CentreLink

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All Governments will try to reduce their expenses on Social Security. The better Governments do it by making their services operate as efficiently as possible.


CentreLink’s 2 day notice system for Single Parents

All pensioners in receipt of CentreLink payments are governed by the same laws. John Howard introduced legislation that allowed CentreLink to cease payments within 2 days.

Howard also made it law that 2 days must pass before payments can be made or re-instated.

However, this delay period for re-instatement really only affects pensioners that are required to lodge forms for payment.

The only pensioner that is required to lodge forms on a fortnightly basis are single parents.

CentreLink can/will cease your payment without informing you. (They will try and phone you they claim - But if your on dialup and online then they give trying to contact you and cut your payments off).

The first thing you will know about it. Is when you get to the bank and find out that there is NO MONEY this fortnight.

So if your payment is stopped due to not handing in a form, or missing a meeting, and its a Thursday you normally get paid.

Under Current legislation (John Howard legislation) CentreLink will make you wait 2 working days before they will re-instate payments. Therefore making you wait until Monday.

So from Thursday until Monday you (and your family) will go without. Unless you can borrow some money from a friend, Or attend one of the Aid organisations, your weekend will be pretty bleak.

Then there is the fact that if you had organised your Telephone or Utility bills to be paid by direct debit from your Bank account. Then your Bank account will be overdrawn and you will have to pay a fee. ($30)

I do not believe that this treatment of single parents is just. For example, NewStart payments can be made after only one day. Why specifically descriminate against single parents in this way? Don’t they have children to feed? Where is the compassion for hungry children? Single Parents shouldn’t have to wait longer than the un-employed for payments.

Vote Link: Should CentreLink give more than 2 days notice of their intention to cease payment?

Loans are available from CentreLink. You are allowed one loan every 12 months. Pensioners are allowed to have a $1000 loan. But not Single Parents. They are only able to access a $500 loan. However, your $500 loan must be repaid in 6 months. The deductions are automatically taken from your payment over the following 6 months until the loan has been fully repaid.

Even though the Single Parent no longer owe CentreLink money. The Legislation makes them wait 12 months from the date of the initial loan. The repayment amount that CentreLink determines cannot be extended to cover the full 12 months.

The Legislation (or CentreLink) determines that the loan must be repaid in 6 months and that you must wait 12 months between loans.

Vote Link: Should CentreLink allow Loan re-payments to extent to 12 months?

Vote Link: Should CentreLink allow Loans every 6 months? (Once a previous loan has been repayed)

2017-09-08 CentreLink

How Job Agencies Bully The Unemployed and Get Away With It

NewMatilda: Owen Bennett Aug 25, 2016

Unemployed people in Australia are finding it increasingly difficult to hold their job agencies accountable for mistreatment, stand-over tactics and poor performance, writes Owen Bennett.

When Paul Scerri’s contract ceased at his workplace in early 2015, he was without gainful employment for the first time in his adult life.

After his employment connections fell through, Melbourne resident Scerri, 36, was left with no choice but to apply for the unemployment benefit.

Making a bad situation worse, Scerri’s marriage was breaking down leading to what Scerri describes as a “messy divorce”.

Like so many Australians sacked by their employer, Scerri was hopeful that his recent employment experience would quickly lead to a new job.

With the added assistance of regular interviews with a privately run job agency – a requirement expected of all Australians on the dole – Scerri was expecting his time on Newstart to be short-lived.

However, soon after registering with his job agency Max Employment – a US-owned billion-dollar company – Scerri had to quickly revise his expectations.
Max_Employment_1
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“When I approached Max Employment about helping me find work, it became pretty clear that they weren’t really interested”, says Scerri.

Under the Government’s four-year $6.8 billion jobactive system, employment services like Max Employment are required to assist “jobseekers canvass the jobs in the local labour market”, help them “prepare a resume”, and “refer them to suitable job vacancies”.

Additionally, the Government provides job agencies with an “employment fund” of $300-1200 in order to help “job seekers with work related tools, skills and experience”.

