CentreLink Knows How To Confuse

It’s been a while since I posted about my (lack of) employment status. Recently CentreLink stopped my NewStart allowance (this is a payment provided by CentreLink to assist me in looking for work). I also received a letter from CentreLink advising me to attend an interview. The conversation went something like this:

Don: Why have you stopped my payments?
CTL: We haven’t. {typing…} Oh, you haven’t submitted your re-application form in time.
Don: What form?
CTL: The form we sent you.
Don: Here are all the letters you sent me, there is no form.
CTL: But you need to re-apply for NewStart every 12 weeks.
Don: It would be nice if you told me this.
CTL: {typing……} Yes, it would have been. {more typing……} Ok, you are now fixed up for the next 12 weeks. You’ll get a letter.
Don: Thank you.

The next day I received a letter advising me that I had not submitted the Application for Payment form and that if I didn’t do so within the next 14 days, they would attempt to recover all payments to me.

The following day I received a letter advising me that I will get paid and enclosed a Reporting Statement that I should have received back in June.

This time I rang up and listened to music for 30 minutes before I got a real person who advised me to ignore the first letter as everything was okay and I will get paid until December. Not only that, but I can fill in the form on-line and save everybody a lot of time.

It’s a pity they don’t let you know this in advance.

I consider myself a normal person, certainly without dementia, but I find the process of social security to be so complicated as to be unfathomable by most people. And THAT is the damning shame of our society.

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4 Responses to “CentreLink Knows How To Confuse”

  1. It’s not just your society Don, it’s the same over here in the UK. Applying for something you are entitled to means having to jump through a load of bureaucratic hoops. If you haven’t received or got the right bit of paper, you enter a Kafkaesque nightmare with only piped music to listen to on the phone. 🙄

    Hopefully it’s all sorted now Don.

    John

  2. Hi Don

    So it’s not just the UK then that’s full of incompetents!

    I suspect that the bureaucratic process in your country is similar to ours and is designed to (a) make it as difficult as possible for people to obtain assistance and (b) hope they can’t be bothered to go through the process.

    In this country only the experts who know the ropes seem to be able to beat the system and these are usually the workshy layabouts who have never worked in their lives. We now have 3 generations of families who have never seen employment. The genuine cases just give up in frustration.

    Bill

  3. Whole generations living on government subsidies is happening over here as well Don. This is the downside of a welfare state that is only just being recognised. It’s the law of unintended consequences.

    John

  4. Thanks Guys,

    Australian Governments are full of non-thinkers. They take on anything and everything from other countries even if it is obvious that it is crap. They then call this “world’s best practice”. Our “system” is based on the UK, which is based on the “Yes Minister” principle.

    Don

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