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November 15, 2019, 12:17:06 pm

Author Topic: Centrelink Question  (Read 126 times)  Share 

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KatherineGale

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Centrelink Question
« on: October 23, 2019, 10:39:49 pm »
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Hi all,

I have a half rant half question. I'm not sure whether or not I am posting this in the right place, but I just don't know where else to ask - I sort of just want to see if anyone else is in the same position and if there is anything I can do that I haven't thought of.

I left school in 2015 (grade 9ish)  and started at Distance Education  Centre Victoria as I've had chronic migraines, neck and back pain and feet/ankle issues since grade 7, as my attendance was so bad. I decided to do Year 12 over two years because of this and some other reasons, to give myself the best chance to do well, however this year (my final year of year 12) I had to drop from three subjects down to one as my health issues got worse - I don't have a diagnosis yet, but am about to see a rheumatologist (and hopefully get on more appropriate and effective medication) as my doctors think something is underlying, like rheumatoid arthritis or something (I've been tested for a lot of things already, so I don't know. )

When I dropped down to one subject (I've got three from last year so I am good to graduate this year) Centrelink transferred me to youth allowance as a job seeker and I've been reporting and seeing a job agency every fortnight for most of the year. I'm really grateful that they let me keep a payment at all - I had to get a medical certificate and get an assessment by Centrelink who deemed me able to work or study about 10 hours a week. The job agency were reasonable, not making me do anything but go in and continue to do school work (even though I had a few problems with one of the people who suggested I should go out and work or volunteer now so I don't become a "career study" because people who don't work during uni don't ever leave the life of study).

My issue is (sorry for going on a bit) I had my last job agency appointment before my final exam (English) and because I had been suspecting it for sometime, I asked what happens when I finish my last exam and was told to "bring my diary". I went to Centrelink immediately after and they confirmed that unfortunately because I did not finish year 12 as a full time student, that the job agency had to start pushing me out to work or do approved activities despite the fact I have applied for University next year. This is obviously not what I want to be thinking about going into my last exam, but despite everyone I speak to - centrelink, the job agency and other people in the community being confused as to why I am even seeing a job agency and listed as a job seeker during year 12, there seems to be nothing I can do and they won't switch my payments to youth allowance as a student until the day I start uni full time, which I planned to do after getting my health together during the holidays. I would love to go out and get a job between now and then to save up some money, however as I said, my health has declined this year and sitting at home doing school when I feel well enough on and off for ten hours a week (which I struggled enough with) and being in the work force ten hours a week or whatever other bridging courses they want me to do in the meantime are two very different things. Sorry for ranting :)

Just curious as to whether anyone else has been in similar circumstances.

PhoenixxFire

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Re: Centrelink Question
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2019, 11:01:25 pm »
+5
Centrelink is so useless.

It's possible to apply for student youth allowance 12 or 13 weeks before classes start, which for most people means applying around mid december and not getting paid until mid jan at the earliest. You could try cancelling your job seeker youth allowance around then and applying for student youth allowance as a new claim, problem being you'd have to not get paid for a bit and hope it worked.

It's a bit weird that they put you on job seeker in the first place - if you have a medical exemption you should be able to keep student YA without a full time study load.

I have heard that sometimes if you contact your local MP they can help, idk how useful they actually are, but it could be worth a try.

Btw you should be eligible to get a $1000 loan each semester which gets added onto your hecs debt.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 11:08:49 pm by PhoenixxFire »
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KatherineGale

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Re: Centrelink Question
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2019, 11:51:26 pm »
+1
Centrelink is so useless.

It's possible to apply for student youth allowance 12 or 13 weeks before classes start, which for most people means applying around mid december and not getting paid until mid jan at the earliest. You could try cancelling your job seeker youth allowance around then and applying for student youth allowance as a new claim, problem being you'd have to not get paid for a bit and hope it worked.

It's a bit weird that they put you on job seeker in the first place - if you have a medical exemption you should be able to keep student YA without a full time study load.

I have heard that sometimes if you contact your local MP they can help, idk how useful they actually are, but it could be worth a try.

Btw you should be eligible to get a $1000 loan each semester which gets added onto your hecs debt.

Thanks for your reply.  Believe it or not, Centrelink have been a million times more helpful and understanding than the job agency, which I think speaks enough for the year I've had. At one point, I had four people from Centrelink sitting with me (with a full waiting room) for 20 minutes to try to find away around the system, but nothing changed. Twice Centrelink have handed me numbers to call to complain about the job agency, but I don't really like to be that person - I am so grateful to have this system, even if it can be beyond frustrating at times.

It's a great idea to cancel and reapply, however I have rent as I am on the lease and I don't think they'll take kindly to that :) Believe me, though. I'd rather be hungry and homeless than experience my worse flare ups of pain - and I will get bad flareup if they make me work so I'm in a bit of a tough place - go along with it and have my health decline even further, or don't and lose my payment, break my lease and everything that follows.

Yes, everyone says the same thing. They gave me an assessment, told me because one subject was equal to around 8-10 hours a week, I could study or work that amount. They gave me an exemption until June (ish)  and then everything went a bit sour. Apparently because they already assessed my health conditions for 8-10 hours, I can't get another exemption and a medical certificate is worthless because they have already assessed me for that health issue. So unless I have another health condition that will keep me from working/studying...

I'll think about contacting someone higher - I don't like making a fuss but everyone I talk to about it is really confused - even Centrelink.

That's fantastic!  I'll definitely keep it in mind. - on second thought, I just looked and I think you need to be on youth allowance as a student to get it. Sigh.

Thanks for your help. If anyone else has any thoughts I'd really appreciate them!