With the current government statistics indicating that there are more than 18 job seekers competing for every listed job vacancy, this support can be the difference between becoming long-term unemployed and finding work quickly.

Scerri maintains that Max Employment failed to uphold these obligations.

“In all my time with Max, they did not help me get even one job interview”, says Scerri.

When Scerri finally managed to get a job at the Melbourne Airport – without any assistance from Max Employment – he was denied much needed travel assistance from his Employment Fund.

Six months of living off the meager Newstart payment – roughly $390 below the poverty line per fortnight – had left Scerri unable to afford petrol for the two-hour round trip to and from his workplace.

With public transport to the Melbourne Airport not an option, Scerri approached Max Employment about getting travel assistance from his Employment Fund.
Max Employment 2
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“I asked them for 7 days worth of petrol vouchers, but Max only gave me $25. It was no way near enough”.

Unable to get to work, Scerri had to explain to his managers that he had no way of getting to work. Scerri lost his job.

“Because of Max Employment I lost my job. Not only did they fail to help me find work they actually cost me my job.”

Outraged at his treatment, Scerri decided to confront Max Employment about their failure to keep their end of the bargain, known as ‘Mutual Obligation’.

“They kept telling me about my mutual obligation requirements to go to regular appointments and activities. But when I told them about their mutual obligations they became very rude and threatening.”

Scerri called the Department of Employment’s National Customer Service Line to make an official complaint, leading to a bitter six-month dispute.

After many phone calls, the Department informed Scerri they had contacted Max Employment about the issue and were satisfied with their response.

When Scerri requested to know the details of Max Employment’s response, the Department of Employment refused and directed Scerri to request the information under the Freedom of Information laws. Scerri immediately requested the documents but is still waiting to receive them.

The Department of Employment informed Scerri that if he was unhappy with how Max Employment had treated him, he should simply change to a different employment agency.

“The Department kept saying that I should just move to another job agent if I was unhappy. But I was also told that if I did that I would not be able to pursue my complaint against Max. Basically they were saying, ‘if you don’t like how you are being treated, find another provider. Otherwise there is nothing we can do’.
Max Employment 3
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This tactic only made Scerri more determined to make sure his complaint was properly investigated.

“It was clear that they were more interested in protecting the job agencies than helping me launch my complaint. I thought, ‘if I don’t complain, then who will?’ I needed to do it not just for me, but for everyone.”

In response to the Department of Employment’s refusal to properly investigate his claim, Scerri decided to take the issue to the leading Government watchdog, the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

In response, Max Employment took its intimidation tactics to shocking levels.

“Max knew that if they forced me to change to a new job agent, the Department would no longer investigate my complaint. That’s when they started coming down on me really hard”, said Scerri.

Max Employment demanded that Scerri attend a tough new regime of activities and appointments.

For his Work for the Dole activity, Max Employment insisted that Scerri must pick up used syringes on a busy metropolitan freeway.

“It seemed like a really unsafe activity and took me away from looking for jobs, so I refused to participate”, said Scerri.

In a letter sent to Scerri on the 28th of October 2015, Max Employment stated that in order to continue to receive Newstart payments Scerri must attend a total of six appointments (totalling six and a half hours) over an 11-day period.

Each month Newstart recipients are required at a minimum to attend one appointment and apply for 20 jobs.

By requesting that Scerri attend more appointments than he was obliged, it appeared that Max Employment were using its position of power to cynically manipulate the situation to its benefit.

“They just kept coming at me with these sorts of bullying tactics in the hope that I would change to a new provider and drop my complaints. How many other people they and other job agencies must have done this to?”

Max Employment also denied Scerri’s request for assistance in obtaining counselling services.
Max Employment 4
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“They told me that they would not provide any counselling services and that I should just ‘man up’”, says Scerri.

Looking for help, Scerri then joined the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union (AUWU), an organisation committed to fighting for the rights and dignity of unemployed workers. Max Employment again resorted to intimidation tactics.

