for handling intermediate income without dragooning its "customers" through this tiresome process that we have all gone through so many times already.

3 comments:

Ida's Idioms said...

Someone out there does not like you my dear. Too outspoken on their short comings. Been on that merry-go-round. If you were a hopless drunk etc. doctor could write you a script and let you off the hook. No, not random at all.

Jack Dorf said...

Thank you DH for introducing me to Kafkalink. It sounds just like ever dumb bureaucracy I have ever dealt with in my life. Including the ones that have employed me.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been called for a Centrelink interview but I did receive a letter 3 years ago from Housing saying they were taking legal action to boot me out as I was living elsewhere ( mainly my deceased mother's house.). I made a time for an interview at the Ashfield headquarters. Upon arrival the smarmy investigator wished my
happy birthday" then asked if I minded ( as if I had a choice) if another person sat in on the interview. I said "no-as long as you don't mind if I record everything". This caused some consternation and the usual "why" etc and I said "I don't trust anyone..etc etc". Finally they agreed and I got the full good cop/bad cop routine.
The problem was-all the information they had been given was a "dob-in" by family members who were involved with me over a legal dispute over my mother's estate and was incorrect.
The short story is-I trounced these 2 and threatened legal action against them attemting to evict me when I had a lawful lease and said I'd taken the opportunity to spend many nights away as I and my wife were legally seperated but still living in the same Housing flat. They claimed I was the only one on the lease etc etc and that was not their problem. I pointed out that they had accepted increased rent for 2 people and had been apprised of my marital problems, my ex-wife's psychiatric problems via the 6 monthly forms I had filled in-for 7 years. I had also paid full market rent at times I worked-plus extra rent for my wife.

The long shot-after insults and stupidity from these 2 and a handful of others who work in Housing ( for which I had paid tax to support for 45 years before loosing my job over ill-health)- a sensible officer suddenly appeared out of the blue and said "this nightmare must go away-what is it you want?". I said "I want the lease transferred to my wife and for me to be out on the waiting list with my 10 year wait credited to me"..he agreed-as I also mentioned they had failed their duty of care as obviously had never ever read the 7 years of forms I filled in stateing the full truth. I got what I wanted-and I suggest anyone going anywhere for an interview with any government or public servant-ask if you can record the interview.

Yopu would be surprised how it changes the situation and as my solicitor later said-I could have easily sued the department and the 2 interorgators for slander and a malicious attempt to deprive me of a lwfully signed lease through intimidation and bullying. But one good Housing officer saw that as well. I've found the attitude has changed recently with housing officers-but not with Matt Brown-himself a private landlord and still minister as of today with Nathan Rees as new premier.