The power and pitfalls of omics part 2: epigenomics, transcriptomics and ME/CFS
Simon McGrath concludes his blog about the remarkable Prof George Davey Smith's smart ideas for understanding diseases, which may soon be applied to ME/CFS.
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Aussies - disability support changes

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Tulip, May 9, 2011.

  1. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    Not sure if this info will be changed even more but it seems that this is what will happen under the new changes.

    http://www.communitydoor.org.au/sites/default/files/1_QCOSS What is Happening When.pdf

    From 1 January 2012, Disability Support Pension claimants who are not considered to be self-evidently unable to work for at least 15 hours a week will be asked to demonstrate they cannot work at this level by participating in employment assistance. Those likely to be most affected by this requirement will be people who have been assessed as have a current or future work capacity of 8-14 hours per week. After 1 July 2011 those assessed as having this partial capacity to work are likely to be required to demonstrate that they have tried unsuccessfully to find work with the assistance of employment assistance for 12 months before their claims for Disability Support Pension will be granted. Also from 1 January 2012 the revised impairment tables, (currently under review), will be implemented.

    .............................................................................................................

    What do they mean by "self-evidently" exactly? Because even being in a wheel chair doesn't mean you can't work...
     
  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    ohhhh that is exactly what i was fearing and what I was put throu in the past.. something 3? years later still havent recovered from... they crashed me further doing that and to this day Im now more disabled due to them and that.

    Thing is they wont believe you. I even crashed my car into another one attempting to get to the work (under the threat I'd be cut off benefits if i didnt, they wouldnt listen to my doctors and wouldnt accept medical letters) .. as I was too tired to even be driving and still was made to try to work. (and of cause it was me who then had to pay for my car and the others car not the job place and Centrelink who forced me to drive)

    I even had the ones I've been put to work for (6 hrs per week but then went down to 1-2hrs per week) ring them about the issues they could see me having... but one of those helping the disabled find work places still wouldnt listen. That place didnt even believe in ME/CFS so had no idea of my disability. I used to go in there and end up laying on the floor due to being too dizzy at the time to remain seated.. and they'd just discuss me working and getting a job while I was laying on the floor, head spinning and feeling like I was going to black out or throw up.

    If someone who cant even stay sitting due to being too ill means nothing to them, what will.

    All of us are soon in for a real nightmare. :( .... We need to all some how stop this. This is going to make many with ME/CFS a whole lot sicker... can our ME/CFS organisations help stop this?

    ps.. has anyone else here been already harmed by this and them??? If there is several of us who have.. maybe a group lawsuit could help stop this happening from others. I'd be willing to sue centrelink and the disability job place they made me attend to get work for the damage it done to me.. and the cost of fixing crashed cars, if there was a group lawsuit
     
  3. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting this Tuliip.

    They didn't waste any time did they?

    What does "self evidently" mean? I wonder if this a term used under the new laws and if so, how they define that.

    Not good news.

    So if you can work 8 hours a week, say one day or maybe two short shifts over 2 days ...you will need to have been unable to find work at this level for a full 12 months before they will offer you a DSP.

    How difficult would it be in any event to find that sort of minimal PT work, and yet you are what...meant to live on the streets for months or possibly 12 months.....until we become eligible for the DSP?

    And this is from a labour government!

    This government is getting less popular by the day....carbon taxes, refugees, new taxes..interest rate rises...... Hockey says....this is a government out of touch with the people. One commentator referred to Gillard as a dead duck.

    Sadly it might be our gooses that get cooked, before she/Govt comes up for re election.

    Very troubling indeed.
     
  4. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    I keep hearing that they are targeting people with mental health problems to get back into the workforce, but nothing about anyone else.

    Taniaaust1, I think a class action lawsuit is the only way the government are going to get it through their thick heads that if your sick, making you work makes you sicker and is very damaging longterm, and it can even lead to death in some cases.

    Insearchof, I am disgusted with Gillard, I really wish Rudd was still PM, I don't think any of this would have happened.


    Edited to add: Just found more info, I don't think these changes will effect me, if this is all they are. I am over 35 and not currently assessed as being able to work. Hopefully others will be safe as well!.

    Now if only the government would put 2 and 2 together and realise "hey if we spent money on ME/CFS to find a treatment/cure, we could get thousands more people back into the workforce". But no, that would be too simple wouldn't it!!.

    ................................................................................................................................

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/sp...-is-good-for-you/story-fn8mekzq-1226052877663

    The welfare shake-up will include strict requirements for new claims under the DSP including mandatory quarterly participation interviews.

    It will also apply for the first time to anyone under 35 already claiming the pension of up to $670 a fortnight.

    The new rules will only apply to those DSP recipients who have been assessed as capable of working at least eight to 14 hours a week.