“In one of my conversations with Max, I told them that I was going to be attending an Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union protest which was being held out the front of a Max Employment-sponsored $650-a-head conference into long-term unemployment. I was warned that if I attended that conference I would be heavily sanctioned.”

Concerned that Max Employment would financially penalise him for attending the protest, Scerri decided not to go.

Scerri made sure to keep the Commonwealth Ombudsman informed about the stand-over tactics employed by Max Employment.

On 22 December 2015, the Ombudsman finally concluded their 6-month long investigation. A Commonwealth Ombudsman Investigative Officer sent Scerri a letter stating that they were “satisfied the Department took reasonable action to investigate and response to your complaints”.

The officer explained that in the “absence of verifiable evidence, our office is not in a position [to]prefer one version of events over another”.

Scerri was crushed.

“After going to all these lengths to defend myself against Max, it is demoralising to be told it’s your word against theirs.

“What I’ve learnt through all this is that no matter what kind of unfair treatment you have put up with, there is no use complaining. They are billionaires and you are nothing. It doesn’t work when you complain to the Department of Employment or the Ombudsman. How can you ever win?”

Paul Scerri is not alone. Every day the Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union receives fresh cases of people being mistreated by job agencies who are consistently failing to provide the services they are paid by the Government to perform. As a result, complaints about job agencies have reached record levels under the jobactive system.

With the Turnbull Government trying to give employment services industry unprecedented new powers to financially penalize unemployed workers, the established culture of fear and intimidation pervading the employment service industry is showing no signs of going away.

Already, job agencies have the power to fine unemployed workers 10% of their Newstart entitlement – and a further 10% each day until they ‘re-connect’ – giving the unemployed no chance to appeal against the fine before the penalty amount is taken away.

The longer the Government refuses to properly regulate the employment services industry, the more we will see cases of unemployed workers like Paul Scerri being mistreated.

With a recent report showing that one in four unemployed Australians have been forced to beg on the streets for more than a year, and more than half forced to approach a charity for help, it is clear that a social disaster is looming if the Government does not take strong action to curb the culture of lawlessness pervading the employment services industry.

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2016-05-26 CentreLink


Thirty-eight years of public service, then booted off the pension

by Noel Towell May 26, 2016

"Phil Pellatt never thought the Australian government would repay his 38 years of loyal service by booting him and his wife off the age pension.

But Mr and Mrs Pellatt are among tens of thousands of former public servants, firefighters and nurses who had their Centrelink payments reduced under new rules, known as the "10 per cent cap" from January 1 this year.

Government ministers sold the changes by arguing some retired public servants were drawing more than $120,000-a-year from their employer super schemes and still getting an age pension from Centrelink.

But Mr and Mrs Pellatt, like the vast majority of pensioners hit by the changes, can only dream of those income levels and while the Canberra couple say they will be able to survive, they are worried about the fate of thousands of other retirees.

It was revealed on Wednesday that the poorest public service pensioners are bearing the brunt of the government's $465 million cuts to their income payments."

See More: http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/thirtyeight-years-of-public-service-then-booted-off-the-pension-20160525-gp3fo9.html

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2011-03-30 CentreLink

Centrelink

Centrelink is the governments nominated agency that helps to deliver services, support and financial assistance to those in need, for Australian governmental departments, all under one roof. It distributes nearly $87 billion in social security payments on behalf of those government departments. Nearly seven million Australians use Centrelink’s services.

See: Tax Payers Association

Public suggestion schemes

These Government departments allow suggestions from the public and they claim to encourage people to contribute ideas about improvements to the department’s policies, programs and services.

Fix the System - Complain

I would suggest that if people are unhappy with Centrelinks performance. Perhaps some messages on how things could be improved should be sent to the following Australian Federal Government Departments.

Click the Links

The following links will directly connect you with the “complaints” or “suggestions” form of the relevant government department, if possible.



