ShazSShazS Member Posts: 131
edited February 3 in General discussion
Hi All, Just venting my frustrations, for two days I have emailed the super I have like many of others have about trying to access some of my super to help out with the incoming house hold bills mortgage ect. We all know firstly being diagnosed one tends to go into shock, then the realisation of appts, surgery , all else that comes our way. Then all of a sudden the reality of when one has ceased work for now one wage carrying the burden of which I am lucky as there are others on there own of which I feel for. Anyway I have to be dying or dead of which what good is the mulla then, of which I am alive today and the bills don't go away, I have asked for all superannutions have a policy for people who for unforeseen illness comes out the blue, to have access to there super . I was suggested Centrelink well nothing against Centrelink when you need it and are genuine , I replyed would you stand in line for hours, talk to ten different people of whom know nothing about what you need , then fog you off to the next person so on and on. Telling complete strangers your private business then comes all the forms to go over the same thing all the stupid questions ect. No one should be  put through all this no need rigromole of the humiliation , shame, of the red tape. Why can't there be a policy put in place to access ones super , a doctors letter for evidence of the illness. We would like to keep our dignity and be treated with the up most respect , I was told try for Compassionate Leave ect why when the government say we all pay into super then when it's needed why can't we access it atleast that the bills ect are getting paid and we can contstrate on getting through this rocky journey without added stress. Any other suggestions let's try and fight for proper policies put in place for people and families to aleast lessen the burden of some sort. Shazx



  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,078
    @ShazS Hello! Well you outline something that I think most of us have gone through. It is true, unless you are dying you will not be able to access your Super unless you have non preserved funds, which is private contributions you've made then maybe those. The other way is financial hardship, but if you have another wage coming in, that won't work. I've been through it all at my diagnosis in 2015 in which I had to stop working for 3 months and Im a single parent it was very difficult. I also tried Centrelink to be told I could get sickness benefits but I had to spend something like $8000 of my own money before they would kick in!! and it would take about 3 months. Ummm useless!!! so I gave up and lived off what money I had saved.

    about 5 months after that I found that 1 of my Superannuation funds had income protection included as a component, so I applied, eventhough I went back to work 3 days, they picked up the 2 days I couldnt work and paid 65% of my overall wage. It's been better than nothing and I've done this for 2yrs as thats as long as it lasts, it finishes in January. So I have no choice but to go back full time, whether I can manage it physically or mentally or not! 

    So in terms of what you can do, you can get extensions on bills and pay them off in installments too. It is crazy as you say, there is really no financial assistance not really. 

    Hugs Melinda xo
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,313
    Well I didn't qualify for Centrelink nor my husband for Carers support as in the previous 2 years we earned too much together. My children who have been unable to find work but under 22 are also not entitled to unemployment or students allowance because we used to earn more money. However they are not considered dependents. who is feeding and clothing them? So best of luck. I changed jobs 3 months prior diagnosis taking a $25000 pay cut (for my sanity)and had a very small workcover payment (my leave paid back after breakdown and long service used whilst they decided it was a claim) but centrelink looked at my previous earnings  ...not what I was paid now. Seriously!  I had to draw on my life insurance which had trauma cover and that payed our mortgage and the frequent 1000km trips we travelled for my surgery and appointments. We were very lucky we had insurance and I still had some  long service leave transferred or we would have lost our home. My husband works for himself, partly retired, and every appointment he came with me too 500k away he lost his income. The cost of illness. We have no back up if my cancer returns and I guess we will just have to sell the family home if that happens. I am so hoping of course tbat this will not happen. if that fear is not bad enough without fear of destitution. Kath x
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,132
    Hi there shaz As some of you would know I've whinged about this several times on the forum and have bought this up too but will post here again as it's related. I've emailed my local member and hesta my super fund about it and am waiting for a response from either of them. Am also going to email the superannuation ombudsman but can't until I get a response from hesta!! ( more govt red tape bullshit) here's what I sent to both 

    I would  like to bring to your attention an article on the front page and page 4 of the Caboolture News (13th September issue) about a story about a beautiful Labrador that had bone cancer, and although a heart warming story, I felt disappointed for the following reason.

    The young bloke who owns the dog, 25 year old Sean O'Brien is studying his vet nursing and full credit there, but when reading the article he says that he claimed his super to pay for the surgery that his dog needed. I'm not upset that he was able to do that either, but was quite honestly pissed off that he got to claim his for surgery for his dog and I had a life threating condition with my breast cancer I couldn't claim a single cent of mine! 

    You may or may not be aware that to claim any of your superannuation for financial hardship you must of been on a Centrelink benefit for a minimum of 24 weeks and be diagnosed as terminal, or the bank is about to take your house and for that to happen you must be at least 3 month in arrears and in doing that destroys your credit rating.

    obviously Sean has been on Austudy or equivalent and has been able to make a claim but I'm baffled as to how he was able to get away with this ?? Because my husband continued to work, to try and keep paying the bills we were not entitled to any Centrelink benefit and therefore not able to make a claim of any description or on my super either. Trust me we aren't wealthy people just working class, but had he not worked we would of lost our house. 

