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Centrelink's Got Me Flustered

Discussion in 'Supporter Discussion' started by Maenad, Mar 8, 2007.

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  1. Maenad

    Maenad Member

    DH has not been to Work for the Dole because of agoraphobia and he hasn't called to explain because the phone got cut off. I went to Centrelink on his behalf this arvo and had one of those conversations that goes round in circles: "No he can't call because we have no phone. No, he can't come in person because he can't leave the house!" Then the woman just sent me away to talk to his job network member instead who will then contact them and tell them what I said.

    Dizzy yet? I know I am.

    So we can't get the phone put back on until he signs a form saying that I can act on his behalf with Centrelink. Then I have to make arrangements to have him "reassessed" and, hopefully, put on Newstart Incapacitated. In practice this means he has to go out to the Centrelink office to be interogated by a Centrelink shrink and a mental health nurse over his inability to leave the house (among other things).

    And I can't help but think of the GP who last week told DH that he can't be suicidal because otherwise he wouldn't be there asking for help. :gunem-dow

    Right now I'm at uni avoiding having to go home and tell him all of this. I am getting nothing done because I can't think about anything else. In fact I've been feeling like I've been kicked in the gut but it's taken me ages to work out why. Even though things are finally going the way I want them to (albeit arse about tit), I'm so used to nothing happening no matter how hard I try that I'm actually feeling quite panicky at the sudden change of pace. With a govt agency getting involved it suddenly feels like it's getting very official like we're only a step away from having him sectioned.:eek:

    And what if they decide not to believe him? :eek:

    Most importantly, it's been so much hard work just to get to the point where he's got an appointment to see a psychologist, that I'm scared that Centrelink being clueless and insensitive might make it all collapse again. I really don't want to go through another year of bugging him to do the bleeding obvious.

    And it's just scarey in general. Am I really up to being The Strong One In Charge of Everything?? :eek:

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  3. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    If he has PTSD, then you will likely find he is actually entitled to full disability payments instead, not so much unemployment. PTSD is a recognised disability...
  4. Maenad

    Maenad Member

    Thanks. I didn't realise that. Crisis time has passed. The pace has slowed again and he still doesn't have a diagnosis but I'll keep that in mind.
  5. Louise

    Louise New Member

    Last year I had to deal with Centrelink when my husband had his first acute episode of PTSD. I understand when you say 'going round in circles'. After our claim was eventually dealt with I asked for an interview with the local manager. He explained that as we had a complicated case we should have been referred to the social worker. She then evaluates the reports, paperwork, speaks with doctors and ensures that you are able to get access to all possible payments you are eligible for.
    Unfortunately, our govdernment has changed the way Centrelink workers operate. Instead of having their own areas of expertise they all have to be able to deal with all types of queries from people just walking in. As there are many different types of payments available to the community it is easy to understand how complicated cases are not always well managed. Keep asking questions, filling in forms and speak to other people you know who are eligible for payments. If you have any difficulties with the paperwork ask for an appointment for a worker to help you.
    I have heard that there is a mentoring/advocacy program offered. However, it is currently underfunded and waiting lists are long. Perhaps that is why some of us who could have been greatly helped by this service have not been offered it. I have met a woman who is on it. She has a mental illness herself and does not have a partner who can advocate for her.
    Our local manager feels that the politicians want Centrelink to be able to provide a similar service to 'McDonalds'. In and out quick! This would be great if we only needed fries
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