FHCSIA

Complaints to Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Crisis Payment
Special Benefit
Bereavement Payment
Pensioner Education

Concession & Health Care Cards
Utilities Allowance
Pharmaceutical Allowance
Telephone Allowance
Bereavement Allowance
Remote Area Allowance

Financial Information Service

Minister for Families, Housing & Community Services
Minister for the Status of Women
Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness
Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers
Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services


DEEWR

Complaints to Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Early Childhood
Schooling
Higher Education
Skills
Youth
Employment
Workplace Relations
Indigenous
International
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care
Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth
Parliamentary Secretary


DITRDLG

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Parliamentary Secretary


DVA

Department of Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Veterans Affairs


DHA

Department of Health and Ageing
Parliamentary Secretary
Minister for Indigenous Health
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Minister for Health and Ageing


DAFF

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Parliamentary Secretary

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2011-02-08 CentreLink

Centrelink Legislation

Centrelink doesn’t seem to be able to locate the Social Security Legislation for customers when required.

I know I have asked for it a few times and no one seems to be able to locate an internet link for me.

I think that the Government and Centrelink rightly believe that its in their interest to keep this legislation (and most other legislation) just a little difficult to locate.

So.. I searched for awhile.. I found these links with googles help and the knowledge that documents at comlaw.gov.au indicate current legislation. (That helped me to ignore many other similarly titled and referenced material on google)

I hope you find the links informative.

Social Security Act 1991

Social Security Act 1991 (HTML,PDF)

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 (HTML,PDF)

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2010-12-14 CentreLink

Centrelink Complaints

How to make a complaint against Centrelink

It has been reported that there were about 100,000 complaints against Centrelink in the 2008-09 financial year. That is about 1 complaint for every 65 Centrelink Customers. Or about 1 in every 2,000 Centrelink transactions.

SSAT & AAT Appeals

Data from the Social Security Appeals Tribunal annual report shows that the Commonwealth Ombudsman received a total of 7,224 approaches concerning Centrelink. Of these approaches, 20% were investigated, covering 1,733 issues.

Centrelink also responds to applications for review by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

When Centerlink gets it wrong

There were 16,319 SSAT reviews, of which 29.9% (4,606) were changed in the customers favour, and 70.1% (10,780) were held to be correctly administered by Centrelink originally.

There were 2,639 AAT reviews, of which 2324 were finalised in the year, with 29% (667) were changed in the customers favour, and 71% (1,657) were held to be correctly administered by Centrelink originally.

Conclusion

Of this reversed decisions, Centrelink made errors in 33.1% of the decisions changed and incorrectly applied the law in a further 14.7%.

See: Original Article

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2010-11-01 CentreLink

It’s Monday. Wednesday we are due to go shopping. So I called 136150 to make sure that we are going to be paid on Wednesday.

But.. 136150 was engaged.. Tried a few times..

So.. I called the Centrelink Customer Relations Unit on 1800 050 004.

Click the play key..

Seems to me that so many people are so angry with Centrelink. That Centrelink have restorted to the above message..

What does it say?

“Centrelink reserves the right not to respond to customers who use abuse language, make inflammatory statements, or intimidate staff.”

The fact the Centrelink finds the need to include this as a “standard statement” to people who are waiting for a staff member of their “Customer Relations Unit”, demonstrates to me that the system is failing.

It is easy to conclude that MANY AUSTRALIANS are using ABUSIVE LANGUAGE, making INFLAMMATORY STATEMENTS, and INTIMIDATING STAFF.

Now.. why would this be happening? Why is it happening now? all of a sudden?

Just read my postings at CentreLink to find out..

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2010-06-17 CentreLink

Well.. I did it again. I forgot to lodge my 12 weekly form on time. It’s all my fault again. I must have some kind of mental block over it.

I WILL lodge the next form on time!!!! Grrrrr This is getting stupid now..

  • Calm Mode*

Remember the soft CentreLink on hold music.. sigh

dum de dum dah dah.. dum de dum dah dah.. dum de dum dee dahh dahh dahh.. dum de dum dah dah… (Auughh!! Screams)

Ok.. All is good again..

