Centrelink and me


A few weeks ago, you might remember I posted a ‘Beware, rant ahead‘ blog. I need to tell you all again, I don’t usually rant and I don’t usually get so uptight and upset.

To sum it up quickly, buying a house in town, so the kids could be educated was turning out to be a nightmare.

A week or so ago, I made another phone call to this rather dismal excuse for institution called Centrelink only to be told, by claiming the First Home Owners Grant, I wasn’t entitled to EVER claim Isolated Children’s Funding again.

You know why? Because our house wasn’t more than 57km away from the closest school the kids could attend.

‘But what happens,’ I asked, ‘when I move back out to the farm and put the kids back into  the boarding school? Obviously I’m living in our primary home then and obviously, the kids are under the care and living somewhere else other than with me.’

‘No sorry. You’ve claimed First Home owners. There is no help for you at all.’

To say I was gobsmacked and particularly upset at this revelation was an understatement. I know other parents who have done this and if, indeed, it was the case, then the rest of the country community needed to know about it, because I would eat my hat, if there weren’t other parents considering doing what we have done.

I swore I would fight it. Swore I would let everyone know, so NO ONE was put in the situation we had found ourselves in.

Every single politician in my area got a phone call; state and federal alike. I contacted the Isolated Children’s Parents Assoc. I wrote letters to state what had happened and finally, I contacted our financial advisor and talked to her.

‘That’s absolute rubbish,’ she said.

‘I know,’ I answered.

‘No,’ she reiterated. ‘They’re giving you wrong information.’

‘Really? But surely they would know. I rang the number especially for Isolated Children’s.’

‘Come into my office next week and we’ll ring them again.’

So I did just that.

It took 83 minutes of hanging on the phone, getting transferred  to different sections, but we finally were put through to a lovely man who told us that indeed I had been given wrong information and not to fret.

So now it appears that I can claim The Isolated Children’s funding when the kids go back into the hostel.

I’m very happy about this! Once again, an understatement!

I guess the telling time will be when do go and claim for it, but at the moment, the sick feeling as gone and I’m confident we have sorted the situation.

Have you had a win that has made indescribably happy, lately? I’d love to hear yours.

Anyway to celebrate this so called win, (which really isn’t a win, I was just given the wrong info,) and the fact I’ve learned to watermark my photos, let’s a have just that, a photo!


Comments 7

  1. That’s good news Fleur! Hope it all works out when the time comes now. They certainly can make you pull your hair out! How many people don’t fight the system when they think it is wrong… Thank goodness you were determined!



  2. Great work Fleur, I wonder how many people just accept the info given even when incorrect. It pays to dig deeper if dissatisfied or a little sceptical. Do you know who supplied the incorrect info so they can be trained?

  3. Good news Fleur. There are a lot of pitfalls for rural families who deal with government departments. I work with older people, and when the time comes to retire, a lot of planning is needed to make sure that landowners get their entitlements. I recently had a case where a gentleman in his 90s transferred his property to his son. Unfortunately he has now lost his income & assets tested veterans pension. As he lost his pension he also lost his pensioner concession card and with that lost free access to meals on wheels, vitalcall, domestic & personal care. Sadly this isn’t an isolated case, I deal with many older people who are unable to get a pension because they own/ed a rural property or who lose their pensions when they sell or transfer their rural property. It really pays to do your research and get good financial advice.

  4. Just reading this makes me feel so sick I want to vomit… Centrelink really would have to be the dreaded bain of most people’s ordinary lives. Sooo much mis-information by an institution that wields so much power over our life decisions is just plain wrong. Centrelink is filled with temporary workers as everyone else has gone on sick leave (although this is no excuse for deceit). It makes me furious – I hate dealing with them. Fleur, You are not alone!!

  5. Hi Fleur,
    Well done.So many people have been given wrong information in our townseems the only ones who are given all the right info are the dole collectors.At least now other parents in your situation know the truth.

  6. Had a situation when my eldest son took on casual work, I had wanted F/P stopped for him in case he earned too much, the lady I spoke to assured me that once he earns $ 11024 then they would cut him off, but not until he earns that much, I questioned this as it didn’t seem right, what happened when he earns in before the end of the financial year? So come march he did earn just under the amount and so I rang again and advised them, only to be told I would now be getting a bill to repay overpaid F/P. Exactly what I had been trying to avoid had now come to a huge reality call. After many calls and quoting the same reference number given from that first call. Finally someone could understand that th e first centrelink person gave me the wrong information which led to me being overpaid, I had tried to do the right thing by all our tax payers. I was granted a . Minor win by only having to repay half of the debt. Had the same issue when applying for a carers payment for my daughter with sever Sensory Processing disorders! I had to prove I do more for her and help her more than a normal child requires. Ok not hard given her disorders, aghhh idiots have no idea what it is, so really made me feel like a waste of space. Finally won on an appeal, so yes I get a small amt of money to apparently pay me for the extra time it requires to help my daughter in everyday activities. In no way does this tiny amount of money help pay for her costs of speech, o/therapy, physio and private swimming lessons. So if u think Centrelink is wrong , question them over and over. By the last lovely person I spoke to asked me “why don’t you know the rules and guidelines” um maybe cos I never been trained by centrelink, and even when they do get training every single person in centrelink would. Probably give you a. Different answer to the same question.

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