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Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Old May 31st 2019, 1:41 am
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Angry Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Got a medical certificate from the GP this week - signed off work for two months (initially, at least). Went to Centrelink Tuesday, filled out forms, submitted all info. Staff - largely unhelpful. Asking for help on certain assessment questions, stock answer from the surley miserable staff was "put whatever you want". I did manage to latch on to one guy that was much better and sympathetic mind you. Next step: "you need a telephone appointment". Me "but I'm here, now, why not now" .. "nope, it's done by phone now".

Tuesday phone appointment came, 1.5 hours late. "Lucky" I have nowhere to go... answered a load of questions that I'd already answered in the submitted forms ... Result of call - I must go for a "job capacity assessment". But I'm not fit for work, GP has signed me off, why this waste of time & delay? "Just what we have to do". So I have to be assessed by a non-doctor who may disagree?? When will this appointment be? "You'll get a call in the next couple of days".

Two days later - no call. Called Centrelink. 45 minutes on hold. I was told I need to fill out another form - an SU684 - a form that NOBODY had mentioned before. Lady was insisted. "Verification of medical conditions" - but I've already submitted a medical certificate!! "Sorry, still need the form". And guess what, the form needs to be completed by a doctor. No chance of getting an appointment until Monday...

Got the form. Printed the form. Form says to GP "if your patient is .. incapacitated .. please complete a Medical Certificate instead of this form" ... i.e. WHAT I'VE ALREADY PROVIDED!!!!

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! More stress I don't need. And right after I printed this form, my printer broke. I just blubbed on the floor like a little baby.

I'm now on hold to Centrelink...... again.....

End of rant.
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 6:17 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by Lucas_Dad View Post
Got a medical certificate from the GP this week - signed off work for two months (initially, at least). Went to Centrelink Tuesday, filled out forms, submitted all info. Staff - largely unhelpful. Asking for help on certain assessment questions, stock answer from the surley miserable staff was "put whatever you want". I did manage to latch on to one guy that was much better and sympathetic mind you. Next step: "you need a telephone appointment". Me "but I'm here, now, why not now" .. "nope, it's done by phone now".

Tuesday phone appointment came, 1.5 hours late. "Lucky" I have nowhere to go... answered a load of questions that I'd already answered in the submitted forms ... Result of call - I must go for a "job capacity assessment". But I'm not fit for work, GP has signed me off, why this waste of time & delay? "Just what we have to do". So I have to be assessed by a non-doctor who may disagree?? When will this appointment be? "You'll get a call in the next couple of days".

Two days later - no call. Called Centrelink. 45 minutes on hold. I was told I need to fill out another form - an SU684 - a form that NOBODY had mentioned before. Lady was insisted. "Verification of medical conditions" - but I've already submitted a medical certificate!! "Sorry, still need the form". And guess what, the form needs to be completed by a doctor. No chance of getting an appointment until Monday...

Got the form. Printed the form. Form says to GP "if your patient is .. incapacitated .. please complete a Medical Certificate instead of this form" ... i.e. WHAT I'VE ALREADY PROVIDED!!!!

AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! More stress I don't need. And right after I printed this form, my printer broke. I just blubbed on the floor like a little baby.

I'm now on hold to Centrelink...... again.....

End of rant.
Why? Any thoughts on the matter? Ok I'll pass on a few reasons to mull over. It is the result of the Federal Government's attack on the welfare system that served this country so well until the reduction in spending overall on social welfare since the beginning of this' new' century. The dole is unliveable. Neither party has the urge to raise it . The turn over, as in many agencies is colossal. Revolving doors. Poor work places. Bullying work practices. Little motivation. Massive staff turn over.Breaches galore of claimants often to fill quotas impossible to me met by staff and generated by computer. This creates great hardship to many people, less able to defend themselves, breached without reason by error and too often ending up homeless.
Not only Centre Link, I'm afraid but across the board. UK hardly better. All following similar paths of being as mean to the vulnerable and needy as possible. Until one comes to use these services, one may easily remain in ignorance to what is happening and which will worsen now this government has been re elected. All a big shame, but too many of the population have been brought over by the government's blame game, in blaming those for the unfortunate circumstances they find themselves. Lifters and leaners and ridiculous terms given by politicians with neo liberal economic leanings (small government and low taxes) while being of privileged backgrounds themselves with no experience or interest in how people end up on the margins.
People are pure stats with humanity largely removed from the equation where targets and outcomes tend to rule over well being. The management of the vulnerable is something of a growth industry but don't expect to be treated much more as a statistic to be case managed at will.
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
Why? Any thoughts on the matter? Ok I'll pass on a few reasons to mull over. It is the result of the Federal Government's attack on the welfare system that served this country so well until the reduction in spending overall on social welfare since the beginning of this' new' century. The dole is unliveable. Neither party has the urge to raise it . The turn over, as in many agencies is colossal. Revolving doors. Poor work places. Bullying work practices. Little motivation. Massive staff turn over.Breaches galore of claimants often to fill quotas impossible to me met by staff and generated by computer. This creates great hardship to many people, less able to defend themselves, breached without reason by error and too often ending up homeless.
Not only Centre Link, I'm afraid but across the board. UK hardly better. All following similar paths of being as mean to the vulnerable and needy as possible. Until one comes to use these services, one may easily remain in ignorance to what is happening and which will worsen now this government has been re elected. All a big shame, but too many of the population have been brought over by the government's blame game, in blaming those for the unfortunate circumstances they find themselves. Lifters and leaners and ridiculous terms given by politicians with neo liberal economic leanings (small government and low taxes) while being of privileged backgrounds themselves with no experience or interest in how people end up on the margins.
People are pure stats with humanity largely removed from the equation where targets and outcomes tend to rule over well being. The management of the vulnerable is something of a growth industry but don't expect to be treated much more as a statistic to be case managed at will.