    So for him to make a claim on his super for his dogs surgery, I really thought that this would not of been allowed as its not like it was surgery for himself that he desperately needed, don't get me wrong I'm happy the dog survived, I have two Labradors myself and they are a huge part of my family, but I just feel that I have worked all my life, found myself in a situation I had no control over and wasn't even able to claim a small amount to even pay the bills, which I am still catching up on by the way. 

    And on top of that he had help with a go fund me page, which again I commend his friends for doing but he clearly states he had it sorted financially as he claimed his super for the procedure.

    I just feel there should be some sort of flexibility with claiming your super for financial hardship and it shouldn't be just for people on a Centrelink benefit. I understand its for your retirement and like I said I was only wanting to claim a portion of it and because I wasn't terminal (thankfully) and because I used the public system so I couldn't claim medical expenses, couldn't claim for travel either as we are outside the threshold, and couldn't claim to help pay the bills while I was having treatment and recovering. 

    Im hearing your frustration shaz write to your local member like I did. The more of us that whinge the better and maybe someone might actually listen 

    Margie ❤️
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,132
    I'll put the link up to the article when I find it but I was also going to go to a current affair for example and hopefully put it out there too if anyone thinks this might be a good idea ??
  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,078
    @onemargie that'd be good if it helped, whilst there throw in the ridiculous situation with Centrelink in which we cannot get streamlined access to having individual cases dealt with promptly or the criteria also surrounding getting assistance, there needs to be something in place for people who are dealing with Cancer. Then throw in how Prolia is not on the PBS and for alot of women we have to have it due to treatment for BC causing decline in bone density and Osteoporosis. That even if you meet some of the Criteria, most of us are not over 70, if it werent for that I could get it. Lots of issues around the support needed really...x
  • Cate64Cate64 Member Posts: 439
    edited September 2017
    @ShazS the Solicitor told me that it is law that all Super funds now have income protection insurance attached to it... A friend who works for Centrelink also told me that. Have you looked into it for your Super?? Cate
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,132
    My super definately doesn't have income protection linked to it but here's the article I was talking about. There is no link as it's not online but I took a pic so hopefully you can all read it. 
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,132
    I'll check out the  a current affair thing and see what's involved. There's enough of us pissed off about it all so maybe that will be what it takes I'll keto you posted x 
  • Jane221Jane221 Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 979
    This is such a big issue for many of us. Our family is still feeling the effects financially, although my diagnosis was now over 5yrs ago. We couldn't access any support through my super or via Centrelink and the ongoing costs related to lymphedema and osteoporosis (both a result of my bc) continue to mount up. The fact that some people can access part of their super for various reasons (such as the story above) just seems so unfair and inconsistent. As others have said, there needs to be an easier, more streamlined way to access support and hopefully BCNA can mount a strong lobbying campaign to get this issue heard. In the meantime, while I'm sure you're already aware of some cost-saving measures, thought I'd put in the link to this tip sheet from BCNA:  Good luck xx
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,132
     As soon as I get a response from my local member and hesta ill email their responses to a current affair and see how we go. I think I have enough support from everyone to back me up and willing to state their opinions and concerns should it be necessary. Margie ❤️
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,132
    I'm going to give the ACA thing a crack.... fuck it can't do any harm can it ladies. There are so many issues here that just keep getting harder and harder to solve due to bullshit red tape. Margie ❤️
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,132
    Once I get the response from my super fund and my local member of parliament  I'll post on here their response then email ACA and today tonight and let you know. I got a generic email from hesta yesterday saying that they have received my email and will process it as soon as they can but they have 90 days to respond and then I can go to the ombudsman.... fucking 90 days can you believe that!! I bet they take all that time. I'll be sending it to the ombudsman anyway as I want them to be aware of the article I've posted.  I've also decided to send my email to the federal minister of health as well so will start a new post about that too and see what other responses I get from the forum to include in it. Margie ❤️
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,132
    And I forgot to add we have a son who is an apprentice carpenter and he is entitled to a trade support loan to use as he wishes on tools etc to support him during his apprenticeship. Which is fantastic. He can pay it off in instalments and looks like he receives it in instalments too and doesn't have to start paying it back til his income is over 55k. And if he finishes his apprenticeship he gets a 20% discount on the loan and it's interest free. So why can't the govt do something like that for us who need it and can't claim super or Centrelink ?? Or why can't we automatically be entitled to get a DSP pension while we are undertaking treatment and or surgery and then if we got back to work then cease it or if like Brenda who needs it desperately get reviewed and stay on it ?? Let's face it those who get to work full time during chemo would be the minority so at least it would be something. Margie ❤️
  • HITHIT Perth WAMember Posts: 261
    Not related to BC but I have heard that if a spouse dies, it is not guaranteed that the nominated beneficiary will get the payment.  The powers that be in super will give to whoever they deem needs it.  Or whomever they feel will benefit them.  It seems that once our money goes in, it is not ours anymore??
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