I know that many people on this forum have dealt with the monster that is Centrelink at some stage during their life, let alone, their health issues/chronic pain.
When I had to stop working at the end of 2017, I thought my health issues were only temporary, but as I later found out, they are permanent. I initially thought that after some rest, I'd be back in the workforce, but as it turns out, 12 months later, I'm quite possibly in a worse situation, both physically and mentally.
Today, Centrelink knocked back my medical certificate from my doctor.
The reason? Because the medical certificate states that my condition is permanent, so in the eyes of Centrelink (or rather, Government policy), I either:
a) have to go back to my doctor and get him to include more details of my health problems (which are different to what was mentioned on a previous medical certificate that I had more than 12 months ago), in which case, if it's not to their liking, they can still reject it (apparently)
b) apply for the DSP (which based on what I've heard others have gone through, would probably get knocked back (I'm on a waiting list to see a neurosurgeon and have been for more than 12 months now)
c) lose the Newstart 'benefit' because I'm unable to work
I'm a person who follows the rules and does what I'm supposed to do. I attend my interviews (Disability Employment/Management Services), I look for jobs (both inside and outside of what I've done for the past 20 years). I'm reasonably intelligent and present well at interviews (although the last interview I had was for the job I had to give up).
I do experience anxiety about what wouldwill happen when I front up to an interview now, simply because I've gained weight (but am hopefully losing some of it now) and I now walk with a limp, and considerably slower than the speed I used to walk (I was overtaken by a woman in her 80s the other day. There are also days where I can barely move at all, and even just standing causes considerable pain (despite medication).
Like many of us here, both physical and mental issues have taken a toll on me, but I'm doing my best.
I use my "spare" time to teach myself new skills in my field (I.T.) in the hope that things will pick up.
So, when Centrelink tells me that they are rejecting my medical certificate, it hits me hard. Really hard.
The person I spoke to on the phone was very helpful and gave me some good advice, but the fear of getting forced out of the system (essentially by politicians who keep their snouts in the trough while making life impossibly harder for the rest of us), is really, really crushing me at the moment.
Has this happened to anyone else? If so, how did you deal with the situation?
Centrelink can be very tedious but if you show that you aren’t bullsh@#$$&/( them they are really helpful , you need to remember that the job they are doing is very hard as they have people who are rooting the system , so just follow on what they tell you and at all times be polite you’ll get more help .
as long as I wake up alive I'm happy
Because it could be worse
Agreed - those who work at Centrelink don't make the policy, they just have the unfortunate task of having to enforce it (whether they agree with it or not).
In my dealings with Centrelink, they've generally been pretty good, and from what I can tell, they have a look at your "history" while on the phone to you, so they generally have a good idea of who they are dealing with (in terms of rorts etc).
My disdain is for the politicians (of all sides) who see those who are doing it tough as a football that can be kicked around for their own pleasure.
At the moment, it's just another kick in the teeth though.
Spoke to my Doctor just after the first medical certificate was rejected, and he filled in another one and listed some of the more recent medical issues I've been experiencing, but most importantly, put "temporary" on it (which some of those more recent issues are), and also the word "exacerbation" (which is equally important).
People I'd spoken to at Centrelink advised me that the wording on these forms is very important - mention "permanent", and it'll be denied outright.
Anyway, I decided against submitting the new medical certificate for about a week and a half, and then, after a couple of bad days (with pain), I ended up submitting it and it was accepted.
People I've spoken with at Centrelink have been really good and the advice they have provided has been very helpful.
As much as Centrelink can be frustrating, the people I've spoken to have been wonderful.