Centrelink disability interview.

Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,591

Centrelink appointment for my disability claim and job assessment. Only four months of waiting since my application went in. We met with a psychologist (I think that’s what she said she was) called Lynda. She started with a big long rehearsed spiel that went on for about three minutes during which my eyes glazed over and I lost attention after one minute.

She picked through my side effects one by one about the lymphedema and the eye trouble and seemed happy they weren’t too bad at the moment.

Sometimes she asked a question but I had trouble comprehending and then I couldn’t remember the question she asked in the first place (thank you chemo brain – not) so it was a hard slog answering everything and I was getting a stress head ache.

Questions like can you sweep a floor I could answer but only one floor before I am worn out.

Then she asked why I wasn’t seeing a psychologist? I said I wasn’t aware of any phycologists in my area who bulk billed as that’s what I asked my doctor for in the first place after I found out at the BNCA seminar that I could see a psychologist for free. What I got was a psychiatrist who stuck me immediately on antidepressant medication which reacted badly with me in diarrhea and weight loss and swollen glands, then when I complained he said that’s how you know it’s working, when you get side effects. I got a lump in my good arm pit which sent oncology and my head surgeon scurrying for an ultrasound and blood tests and they were not impressed about the medication and told me to stop taking the antidepressant. Next appointment with the psychiatrist isn’t for months so I don’t know what I am supposed to do.

 

I got a little upset inside but the interview with the Centrelink lady was nearly done so I was holding my breath, ready to jump up and bolt and she said I should be seeing a psychologist. Well then, I lost it and the tears came and I couldn’t stop and I have no idea why I was crying, but I just wanted to get out of there. She said hubby and I should apply for New Start, I think she said it was and register with a job provider.

I got the sobs under control and she let us go, finally. I was thinking about the New Start thing when I got out and I would be a fraud to apply with a job provider as I know full well I cannot work atm. So embarrassing, sheesh!

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Comments

  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 919
    Sorry Brenda but this just gets me angry. This bureaucratic roundabout is what makes our health systems, potentially great, break down. I work in government and yes it is possible to break through these crazy rigmaroles, but the catch 22 is that you need to be as sharp as a tack, highly literate, a bit of a lawyer and in robust and energetic good health to do it. You are not the one to be embarrassed, every part of this unhelpful charade should hang their heads. I suggest you stop being ethical while the rest of the system can't get its head around the word and register!!
  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,462
    Hi Brenda, it doesn't seem fair- I know people on disability pensions with a lot less problems than you. I believe it works on a point system and you need various letters from each health professional for each problem.I know someone who got her podiatrist to write a letter about her needing orthotics and that just got her over the line to get a pension.She had depression and other minor things ofcourse but NOT cancer crap issues.Have another crack at it Brenda but go armed with letters from your psychiatrist,GP, and anyone else such as physio etc.Even Asthma is worth a few points!! 
  • socodasocoda LeumeahMember Posts: 1,457
    Ooohhh lovely, so sorry that they've got you jumping through hoops. Try having yet another discussion with your gp., they should be aware of the points system and what you need. I have heard of others who have missed out on a disability pension by one point :s your doc should be able to assist - crossing fingers xx 
  • fairydustfairydust Member Posts: 290
    hi Brenda5  life is a game. The rules and citeria for centerlink dont make common sense.
     You are not a fraud if you apply for newstart.
     I know and you know your working capacity is limited. You need income to survive. If you go on newstart centerlink will assist you and suggest courses you can do. Sometimes minimal voluntary work is classified as work... as are   some courses making  you eligible for newstart.  It is not personal very few get a disability pension. It is their policy.
    All staff at centerlink are not the same some are actually helpful,the person you saw wasnt.
    People love to tell you to see a psychologist as if that will fix anything. Psychologist are great but I have yet to see one to fix a physical ailment that stops you working.
    Treat centerlink as something you need to do . You deserve financial assistance. Just go with the flow. I found dealing with centerlink frustrating. Many years ago I had to. Just do it. You deserve financial help and no you are not a fraud their system is the problem not you.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 3,182
    It's a hard slog and don't feel embarassed. I helped a lady (because of my job) through this process who has not been able to work for years and had moved state. She started on newstart allowance, a medical certificate is provided to them that currently not fit for work...whether that is due to chemo  or depression is irrelevant, eventually they swap you over to disability if no recovery. Lots of paperwork but light at the end of the tunnel. This is initial interview with a clerk who probably doesn't even know the difference between psychologist and psychiatrist. Most public hospitals have a community mental health team and you could get counselling for free, it doesn't have to just be through your GP. Hang in there. X
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 3,182
    This link describes the public health mental health services Queensland  (which won't cost you a cent-I think you're in QLD?) and there is a link which hopefully give you a link to your closest hospital.  Failing that ring the main number of your closest hospital and ask to speak to mental health services. 

    https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/clinical-staff/mental-health/services
  • ZoffielZoffiel Member Posts: 876
    Sign up for Newstart and get your GP to write a medical certificate saying you are not well enough to work. You will get the payment, a lordly 500 and something bucks a fortnight, but won't have to do the job search. You will be 'reviewed' every couple of months.
    This is how they are dealing with people in our situation. The payment is less than the pension and it looks like they are cutting back on the perceived pension 'rort'. They have no fucking idea, and don't care, how hard all this is on us both physically and emotionally.
    Keep going, don't give up. Get a different shrink, play the game and don't give up. It's like cancer, you don't want to be there but it gets less confusing as you learn the language and rules. It all sucks but don't get fobbed off. Marg xxx
  • Summerhill38Summerhill38 Regional Vic Member Posts: 551
    Agree with all comments.  Personally I have no income due to ''assets'' (none of which produce an income, nor are saleable, but my house is on the market now and then I will rent).  Once my savings (i.e. personal superannuation from the sale of my home) is gone maybe I will get some help.  It is a struggle.  Friends have advised to go to a different Centrelink office as often there is a sort of attitude within an area and they just cannot see past the 'normal' they deal with on a daily basis.  I came out thinking that I hope they get cancer soon and have to struggle but, there again, they are probably covered by a heap of sick leave etc. and have mates who will get their paperwork through !  Cynical, I know, but that is the world we live in now.  Good luck with it all - stick with it and take what little they give - better than nothing.
    Summer :-)
  • wendy55wendy55 Copper Triangle South AustraliaMember Posts: 193