Sure I reckon your right on the cutbacks and ruthlessness, in both countries. but when it comes to ineptitude, there is nothing I've encountered on earth like Centerlink.

It's the only orgnisation I know of that you can get 3 different answers to the same query, all spouted as the only and correct answer. I wouldn't mind if it was once in a while, but it happens constantly and across the board in all areas.

So beyond the cutbucks and meanness this is an organisation that is so sadly lacking in consistancy, that they should make a black comedy series based on the true situations that they create a thousand times a day.

I feel for you LucasDad for having to deal with the worst aspect of Australian beauracracy and the worst organisation I've had personal dealings with.

Our issue with them was circa 12 years ago and it took 6 years to fix..... Then it turned out we had been paying them back at 3 times the rate we should have and managed to get quite a bit of money back out of them. All thanks to my Tax Accountant and the only Tax Accountant I know of that is a Centerlink Expert. To cut a long story short it was family payment issue v my wifes erratic part time wages for the previous 3 years. Even though we reported our wage every year at tax time.


Now you guys understand why I dont want to have a private UK pension anywhere near the Centerlink "Boffins" I couldn't go anywhere near the total confusion and erratic responses again.

Good luck to anyone that deals with them..... especially if you have continuous changing circumstances. My wife and I both will, as we will probably work part time in one form or another after retirement, then the confusion will begin again. At least the UK private pension wont be in the picture.

Last edited by ozzieeagle; Jun 3rd 2019 at 10:17 am.
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

The sad aspect to this is that it is a prelude to social services future in Australia. Easy to pick on this group often without the means or ability to fight back. It is disgusting what Centre Link has been doing with its breaches policy. We have already witnessed the disaster that is termed aged care in Australia and disabilities not far behind. While people continue to repress opposition there will be no changes and only further decline across the board. The question must be what sort of country we want Australia to become?
Not quite the answer the OP probably intended, but necessary to realise the decline is across the board. We may very likely all be in need of help at some stage. Important to know the difficulty, and likely increasingly so, to access services which we once thought were our birth right or citizen right.
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

CentreLink is poor by design. Rightly so, one needs to jump through hoops to demonstrate the actual need for help. Without that, it's open to abuse.
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Old Jun 3rd 2019, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by ozzieeagle View Post
Sure I reckon your right on the cutbacks and ruthlessness, in both countries. but when it comes to ineptitude, there is nothing I've encountered on earth like Centerlink.

It's the only orgnisation I know of that you can get 3 different answers to the same query, all spouted as the only and correct answer. I wouldn't mind if it was once in a while, but it happens constantly and across the board in all areas.

So beyond the cutbucks and meanness this is an organisation that is so sadly lacking in consistancy, that they should make a black comedy series based on the true situations that they create a thousand times a day.

I feel for you LucasDad for having to deal with the worst aspect of Australian beauracracy and the worst organisation I've had personal dealings with.

Our issue with them was circa 12 years ago and it took 6 years to fix..... Then it turned out we had been paying them back at 3 times the rate we should have and managed to get quite a bit of money back out of them. All thanks to my Tax Accountant and the only Tax Accountant I know of that is a Centerlink Expert. To cut a long story short it was family payment issue v my wifes erratic part time wages for the previous 3 years. Even though we reported our wage every year at tax time.


Now you guys understand why I dont want to have a private UK pension anywhere near the Centerlink "Boffins" I couldn't go anywhere near the total confusion and erratic responses again.

