What to do when Centrelink threatens your survival

Our “welfare” system as abuser

Centrelink should be our best friend, the organisation that rescues us when we fall through the gaps, and cannot help ourselves.  But too often, the organisation has become bullying and at times, downright cruel, harassing and threatening vulnerable individuals who are just trying to do their best to survive, all in the name of stopping the “rorters”.

The individual workers are not to blame for this, but are forced to apply rules that are increasingly damaging to their clients.

Emotional and financial abuse

There is emotional abuse from our politicians who present all welfare recipients, including age pensioners, as “leaners” who are “bludging” on the system. And there is financial abuse, where recipients are forced to jump through increasingly meaningless hoops to obtain money that is simply not enough to live on.  These meaningless hoops include forcing people to keep applying for unsuitable jobs that they have no hope of obtaining, and forcing people to live where there is no housing and so to become homeless.  The second is our issue here.  When do Centrelink policies and actions actually cause homelessness?

Abuse resulting from financial control

Perhaps one of the silliest rules is forcing people to continue to live within 90 minutes of their capital city when they are unable to find decent affordable accommodation within that diameter.  This is particularly true of Melbourne and Sydney.  This is a nonsense when you consider there is not enough affordable accommodation in these cities for the working poor, within commuting range of their work. So why force those on benefits to take up what affordable housing there is, with the unimaginable threat of losing 26 weeks of benefits if they move out of this zone?  Yet I am told this is the case.

Applying the rules

However, it does seem that the nonsense rules are applied inconsistently between Centrelink offices, and this is where anyone who has been unreasonably threatened by Centrelink needs to take advice from their own local experts, very quickly, so they can nip the nonsense in the bud and get out of the stressful situation before it makes them sick.

Centrelink as a possible cause of severe stress

It is my personal observation that many who are forced to deal with Centrelink experience panic attacks when carrying out the simplest task in relation to that organisation. This warrants significant research.  If “Centrelink abuse” is actually causing previously healthy people to get sick, then it is clearly counter-productive.

Agencies that will help you deal with Centrelink (and other government agencies)

For anyone who needs protection from unreasonable Centrelink control over their lives; control  which is acting against their chances of rehabilitating into the workforce and life generally, the agencies below might be able to help.


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Good and bad welfare policy

For anyone wanting to start reading on this why punitive welfare policy does not work, the  articles below area  good starting point.  If you know of quality articles that prove the case for a financially adequate and non-punitive welfare system, please let us know via the comments.


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One thought on “What to do when Centrelink threatens your survival

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  1. It has recently come to my attention, the ways in which centrelink have harmed me; prolonged all of our suffering (because I was valuable); and deprived me of years of my life, and the quality of it – just as any sadistic abuser would.

    Suffering from 30 interrupted years of recurring sexual abuse, I have been unable to think straight, and advocate for myself, living in state of permanent shock, horror, and speechlessness.
    Having to bring that up with insensitive centrelink has been revictimising, every single time, which doesn’t allow me to experience a state of non-abuse, ever.
    – why have they not been keeping a record of my well-being, over the years?
    Which forces me to waste the time and resources of various Health Professionals and all of the paperwork centrelink requires from them.

    As a result, I have also been homeless for the last 7 years, because I can’t afford to live.
    (not counting my youth)

    This centrelink-induced homelessness exposed me to more rape, danger, trauma, and loss, which could have easily been prevented, if I were treated humanely, and provided with affordable housing – sanctuary – I’ve been on the “emergency” housing waiting list, for 4 years.
    Doing everything “right”.

    Would you *believe*, I had to get the Ombudsman involved when they tried to declare that I had not been on the list for four years?! (complicated story I would not force anyone to endure).

    Also, the AUWU helps people with Centrelink.

    Take a look at AUWU (@AusUnemployment): https://twitter.com/AusUnemployment?s=09

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