    hi brenda could you send me a personal message so that i can reply back, i am on a disability pension, my partner the aged pension and he also gets the carers allowance, i might be able to help you
    wendy55
  • MiraMira I live in my computer .... Member Posts: 281
    I feel for you Brenda, this is so wrong.  I know of another person with terminal lung cancer who was denied because the condition wasn't fully treated ... ummm its inoperable for him! 

    Complain!  I am on dsp for another condition and had problems dealing with the staff in our local office so I  put in a complaint via their website, and also a suggestion via their website telling them how difficult it was for me to get information from them.  Within a week I got a letter with a direct phone number, which was answered within 5 rings and sorted on the spot.   If you google "centrelink disability impairment tables" and you will get all the information you need to know what they are looking for.  Good luck!


  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 1,591
    Another fortnight gone and no reply from Centerlink. For goodness sakes, my application was done I think the 14th of February. I wonder if they would pay it to my estate if I died waiting?
    My eyes are very light sensitive on the Tamoxifen and my old corroded glasses aren't tinted so yesterday I got sick of holding out for a health card and ordered myself a new set of glasses with the tinting for the sun. $249 it cost me and hopefully they will be ready next week and I can get around without watery eyes all the time.
    My optometrist (the first one I saw when I had vision troubles) did the full tests again and said my inflamed blocked vein behind my eye is much better and not bleeding like it was. I saw the photos and although not red it is still there like a grain of rice in shape. Perhaps its going to sit there like a scar now?
    I never thought about it until I got home yesterday but I must have looked really poxy in public with all the hand and arm and face sores and the dressing covering stitches in my lymph arm. I have been having skin cancers removed lately. Hopefully one day I will emerge a swan.
  • brightspacebrightspace Member Posts: 168
    Maybe take comfy cushion thermos and  take up knitting and do a sit in at the cccccc ..put you face and body out there 
    All the best b

  • HITHIT Perth WAMember Posts: 230
    I've been dealing with Centrelink for years re disabled daughter.  And oh my god, if anything they are getting worse.  Wendy 55 may be able to help.  You have to know the system to get anywhere.  My daughter was registered with disability services since before school started, but I didn't apply for Centrelink payments till mid primary school..... and fought with them at every review ... After one knockback - because her disability is not permanent (she is mentally retarded from birth) I rang some poor woman and thanked her profusely for curing my daughter - I mentioned media and she hung up!!! No sense of humour.  Then at 16yrs I got someone who knew what she was doing, and happened to have her most recent IQ test and bang she got the pension, no more review / questions / forms / crap needed.   That was all I needed???  Why did not someone tell me???  So yes get comfy in there, relax, keep trying, and put in for everything ... you deserve it. 
  • JailbirdstreetJailbirdstreet Ipswich QldMember Posts: 32
    Brenda5 said:

    Centrelink appointment for my disability claim and job assessment. Only four months of waiting since my application went in. We met with a psychologist (I think that’s what she said she was) called Lynda. She started with a big long rehearsed spiel that went on for about three minutes during which my eyes glazed over and I lost attention after one minute.

    She picked through my side effects one by one about the lymphedema and the eye trouble and seemed happy they weren’t too bad at the moment.

    Sometimes she asked a question but I had trouble comprehending and then I couldn’t remember the question she asked in the first place (thank you chemo brain – not) so it was a hard slog answering everything and I was getting a stress head ache.

    Questions like can you sweep a floor I could answer but only one floor before I am worn out.

    Then she asked why I wasn’t seeing a psychologist? I said I wasn’t aware of any phycologists in my area who bulk billed as that’s what I asked my doctor for in the first place after I found out at the BNCA seminar that I could see a psychologist for free. What I got was a psychiatrist who stuck me immediately on antidepressant medication which reacted badly with me in diarrhea and weight loss and swollen glands, then when I complained he said that’s how you know it’s working, when you get side effects. I got a lump in my good arm pit which sent oncology and my head surgeon scurrying for an ultrasound and blood tests and they were not impressed about the medication and told me to stop taking the antidepressant. Next appointment with the psychiatrist isn’t for months so I don’t know what I am supposed to do.

     

    I got a little upset inside but the interview with the Centrelink lady was nearly done so I was holding my breath, ready to jump up and bolt and she said I should be seeing a psychologist. Well then, I lost it and the tears came and I couldn’t stop and I have no idea why I was crying, but I just wanted to get out of there. She said hubby and I should apply for New Start, I think she said it was and register with a job provider.

    I got the sobs under control and she let us go, finally. I was thinking about the New Start thing when I got out and I would be a fraud to apply with a job provider as I know full well I cannot work atm. So embarrassing, sheesh!


  • JailbirdstreetJailbirdstreet Ipswich QldMember Posts: 32
    I am so angry on your behalf. The system is set up to humiliate people and cause unnecessary suffering. Your doctor might be able to give you a medical certificate to get you out of doing job seeking, but when my Mum (not breast cancer, kidney failure + stroke) tried that they refused to accept it! Luckily her job network provider was understanding and just signed her off without her attending meetings 

    here you have sympathetic ears at least 
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