Good luck to anyone that deals with them..... especially if you have continuous changing circumstances. My wife and I both will, as we will probably work part time in one form or another after retirement, then the confusion will begin again. At least the UK private pension wont be in the picture.
Unionised government employees with no accountability and impossible to sack

There's your problem right there
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Old Jun 4th 2019, 2:38 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by Beoz View Post
CentreLink is poor by design. Rightly so, one needs to jump through hoops to demonstrate the actual need for help. Without that, it's open to abuse.
Thought you'd you pop up to celebrate the abuse being administered to some of the most vulnerable within society. You know where the abuse lays. It's hardly with the most powerless.
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Old Jun 4th 2019, 2:45 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by Amazulu View Post
Unionised government employees with no accountability and impossible to sack

There's your problem right there
Are there no boats heading back to Africa you could hitch a ride on? Unions are for their faults, the only thing protecting the legal rights of employees these days. The modern year contracts or casual contracts are to enable too often the control of the workforce into total oppressive obedience, with people too scared to speak out for losing their job. Instant dismissal in too many cases for stating an opinion. Not the sort of Australia we want to live in, Newcomers like yourself should make a greater effort to adapt.
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Old Jun 4th 2019, 7:32 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
Thought you'd you pop up to celebrate the abuse being administered to some of the most vulnerable within society. You know where the abuse lays. It's hardly with the most powerless.
Not really. We live a society where those in need are helped. Sadly we also live in a society where there a plenty, waiting and willing to abuse the system. Simple as that. Don't over complicate it.
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Old Jun 4th 2019, 9:27 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by Beoz View Post
Not really. We live a society where those in need are helped. Sadly we also live in a society where there a plenty, waiting and willing to abuse the system. Simple as that. Don't over complicate it.
Well I won't accuse you of over thinking it. That's one less burden for you to have to deal with. I agree. We live in a society increasingly built around self interest and greed. Those attempting to irk out a living on New Start though not being among them. Nor those breached by computer glitch too often wrongly, or by employees pushed to achieve targets.
One thing it is not is simple. The accountability is near non existent and those attempting to make sense or indeed correct a wrong or look into an entitlement to often find themselves in non navigational waters. A deliberate process of course to deter and inflict pain on a too often vulnerable part of society. Australia was once better than this. Much better. It is aping the UK, indeed competing to hit rock bottom. UK results of policy have long been evident with the development of an under class society of some proportion. Sad Australia has gone that way.
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Old Jun 5th 2019, 12:11 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by the troubadour View Post
Well I won't accuse you of over thinking it. That's one less burden for you to have to deal with. I agree. We live in a society increasingly built around self interest and greed. Those attempting to irk out a living on New Start though not being among them. Nor those breached by computer glitch too often wrongly, or by employees pushed to achieve targets.
One thing it is not is simple. The accountability is near non existent and those attempting to make sense or indeed correct a wrong or look into an entitlement to often find themselves in non navigational waters. A deliberate process of course to deter and inflict pain on a too often vulnerable part of society. Australia was once better than this. Much better. It is aping the UK, indeed competing to hit rock bottom. UK results of policy have long been evident with the development of an under class society of some proportion. Sad Australia has gone that way.
I do like the way you tried to draw a parallel between computer glitches and incompetence with self interest and greed and an attack on the vulnerable. ..... fail

The vulnerable are well and truly looked after in Australia. Of course there are instances like this where there are some frustrations with the way the system works. Again, I re-iterate, you are asking the tax payer for some help, you need to be checked and verified for authenticity. Nothing wrong with that. Its common sense.
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Old Jun 5th 2019, 12:20 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by Lucas_Dad View Post
I'm now on hold to Centrelink...... again.....

.
So are you still on hold ?

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Old Jun 5th 2019, 5:48 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by Beoz View Post
I do like the way you tried to draw a parallel between computer glitches and incompetence with self interest and greed and an attack on the vulnerable. ..... fail

The vulnerable are well and truly looked after in Australia. Of course there are instances like this where there are some frustrations with the way the system works. Again, I re-iterate, you are asking the tax payer for some help, you need to be checked and verified for authenticity. Nothing wrong with that. Its common sense.
No I accept brokers and such vulnerable types are well looked after in Australia, those with real needs are increasingly fobbed off. I have detailed the extraordinary high number of breaches on claimants who have done nothing wrong. It is not a glitch as claimed but a deliberate process to meet targets and rectify at a later stage. (in some cases) It has nothing to do with the verifying of authenticity. Most these claimants are already part of the system. Plenty wrong with that. Shame your support of state harassment of those legally in receipt of benefits doesn't extend to tax avoiders and the financial corruption far more likely to bring the nation down and at great cost. But then we can expect little more.
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Old Jun 5th 2019, 5:54 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Client support is not a strong point of Centre Link nor quite a few other services where help is being sought. It's been an on going thing for a considerable period of time and when the phone may finally be answered, the information sought may not be more than a standard sort of reply, not catering to the individual query.
You can probably get an idea just how difficult it is for somebody wrongly breached to get reconnected.
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Old Jun 5th 2019, 10:40 am
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Default Re: Why is Centrelink so awful? (Unanswerable question)

Originally Posted by BEVS View Post
So are you still on hold ?
From what I know of Centrelink, yes he probably is!
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