Latest from WINZ:
As I mentioned, I’ve just found out that my benefit, and my Disability Allowance which is a separate assessment, have to be reassessed. WINZ appear to be making every effort to remove my Allowance, which is the thing that helps towards my medical costs and items such an nutritional supplements relating to my illness.
1. I returned the (3) forms, along with every receipt I’ve kept of doctor’s visits, food bills, and medical costs like prescriptions, plus the form signed by my GP which includes details from him about how often I visit and what for.
2. My case manager rang to say they “need more proof” which I knew would happen because they always do.
3. Eftpos receipts are now not considered proof of costs. I need to return to all my medical providers and get a signed printout of my annual costs. This obviously takes a lot of time and effort for a sick person. It’s not an easy ask. It causes me a huge amount of anxiety, and physically doing it causes me exhaustion and pain.
4. A grocery receipt is not enough to prove my dietary requirements, I need several week’s worth to show the pattern of food I buy. They said they will then calculate the difference between the “usual” cost and “my” cost – for example, I eat gluten and dairy free. They calculate the cost of “normal” milk and the cost of “my” milk (soy) and then I get granted the difference, which is like $2 a week so it’s hardly even worth the fucking effort. They also do this with bread – I asked how they do this, because gluten free loaves are round $7-8, whereas they could consider a “normal” loaf anywhere between $1.50 and $6 depending on what sort of bread they think “average” people buy. How they fuck do they decide that? WINZ had no answer for this question.
5. Until I get all these things, I will live in anxiety that they are going to remove my support. Anxiety and stress make me sick. That’s written on the fucking form I gave them.
I’m totally demoralised. I try to do everything right, to keep records, to be grateful for the help even though I’m entitled to it, to spend carefully, to force myself to work when it hurts me so much just so that I can keep myself going. None of it makes any difference to The System. The System invades my privacy, steals my dignity, denies me any security.
So much my welfare, huh.