    In an attempt to stem rorting, the Government will also cut the number of weeks DSP recipients can spend overseas while drawing payments.

    To encourage people claiming a disability pension to enter the workforce, or to stay working part time, the Government will double the number of hours they can work a week, while still retaining part of their payments, from 15 to 30. They will still have to meet existing income tests.
     
  5. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    This doesn't look good. Not just to ME/CFS patients, but also in a costs to the government won't outweigh the benefits kind of way.

    By the way, in any interviews you need to emphasise that a majority of your energy goes into merely caring for yourself and little is left over for employment (assuming this is true).
     
  6. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    Oh if I get called in I will be taking a truckload of research info stating what the disease does to sufferers bodies, that it's pretty much lifelong plus a list of how exactly it effects me, all my symptoms etc. And emphasizing that it can kill. I have found it's the only way to deal with centrelink, it always leaves them speechless.
     
  7. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

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    That made me smile. That is the approach then, that people need to take.

    Do these new requirements only relate to people under 35?
     
  8. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    Yes it is, like going in fully armed for combat :cool:

    No they mean that mandatory quarterly participation interviews will also apply to current dsp recipients under 35, but the working stuff applies to everyone. How is someone bedbound or on their death bed going to attend them?? :rolleyes: They just dont think of physically ill people when they do these things.
     
  9. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

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    I thought the age requirement was odd. Why do the mandatory interview not apply to those over 35?

    I guess lots of doctors letters re inability to physically attend and skype interviews - should ram the message home

    Agreed.
     
  10. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    Because the costs outweigh the expected benefits? This is the government after all.
    I expect they won't explain why because the reason is probably depressing for those to whom it applies.
     
  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    With me.. they knew I couldnt work two hrs straight at a time.. so they expected me to work 1hr at a time but on different days or one hr in the morning and one hr in the afternoon.

    As far as helping one get a "suitable job" in which will allow one to do that...some may be amused by currently thinking they wont be able to find jobs for people anyway but this is how they got around this and got around my "up and down" illness which I'd explained to them.

    They pushed me to take up a contract work in which I then was seen as semi employed and working for myself eg they will make one be self employed and do agency jobs in things like housecleaning in which one can choose ones hrs so I couldnt anymore say to them that I cant work as I dont know when I'll be having my bad and good times, (but of which still dont help if one isnt really capable of working.. every time I had to put off a job due to being too bad to go, it just built up and built up and they didnt understand why I didnt just catch up on my better days. There was no way I could work around the illness like they expected me to do).

    So dont believe they wont find be able to find work for people with ME/CFS if one says one can only be active for 1 hr at a time (most house cleaning jobs are 1-1.5hr jobs). They basically made it so they took away the reasons I was giving why I couldnt work and then left me in a dangerous situation of having to work under threat of loosing all my benefits if I didnt.

    The final thing they did to me.. is they told me I'd be cut off of benefits.. if I told where ever I was applying to that I was sick and had ME/CFS... as they said they saw that as me trying to not get employment and trying to put people off of me.

    This was 3 years ago.. it hence then took 9mths before they accepted my disability application.. .they made me prove to them throu the disability job place and trying jobs that I couldnt work (and refused to listen to my specialists/doctors letters). Reading what Im reading now.. it appears what happened to me may of been some kind of trial run for what they've now brought in. I went throu all they are talking about, so they trialed it first...someone in the governments must of had all this thought out back then.
    Even some of the words used when they first made this idea public.. were the precise words key words used in the program they had me on. Its all like coming from the same document.

    As most in government peoples and in Centrelink people see ME/CFS as a mental health issue.. this will be esp targeting many with ME/CFS.

    This issue will also be there too as many with ME/CFS have anxiety and depression put onto their application forms along with the ME/CFS. Anyone about to apply.. may want to think twice about having mental health symptoms on their disability applications.

    I was talking to my boyfriend about this today as Im overdue for a disability review which could happen any time and he said I should put down the mental health issues I have now as well as the ME/CFS when being reassessed.. Ive said no I wont be doing that as I dont trust our government. I also wouldnt be surprised in future if we went to a system like Englands in which mental health issues are payed at a lower disability rate hence I dont want any mental health issues on my Centrelink notes.
     
  12. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    Taniaaust1, we need to fight them! Believe me it can be done. You need to prepare now, remember ME/CFS is classed as a neurological disorder by WHO ICD G93.3, centrelink need this drummed into them and all the other info including DEATH. They MUST abide by the WHO classification, anyone trying to reclass it as a mental illness will land themselves in hot water with WHO, it is not allowed (and you, me and anyone else that they try to do that to will dob them into WHO, the ombudsman and anyone else that we can). Anyone with ME/CFS that can not work for more than 2 hrs a day needs to say they can not work at all, don't say about the fluctuating nature of the disease, they don't get it at all. They take that to mean you are 100% well some days. Say you are sick all day, everyday. Because you are, the disease does not leave the building and then come back. We need to protect our health and our bodies, these people do not give a crap. I have been on the dsp for many many years and been through it all. If you are able to do an hour or two of work once a week from home later on, then that is great and you should, but you shouldn't be harrassed and stressed to the max about it, and unfortunately that means not mentioning it at all.

