It is very dark, very rainy and I just can't sleep. Yesterday Centrelink cut Bob's pension off as I earn too much per fortnight. Sorry for having an education and a job! Can I just say it is not the money I am worried about- although $80 a fortnight was petrol in the car.....We have also lost his pension card, and as he is on quite a substantial amount of medication- this is enough to push us over the edge financially. I know that his health is the most important thing in the world, but we need a place to live and m y kids need an education, and perhaps we may need to eat now and then..... What do I do now? Bob has been in bed unconscious (trying to dull the pain) pretty much for the last three days so he doesn't even know yet. We are seeing a doctor about starting radiotheraphy for him on Friday (if he is out of bed), so bloody centrelink could not have done this at a worse time. Man- it just makes me want to scream.......and run away. So I am trawling through the centrelink website, trying to make sense of 'transitional rules' and 'allocated' and pf with dependants...... Aaaargh! Just when you think there is nothing else that will rattle you, surprise you, stress you out, freak you out or make you cry....all I was doing was the 'right thing' and updating my income details, like the letter asked me to. And now I feel that I have put the stability and routine and safety of my family on the line...... So I have to go to work today to teach other people's kids, when all I feel like doing is taking mine and running away. I am really angry that because I have worked hard in my profession, and I am only a classroom teacher (nothing fancy), my family is being punished- and I feel that cancer has already punished us enough!
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Contributor
thats horrible! they did the same thing to my bf, cut his benefits the scumbags! centerlink are all about money and not the people... its hard.. u need to be happy and cheery for your job.. i work with children also so i know how u feel! things will get better, they have to, and you watch people will come from everywhere to support you guys. I had the worst day possible yesterday felt really crap, but i can honestly tell you today i feel much happier... those days come and go where u feel like running away or just staying in bed, but it does get better! my thoughts are with you, dont worry about stupid centerlink! :) xo
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Deceased
Hi Purpleangels That sounds about par for the course with Centrelink. If you are old grey and ancient like me the trick is to avoid the Centrelink office and go and see the Centrelink person in the Medicare office - they are much more helpful, creative and user friendly. However, that doesn't help you. Go back to the Centrelink office and request (maybe demand might be a better term, but that suggests you get angry - whatever you do do not do that!) to see the social worker. When you go along, see if you can get a friend to go with you, if male in a suit and tie, if female, power-dressed. If they are slightly older that helps as well. Just have them stand there beside you and take notes. Note down every thing that anyone at any level says as you work your way through to the Social Worker. Be prepared to spend the day there. Also before you do it read the Commonwealth Ombudsman's report on the difficulties faced by people with terminal illness dealing with Centrelink - it is at http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/media-releases/show/89 - be prepared to quote it at them, or better still have your friend do so. It might sound a bit extreme, but from personal experience in helping someone get a carers payment for looking after their autistic child, it works. Also remember, they are in a tough position themselves, all the people they are dealing with are inculcated with the mantra of deny payments, not help people to get one. That's what they are paid to do and they are overworked and overwhelmed with outdated systems. I lodged some papers today and the person I gave them to couldn't enter the data directly onto the computer. No the papers had to be sent to a central office to be scanned in, then they get sent back to the person I was dealing with, who can then enter the details in the computer! Good luck Sailor As we sail thru life, don't avoid rough waters, sail on because calm waters won't make a skillful sailor. Anonymous
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Hi Purpleangels. I urge you to go back to Centrelink and apply for a Carers Allowance. I know of a couple where the wife"cant" get around and her husband gets $106 per fortnight carers allowancI don't think this is right as she seems to be able to do everything. Also my elderely dad who is coming to live with me as he has cancer - I am entitled to the same payment. Anyway it can't hurt to apply and I am sure you should get it. Hope I have been able to help. Take care. Chris
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Thankyou to all of you! As Maddie said one day is the worst and the next day is okay. I am seeing the oncology social worker at the hospital tomorrow (I know her and she is very knowledgeable)so shall keep you posted on how we go with Centrelink. Thankyou Sailor for that link to the ombudsman website.....WOW! I really am not alone! I have also written emails and letters to my local MP (federal and state), Julia, the Minister for Health and Community Services (federal and state) and the newspapers in my area. Can anyone think of anyone else I need to contact? Sailor- you also are a wealth of supreme wisdom- I know Centrelink people are totally overworked and have a massive responsibility.....so shall follow your advice on how to deal with them. Cheers! PA
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I know what is this, we had the same problem with my husband that was with Leukemia, and plus we had a 3 years old son to mantain. First, don't be panic, there are lot of help for us. what you need to go is find help in the Cancer Council help line, they can give you help in all this issues. if you need food, or some voucher for petrol etc, they can help you too, or you can go to San vicent of Paul, Anglicare, or Salvation Army, and you can explain your situation. I really don't understand why Centrelink dont help you, but my problem was that i can't speak english very well, and that we was in Canberra and not in the little town that we live during the time of the chemioterapy, but after 8 weeks and help of the social worker of the hospital all was clear and we had our pension.
