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Life in the hands of the Clink

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Randomly found this community.... [Dec. 28th, 2006|06:59 pm]
Life in the hands of the Clink

--Huge rant, sorry -- (Don't know how to do LJ cuts)

Honestly surprised there hasn't been one made before. Hell, even in World of Warcraft there's a guild called 'Fatal Centrelink Error.'
I've been working on and off for about 3 or 4 years- each time I've been out of work I've applied to Centrelink for dole payments, for various reasons, and using various avenues.
Maybe, all up, I've applied about 10 times.

I am 20 years old. Centrelink say, for Youth Allowance/Newstart Allowance you either have to be 21, or prove your indepndence somehow. (My parents apparently earn too much money for me to get Youth Allowance as a dependant child).

Apparently, living 1400kms away from your parents doesn't make you independent. I was living in Sydney, applied for the dole twice over there, as I lost a couple of jobs due to my broken back.
Apparently having worked on and off for 2+ years doesn't make you independent.
No, you've got to have worked fulltime for 18 months since leaving school, or have earnt $17k in that 18 month period.
They wouldn't touch me with a 10ft pole.

I have a broken back- I apply for a disability pension.
No- doc has to say I can't work for 2 years or more to be able to get it. Doc reckons I'll be back to work within the year, so I apply for Sickness benefits (unable to work for periods of under 2 years). Guess what? Yet again, I have to prove my independence.

I'm not exactly sure where Centrelink get the idea that parents WANT to keep wiping their children's arses until they're 21, but mine certainly don't.

6 months ago- my parents split up. You beauty I thought, Single Parent income- I can actually damn well get a payment. I found a job though, moved 1400kms in the OTHER direction this time, but ended up moving back home 3 weeks later due to a broken hand, finding I couldn't work for 6 weeks.
So I apply to Centrelink, again.
Despite the fact that my parents have split up... I still can't get any goddamn payment. Dad left mum with nothing but a mortgage. They give us these damn forms to fill out- detailing EVERY SINGLE CENT the whole family has spent over the past TWO YEARS on EVERYTHING- and I mean EVERYTHING. Bills, food, gifts, toilet paper, the whole deal. Who the HELL has a record of every dollar they've spent on EVERYTHING for the past 2 years?
Needless to say, we couldn't fill it out, and the person I had on my case refused to offer assistance, telling me that my Mum had to come in to the office one day and get someone else to help her fill out the forms. WTF?! Hello, she still needs to work, when the hell is she supposed to find time to come in?
And pray tell, what the hell is to gain from that anyway? I mean, Dad was HERE for the past 2 years- so that says nothing. The fact is, he's gone now, Mum earns barely enough to feed my brother and I each week, what has the past 2 years got to do with anything?

I hate Centrelink. Each time I have to speak to a fucktard, either on the phone or in person, I grow angrier and angrier. Noone seems to want to help, or even remotely gives a shit.

My hand has now healed, and I am looking for work, but in the meantime... My credit card has overdrawn again (fees), I have unpaid bills, and debt collectors on my arse once more.

What REALLY annoys me though, is seeing drop-kicks get a payment at the drop of a hat. People who have no desire to look for work, just sit back and wait for their dole payment every fortnight so they can buy cigarettes, Jim Beam and dope.

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(no subject) [Sep. 19th, 2006|05:27 pm]
Life in the hands of the Clink

[mood |annoyedannoyed]
[music |crown of thorns - wumpscut]

I just read that dole diary and can really sympathise with that lady.

I am an educated young woman who has spent the last 2.5 years at home raising my child. Prior to Tarquin's birth, however, I was trying to get a job to support my partner and I. All my jobs had been working Call Centers. If you have ever worked in a call center you will know that your job description should read "required to act polite and non-judgemental to all our clients. 90% of whom are trash, stupid, rude or think that you personally can pull strings in the multi-national company you work for to have their pathetic whim granted"

I have a long and arduous history with depression and it has seriously affected my ability to work like a normal person. Centrelink gave me HELL when I applied for sickness benefits for 6 months (as recommended by my psychologist). It was belittling and humiliating having to constantly front to interviews and be told I didn't seem depressed.

Now,  2.5 years later I am looking to re-enter the workforce. Currenly both my partner and I are on a satanlink benefit. COMBINED we get a little over $500 a week, this allows us to pay rent, pay bills and eat. It doesn't allow us to lead a lavish lifestyle. I simply cannot understand where the "dole bludges" get money to drink/smoke/drug it up every weekend!

Because I've been a mum for the past few years, my wardrobe is pretty limited. Because we live on benefits our bank balance is ALWAYS less than it should be. Which leaves me practically nothing to buy "work clothes" with. Because I am the main caregiver of Tarquin, I'm not entitled to the same benefits as a Newstart Job Seeker is allowed. Basically, I have to registered as a job seeker for 6 months, before Im entitled to those benfits.

I applied for a job last week off my own bat, and am now completely paranoid about them calling me for an interview because I have nothing to wear.

Not to mention the fact that stay at home PARTNERED mothers are not entitled to travel concessions. Don't even get me started on this one. I have been a single mother so I know how hard it is, but it is no EASIER being a partnered mother when said partner isn't brining in an income. Neither of us drive, for reasons I'd rather not discuss right now, but that really isn't the point. People on a limited income should be entitled to a concession to travel!

I'll hop off my soapbox now, until next time.

Hop I can bring you tricks of the trade along the way...
till then
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Ahhh..the system... [Sep. 6th, 2006|05:30 pm]
Life in the hands of the Clink

[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Tenacious D]

Last week I recieved two letters in the mail, both in the same envelope. They informed me that I have an appointment with Salvation Army Plus in Warragul, but they give me a Heidelberg address and contact number. Then the other letter says I have an appointment in Warragul (two hours away and where I used to live) and gives me the Heidleberg address and contact number. Both appointments are for the same time on the same day.

Of course I contacted them- there is no way I'd go to the one most convienient to me and be spanked for not going to the other one.
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(no subject) [Sep. 3rd, 2006|04:30 am]
Life in the hands of the Clink

Centrelink sent me a new Health Care Card yesterday that expires in a week. Totally worth the ancient tress it's printed on.

But bless them, if they don't send me another one today, one what lasts till December.

And on another note, why are our forms now on two bits of paper instead of the one? Do we not use enough trees?
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(no subject) [Aug. 28th, 2006|06:11 pm]
Life in the hands of the Clink

[mood |awake]
[music |whatevertakes my fancy on YouTube]

Welcome to the first (as far as I can tell) LJ community for Centrelink users- please read the userinfo page and tell us a story about your relationship with Centrelink, or share something with us that you think everyone should know.

To start with, I'll tell you a little about myself. I am an artist/craftsperson living in Melbourne, and I haven't had a real job in over 8 years. There are various reasons- none of which I'll go into here. Begin unemployed for more than 8 years means I've become good mates with old Centrelink (the Clink, the stink, the sinisterlink) and we have a pretty good idea about how we both operate, and work accordingly. Sometimes.

To begin with, here's a great link: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/08/03/1059849264548.html - it's a six month diary of a woman who suddenly finds herself unempolyed, and her interaction with Centrelink during that time- in her words, 'it’s only since Centrelink came into my life that I’ve known true distress, isolation and frustration.'
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