The form came for David to fill out for the Sickness Allowance. All four books of it. Centrelink uses the same form both for the Sickness Allowance and the Disability Support Pension. The Sickness Allowance is the same amount as the dole, less than $300 a week, although I'm sure he'll get rent assistance for his part of the rent. When I was on it for a few weeks during my big hospital episodes I was getting a total of $295 a week, which included full rent assistance.
What I'm saying is that the money that he'd get is fuck all. A stop gap measure for someone already employed to help them get over illness and go back to work. Yet Centrelink is telling him he has to pass much of the same criteria as someone applying for a full Disability Support Pension to get this measly payment. I dunno about applying for the dole for the same amount of payment, but I bet it's a lot easier than applying for the DSP. So yes, David has to jump through all these ridiculous hoops just to get some pathetic amount that barely does anything.
Anyway David hasn't had anything to do with Centrelink for years and years as he's been working. This year however he's suffered terribly over this bloody discrimination from his work over his having HIV. He has this year earned even less money that I got on the bloody pension. It's now been over two months since his work stopped ringing him with shifts and he's had nothing. Over that time we've just had to use the credit card to support him, including paying his share of the rent on it. My pension payments are barely enough for me let alone anyone else. So over these two months we've uncured unavoidable debt to simply survive. To the point that now we're so into debt that we have no choice but to go to Centrelink and get help. We're just trying to survive.
He's also suffered mentally. I've not narrated a blow by blow discussion of his life here as it's not my place, and you know the blogs about me and all :)
Suffice to say he's not capable of work at the present time because of severe depression. He's not doing well at all. That's all I'm saying about it here.
OK so in typical David style he puts filling out the forms for ages, until I just about have a panic attack at him and demand he start filling the bloody things out. I suggested starting with the "Income and Assets" form as it's really easy; we have nothing. But no, he chooses the Sickness Allowance/Disability Support Pension form and proceeds. He lasts about half an hour, then I have to take over as he's had enough. I spend at least an hour going through them and writing what he says after I read questions to him. I use my Centrelink experience to put it all into Centrelink hoop jumping language.
I go through the assets form and officially declare that we both have fuck all. I still have to print out both our bank statement things to include in the form as proof of our poverty. Between us we had a combined total of $8 in the bank. I have to use David's PC to do that as Windows8 has chucked a hissy fit at my printer. David has Windows7.
There is however another hurdle before David can take these form books down to the local Centrelink and have them processed. In his travels and life over the last years he's lost most of his ID. So we've had to send off online to Births Deaths and Marriages an urgent application for his birth certificate. Centrelink requires super duper proof of ID, the birth certificate being a vital part of that. Although we made the application "urgent" about 2 weeks ago when we did it (being charged extra and having to pay $75 to do it urgently) it's not arrived yet. It will be coming by registered mail and then picked up by David at the post office. The turnaround time for this "urgent" birth certificate it says online is 10 working days. It's been more than that now. I tell David to ring them and ask WTF is going on with this "urgent" birth cert application. He says he will tomorrow...... The saga goes on.
This is all just for a pissy little $300 or so a week, which BTW is counted as taxable income at the end of the financial year.
Does business have to jump through hoops like this to get their gov billions?
Does big business have to go through such excruciating questions as contained in the "Income and Assets" test that David has had to fill out for a pittance payment? Would they even qualify for even a $300 a week payment from the gov after filling out the same assets test as David has had to fill out? They wouldn't qualify for one single cent.