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Contributor
Welfare rights centre is another good source of information and help when it comes to dealing with Centrelink. I'm not sure what state you are living in but there is one in every state and will be listed in the phone book. Anyhow hopefully seeing the oncology social worker has sorted it out for you so you can get some assistance. Good luck with it all DJ
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Hi All, The Ombudsman’s report available at http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/media-releases/show/89 as posted earlier in this conversation dates from March 2009 and outlines a problem no longer current. This specific issue was resolved by an amendment which took effect on 1 July 2010. Further updated information is available here: http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/disability/payments/Pages/fast_tracking_dspclaims.aspx http://www.billshorten.fahcsia.gov.au/mediareleases/2010/Pages/fast_tracking_dspclaims_030610.aspx For those resident in the State of New South Wales, the Financial Planning Referral Service can assist with access to Centrelink benefits. Please contact the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20 for more information. For residents of other states, please contact the Cancer Council in your home state to find out what services may be available to assist you. Kind regards, Cancer Connections Coordinator
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Hi, Centre link!!!! Don’t get me started. I feel at times, and have told them that my battle with cancer was nothing compared to the battle I had with centre link. They really need to look after the sick a little better. Keep battling on for what is rightfully yours. Good luck 🙂
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I was visiting the Cancer Council webpage and they have a Advocacy training course, I think if we can do this, we can make the difference and help our families with all this silly stuffs of centrelink etc etc etc. we need to make something for help ourselves. became advocate can help to looking our rights and receive more help in our necessities. Make a look in the Cancer Council webpage and try do the training if you can.
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Today i received my electricity account, I am in a shock this account is for 812.00 dollars, and we live in a little unit of 2 bedroom, and we only have 2 little oil heaters oh Gosh how we are going to pay this, we live from the payment from Centrelink. and anyway we need to be warm, my husband for his treatment can't smell the gas heather, and we are renting, I am very stress, depress etc. and plus my little 5 years old son need a children psychologist or psiquiatric doctor that explain what is happen with his daddy with leukemia, he coming to poo and wee his pants again, and in the middle of the night he have bad dreams thinking that his daddy are going to die. we live in the country are and I need help, i dont want to bring my son to the community health they don't know how to talk with a 5 years old and plus talk about cancer with the kids. Today i call the Cancer help line and they tell me that they can help with 250 dollars for pay my electricity, but i pray the Lord that they don't cut this service, if i pay this big account we dont pay other bills and no renting, and no food. THIS IS LIFE FOR LOT OF PEOPLE THAT NEED TO BATTLE WITH CANCER ISSUES. WHEN THIS ARE GOING TO FINISH , I AM TIRED
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HI Janine sorry for listen all this terrible stuffs that happen to you too. I want to tellyou, that call to the cancer help line, they can help you, they help me, i was like you with all the issues from centrelink but they help me. you are not alone darling, that the Lord bless you, and remember here we are for help and listen you. xoxoxoxxoxo
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Deceased
Hi Masupe It sounds like you live in NSW. That advocacy training course applies to NSW only. However there are advocacy training courses run in just about all states, and like the NSW one they are a joint program between Cancer Voices in each state and the Cancer Council. So if you don't live in NSW contact the state based Cancer Voices organisation in your state. They all have websites and contact pages. It was Cancer Voices Victoria that made the suggestion to the Cancer Council Victroia about holding the recent "Money Matters" forum that was held on this site and covered a lot of these issues. Cheers Sailor . . . there is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea. Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim .
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Hi All out there! So.......I am eligible for Carers Allowance- YAY! But unable to reinstate pension and HCC- "there are no exceptions". So- Have gone to the chemists I have used this year and got them to print out the safety net PBS form. Will take to Medicare and hopefully they can give me a form that I can take to chemists that will get Bob's medication for Pension rate.....until the end of the year, and then we start again. I am just closing my eyes and hoping for the best really- as the reality is a bit too scary! However, he starts radiation this Tuesday on his back and hip to see if this gets rid of the pain (oh and the cancer)....12 sessions, everyday except weekends....will be a mission to get him out of bed each day, but I have the backup plan of admitting him to hospital because then they will make sure he gets his treatment. So much to think about, but so much to hope for! If this works, then hopefully he can get some sort of life back maybe...... Once again I am blown away by the stories of others out there....I have mentioned the advocacy to many of my friends, as another way they can assist us in our battles with cancer on so many fronts. But to all of you........just keep on keeping on.......it is so hard sometimes, and especially with little ones who don't quite understand what is going on.......but remember to enjoy the good times, even fleetingly, and roll with the bad. It really is an hour to hour proposition some days.
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Super Contributor
Sounds like Centrelink bashing,but justifiable. I applied for a low income health care card and was given a form for the doctor to fill out as I was trying to get it back-dated.I asked the girl what info they needed as the form did not say in one part and she said angrily ''I don't know''. When I left there I was on the verge of tears. I had not been able to work for over a year and a half at that time . The doctor did her best but didn't know what she had to say either. When I returned the form the man whom I saw knew what info was needed.Why didn't the other worker find out for me? I felt that I should have reported that first woman but couldn't go through the drama.I was a teacher so was not used to Centrelink. I think my mri will not cost me next time with this card.Even with our health fund ,this card and Medicare we still spend a lot on medications and if more treatments are needed in the future ,we will spend a lot.I expect to pay but expect whatever I am entitled to also .I did not get it back-dated as I didn't supply the info required. My main problem was the humiliation and unhelpfulness . Sorry to rave.
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Contributor
Hi while I was having treatment and unable to work I run out of all leave I filed out all the forms with my Dr signing where necessary went to centerlink I was told quite directly that I was entitled to nothing ... As I was worried about medication cost etc I asked about a health care card and was told I was not even entitled to that . So the help I got was nothing !!!!! Luckily I had a supportive employer who advanced leave credits and now I am in pay back mode now at least it did not add to my worry ,,,,, It seems that centerlink policies can do with a real shake up starting from the government who has no emphapy or commonsence in the circumstances ........
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Super Contributor
Yes.
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Occasional Contributor
I have just read all of your comments and it makes me wonder if its worthwhile filling out the centrelink forms i have here. HOW does the Gov't expect you all to live ??????
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