Wednesday rolled around again. I drove to Millicent. $6.65 in the bank? Hmmm (Oh no .. I bet I forgot to lodge the form again..) Attend the CentreLink agency in Millicent. Staff there contact CentreLink. Get told it was because the form wasnt logged in time. So get a form faxed thru. Fill it out. 2 day delay till payment. Should be in bank on Friday. I will need to ‘make do’ until Friday. (Thankfully I can..)

Friday morning. This time I’m checking my online bank ballance before heading to Millicent. Hmmm $6.65. The X is getting me to drive her (with the kids) to Mt Gambier today. So on the way through Millicent I recheck my bank ballance. $6.65.. Attend the CentreLink agency in Millicent and enquire as to what had happened to my payment?

CentreLink agency staff in Millicent inform me that the CentreLink computer systems have been down all day. They contact CentreLink Mt Gambier for me. The staff in Mt Gambier have no idea when the CentreLink systems will be available again.

I continue on my trip to Mt Gambier. When I got there I attended CentreLink. There were signs up everywhere saying that the CentreLink Computer System was offline. I spoke to a staff member who informed me that nothing could be done to assist me due to the fact that they were unable to verify my identity or entitlement without their computer system. The staffmember suggested that if I was to return after 3.00pm there would be a chance that their systems would be working by then.

I was not very happy by this point. I can see the long weekend looming. Signs are indicating a very bleak existance till Tuesday.

At 3.00pm I again attend CentreLink Mt Gambier to be greeted with the same environment as previously. It was quiet (like a library). Staffmembers indicate that their systems are still unavailable. I asked the staffmember what she expected people like myself to do faced with a situation like this? She suggested that I contact Family SA (State government aid agency). She advised me that she had sent quite a few other people there that day.

I attended the Family SA office. Told them how stupid I had been in not lodging my form the previous Monday. The staff realized that I was at the end of my financial tether so they allocated a $50 woolworths ‘card’ so that we could get some stuff to last the next 4 days.

  • $50 / 4 = $12.50 per day
  • $12.50 / 3 = $4.16 ea per day

We had such a great time on their generosity. It was a weekend to remember!! (Who says life is tough on low income? Bah humbug!)

Finally Tuesday rolls around. $6.65 in the bank still. sigh

Trying to call CentreLink on 136150 is hopeless. Engaged all the time. Eventually I decide to call their Customer Relations number 1800 050 004 (Burn that number into your head. Its the only one that isnt engaged all the time!!) Customer Relations staff had a record of the form being faxed to the Millicent CentreLink agency. But they had no record of a form being returned. So as far as they were concerned. I hadn’t lodged my form on Wednesday. Therefore I didn’t deserve payment. There was nothing wrong with the system at all. If I wanted payment. All I needed to do was lodge a form. (and wait another 2 days..)

I asked if they now expected me to travel to Millicent to relodge the form before I got paid. They informed me that was the only way that they would pay me. Even then I would have to battle the ‘Emergency Payment’ section to obtain payment within 2 days.

I went to Millicent and lodged the form. (what else can I do?) While there I called 1800 050 004 (cos all other numbers were busy still) To ask them what to do next to obtain payment asap. The told me that the form hadn’t turned up and to call them back in 1 hour.

1 hour later I again attended CentreLink agency Millicent. Called 1800 050 004 and was informed that the form still hadnt turned up. (By this stage.. I’d lost all my fight. I would have agreed to anything if they would just pay me) So they asked me to resend the form to a different fax number. They stayed on the phone while this was done. They then called the office where the fax machine was located to ensure that they had the form. They then keyed the form into the system. Finally the on hold music stopped and they told me I was back on the system and due for payment in 2 days.

Another 2 days delay? Isn’t there another way around this? Well yes.. I am told they will put me in the cue for ‘Emergency Payments’ but that I will probably not be offered a full payment. I will probably have to wait the full 2 days before I can obtain the rest of the payment. (Another trip to Millicent to pickup half a payment?? More wasted fuel.. More wasted money..

Eventually the ‘Emergency Payment’ staff member takes my call. He asks me what the emergency is? I inform him of my circumstances. So he says he must ask me exactly why I need a payment. So I tell him for food. And he says that needing food isnt considered an Emergency and that I am not eligable for an emergency payment.

My internal reactor goes supernova. As demand to speak to his supervisor.

The Supervisor’s programming is less severe than his underling, so I am able to obtain full payment immediately into my bank account.

Finally its over. I can pay Rent. Buy Food. (Some) Debtors got paid.

After speaking with CentreLink staff. I made accusations (thate were denied) that many people hadn’t been paid due to their system fault over this period.

Aparently extra staff was employed on Friday to ensure that people were paid their entitlements. (So I was informed)

Therefore this case shouldn’t be considered as typical of what happened to CentreLink customers on Friday 11th June.

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2010-04-22 CentreLink

Well this started out Political but ended up in Centrelinks lap.. So I stuck it here.. Anyway.. I already done a Political entry for today.. So I will fake it and stick it here..

See: Tony Abbott wants to cut the dole for the under 30's and send them to WA to work in the mines

Hmmmmm… (Gosh I love baiting Neo-Libs..)

So its the same dribble from the Neo-Liberals is it?

Neo-Liberal Mode On:

We (as a government) would rather put billions in a bank account. Than support those of us unfortunate enough to be out of work.

We believe that everyone has a personal responsibility. If you cannot make it on your own. We dont care. We would rather keep billions in the bank than spend a penny on training or even a system that provides decent support for the unemployed.

We will come up with the most draconian laws that we can. To force people into low paid positions thousands of miles away from their families..

Neo-Liberal Mode Off:

Look.. I think its simple. I’m not religious. But MOST of you claim to be.. So… see what I see..

The Neo-liberal way of making people do it tough or die is ancient. This is what they used to do to the sick and old in ancient societies isn’t it?

Is isn’t a Christian approach is it?

More modern approaches have favoured a much more lenient attitude.

Well the facts are.. The people by using unions and other such methods have forced these lenient changes onto the employers.

But Neo-liberals are the mostly the employers. So Neo-Libs would like to have the old ways back.. (cost less.. more profit for them)

Neo-liberals dont want to spend a penny on anything. (if they can avoid it..)

Neo-liberals would like to turn the clock back to when they could employ children for cleaning chimneys and other such duties for a few cents a day.

With the Motto of.. Do it alone.. Do it tough.. Dont expect any help from us.. Meanwhile we will bank/squander/waste your tax dollars.

The country is a shambles.. Whatever corrupt political party is running it. Everywhere, people are asleep at the wheel. With the Departments failing to do their jobs correctly. The Ombudsman system then fails to accept valid complaints.

The system is designed (by both sides) to be token representation. No changes due anytime soon.

Most of the public never realize it. Because most of the public have a job and don’t have to live in a system that is designed (by the last Neo-lib government) to force them into anything by any means.

I’m currently an enemployed single parent. I live rurally. Luckily I have been given an exemption (on medical grounds) from keeping “job seeker diarys” and “Fortnightly Lodgement of the Claim Forms”. However, I have been placed on “Intensive Assistance” which means I must have a monthly interviews.

But none of that saves me from the residue of John Howards meddling with Social Security law. Mr Howard introduced a system where Centrelink are unable to re-instate a payment until 2 working days have passed.

So if (for any reason.. like forgetting to lodge a 12 weekly form) you default on the claim lodgement. Centrelink (via Howards legislation) will make you wait 2 working days before re-instating your benefit.

So what you Neo-Libs say? Well for a family that is surviving on such low income. To have to go without for at minimum 2 days.. (Imagine not lodging your form on a Thursday.. So Friday is one day.. Saturday and Sunday dont count!! and Monday is day 2. But you actually had to go without from Thursday until Monday.

Good law hey..

So now.. Because your without food. You attend “Smith Family” or “Anglicare” who will only provide 2 days worth of food. Because that is how bad this country really is. These agencies are at breaking point because of this very ammendment to Social security law. If you need more than 2 days food. You have to re-attend (after 2 days) to aquire another 2 days food.

Yes life on the dole is great. It’s a real party. I would love some of you people who say that the unemployed shouldnt be trained to go through it.

I struggle and fall futher behind every week. Selling off possession after possession (over the years) to stay afloat. Because I used to work. I clocked up 9 years consistant with one employer. So I know what I’m missing by not being able to have a job. You numbskulls who think people on the dole are bludgers who are there because life is wonderful. Better have another look at what the real situation is. If someone is long term unemployed. They have a reason. Perhaps finding out that reason and fixing it would be less expensive in the long run than leaving them to work it out themselves.

Mental Illness is an example of why there are so many unemployed. (no.. I’ve never been diagnosed as mentally unwell.. Just in case your wondering.. But I know a few who have..)

They say that mental illness is as high as one in 5 in the community. The only way they deal with it is by directing the Doctors to provide SSRI drugs.

I would suggest that a more compasionate government that provided more resources to such things would actually see a decrease in many crimes and drug abuse within the community if they provided real support (read psychiatrists) to those who are mentally unwell. What I am saying is that it would cost less overall to properly take care of Mental Health in this country.

Well.. in closing.. Let me throw down a challenge..

Live 1 month on the dole you big mouths.

I recomend it as a learning experience to you Neo-Liberals..

Try surviving on it for.. 1 month.. Go on.. You know you want too…

Dont forget to budget for Car Rego, Tires, Electricity, Rent, School Fees, Clothing for 3, and if you have any money left.. food. Do your job seeker diary. attend your appointments. Forget about any kind of luxury items. Ohh.. and dont forget to STRESS about how your going to pay for it all again next week. (As long as you dont get cut off..) No wonder people go crazy on the dole.

Didn’t Paul Keeting try living on the same system as the dole?? I remember seeing something way back in the early 70’s on 60 minutes? It showed exactly how hard it was to survive. The money expired way too quickly.. In the end.. He was unable to afford even a newspaper.. and he gave up ahead of time.. (If my memeory serves me correctly)

hehehe Oh thats right.. “Life wasn’t meant to be easy”.. ;)

But as I always said in response..

Wasn’t meant to be this f^%$ing hard either..

U want more??? See: http://lazerzap.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl/Blog

Excuse typos and spelling mistakes please.. I am always in a hurry..

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2008-09-19 CentreLink

Life on a CentreLink Payment

Life is getting tougher in 2008. While pensions and welfare payments in general have risen. It is not consistant with general price rises. Therefore we are again worse off.

Supermarket and Petrol costs more every week

Petrol prices and their impact on the weekly tab at the supermarket checkout has become obvious. (Either that or the Woolworths Corporation are going to post higher profits again this quarter..)

CentreLink REDUCE support for low income people

Centerlink contacted me to inform me that due to the increases in the cost of living.. (Im thinking they are going to give a pay rise..)

They have determined that the MINIMUM rent someone on welfare must be paying to recieve rent assistance has risen. (So no pay rise.. in fact a pay cut for some)

Let me explain this to you.

People who have previously been in reciept of Rent Assistance are no longer eligable because it costs more now to live..

Rudd Government doesn't help us

What the…???

Are they insane?

They just made it a lot worse for many many people..

Rudds way of forcing up Real Estate prices?

Hey not only that… But they force the people who own the houses to increase their rent.

Many people on welfare will now approach the owner and ask them to increase the rent so that they are again covered by rent relief.

Many Owners will (happily) respond by doing just that..

Lets increase the cost to rent

So.. Mr Rudd basically inflates the rent prices (overall) for those who (already) can ill afford it.

Why dont politicians help us?

Politicians really smell off dont they? The more you know about a politician the less you like em.

Im waiting for some employment initiatives to come from this Federal Government.

Work from Home?

I would like to see them tackle unemployment with an aim to getting people to work from home. Over their computers. Maybe get them to key punch phone books or something. (I havent given that idea much thought because its out of my control what they do - Maybe I should come up with some ideas?)

ATO Employees

I know… OMG Im so evil.. Get everyone of welfare to do the Governments Job.

Make them ATO employees.

Get them to look up how someone else is cheating the system.

Give them access to only look up the records of ALL the government departments data bases on the people on their roster for that day.

Make sure that you have proceedures in place to disallow records from anyone they know. (Make penalties for them knowingly doing this.)

Basically get them to operate an automated electronic surveillance system and report on any found cheats.

  • tech note on*

Make it co-operative like seti with data matching on shared key field searches across the system which then creates secure master listings of suspects which the system allocates to each operator.

Operator can select or generate a new suspect.

  • tech note off*

Work for the Dole?

Do it on their home computers for 6 hours a day and get paid a reasonable amount for it.

An average of how many frauds are normally detected per 100 cases. If the participant doesnot detect their average (+/- whatever percent to make it fair) They get paid less.

No incentive to become an idiot. In fact idiots who detect everyone of fraud should be dissallowed access.

lol

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2007-10-24 CentreLink

Busy Busy Busy

Shopping day again. In to Millicent. I need to do that Interview. Did the interview. Was granted the exemption. I have to attend other interviews as well of course.

Uh oh.. CentreLink think I'm a crazy drug addict

Im going to be placed on intensive assistance. I wonder what that will mean? I ‘HAVE’ to have a ‘MENTAL EVALUATION’? I also have to attend a ‘DRUG REHAB CENTRE’?

CentreLink must think I’m a drugged out nutter. Hmmmm.. Personally I never saw much wrong with smoking some grass occasionally. But typical of Government Departments who have a Zero Tolerance policy towards untaxed (illegal) drugs.

Aparently I am now considered a druggy in need of a Drug Rehab Centre. This is what happens if you actually tell em the truth. sigh

The mental evaluation will be interesting. I don’t think I’m ready to be considered crazy. But I am easily upset lately. Maybe they are trying to discredit my comments on the net? Who knows??

So I agree to everything they want. Lets see what happens next. I really don’t have a choice do I? They already beat me with the financial stick. I don’t want to be ‘Breached’ for not agreeing with them.

Short in the Bank

After the interview I go across the road to the bank. Hmm I seem to be maybe $140 short? Whats going on now?

The 'Sneaky' Rent Relief Form

So back to the CentreLink office. They contact Mt Gambier CentreLink. Im now told that I needed to contact CentreLink advising them within 14 days of moving house and prove to them what my current rent is. They have now withheld the rent assistance I was receiving.

So I ask If I can get a form so that I can get it re-instated. Now I am told that these forms are special. Well they must be. The CentreLink office in Millicent is ‘NOT ALOWWED’ to have copies of that particular form.

I ask for a copy to be faxed to the Millicent CentreLink. Now I am told that this form cannot be printed out. It ‘MUST’ be mailed.

This is again the Government making sure that all us ‘thieves’ dont rip em off. But in the process slowing down the system to a crawl and frustrating those that are forced to use the system.

Are they 'trying' to make us angry?

Why does this form have to be mailed out? Too piss us off. Make us wait. Plain and simple.

So now to get this form. I will have to wait for it to turn up. The next time I will be in town will probably be next Wednesday 31st. So i cant fix it before then due to their system and my remoteness.

Oh Great! - More delays in payment

Hmmmmm I wonder if they backdate it? I am not gonna be too surprised to find out they dont. We shall see..

Fixing the Customline

Payed $50 more on the Customline. Picked up the finished driveshaft. Went and asked a friend to help me get the Customline home tomorrow.

Didn’t pay rent. Due to being short about $140. *sigh

Put more petrol in than normal and only really did a light shop.

The money ran out too fast. I got $30 left in my wallet for Naracoorte on Friday.

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