    Stay positive and arm yourself with printed out medical information :)
     
  13. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    It wasn't a trial, it was what was introduced in 2005 for any new dsp applicants under the howard gov, they are just extending it now. One would really think we are currently under a liberal government. Bring back Rudd!.

    That's disgusting that they told you that you couldn't tell your employer you were sick!! That's because they know full well you wouldn't get any job as employers see illness as a liability. The employer could take them to court if they found out. Unbelievable!.

    Remember you and everyone has rights. There is the disability council, commonwealth ombudsman etc who complaints can be made to and for advocacy.
     
  14. insearchof

    insearchof Senior Member

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    Tania, thanks for sharing your experience. I am appauled at what happened to you. It's a disgrace. I seriously question whether they can in fact push anyone into self employment (contractual or not) - and its interesting that they had to ''push'' you.

    Their responsibility as part of government, as I understand it, is to place people into the paid workforce, not push people into setting up their own commercial enterprise. Outrageous. This is something that would warrant taking a closer look at and I also wonder whether it breaches the Human Rights Anti Discrimination Laws as it might relate to persons with ME CFS. Hmmmm.

    Your experience Tania, is a very important piece of information.

    I would suggest that if they start this tact with anyone, that people simply remind them of their obligations and that in the absence of a nice big fat government small enterprise loan to set up a business and meet all the ancillary costs, its not possible. Then point out to them, that such is unlikely because the government is not going to issue such a loan to persons with ME CFS because they KNOW that they will not be able to work the hours to generate the income to repay such.

    Then you need to tell them to stop with that nonsense and to get on with finding you paid employment that accomodates and does not AGGRIVATE your pre existing illness - which they now have notice of and which might otherwise make the government legally liable.

    Put that in writing, together with an introduction to what ME is, the WHO classification and evidence of how physical activity can result in deconditioning. Send the letter by registered mail and then see what they come up with.:D

    With respect to paid employment, I would also find out whether a potential employee is required to disclose to a future employer, that they are ill and limited in their abilities to perform the work required. If so, then you can also put this in your letter to center link. Heh!

    Energy permitting may you would like to also write to the oposition, Greens and independants on this issue. Tell that what ME is, the WHO classification, and other evidence in relation to physical activity and share with them your own experience and your views that this has already been piloted with disasterous results. Point out the coming law suites that will be brought against the government of the day that is intent on implementing and or continuing with this scheme, when patients with ME CFS deteriorate further and have such documented on their medical files.

    These are the sorts of issues that need to be brought to their attention.

    I agree with Tuliip though, that we need to stay positive - but as the boy scouts say - be prepared.
     
  15. .o.Amy.o.

    .o.Amy.o.

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    I find this very worrying. I have been assessed as not being able to work at all and got in just before the laws where they reassess you every 2 years so hopefully I will be safe for the time being. I have not been bothered by centre link for over 8 years now and I still live in constant fear of being reassesed and chucked off.

    If they are targeting people with mental health problems then I also find this disgusting. Sick, disabled, mentally ill, mentally disabled people are seen as the dregs of society by the general public. This is just another example of the general attitude by governments and "ordinary" people. If costs need to be cut then they should be cut a lot higher up the totem pole and leave the people who are already treated disgracfully to their business. It's not as if we are flourishing on the meager amount we are given.

    Tania - I agree with what Tuliip and insearchof have posted above and I'm very sorry to hear how centrelink and the disability work place has treated you. There is no excuses for willful ignorance by these people especially when it can do so much damage to a person.
     
  16. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    Well the offical changes are up on the centrelink website and strangely they don't effect people over 35 that are currently on the dsp. How odd!. I am guessing that is because being over 35 is considered "too hard" to place into the workforce. Hmmm.

    Changes are here: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/budget/measures/disability-and-illness/index

    Taniaaust1, I was thinking about your situation overnight and I really think what was done to you is actually against the law. I know you said it was 3 yrs ago, but I really think you need to lodge a formal complaint with the commonwealth ombudsman about it. The ombudsman is independant of centrelink and will take what you say seriously, it will also help you now if they once again, put you through hell. What justice it would be if the people that bullied you got the sack!.

    You can contact the commonwealth ombudsman here: http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/

    The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the actions and decisions of Australian Government agencies actions and decisions to see if they are wrong, unjust, unlawful, discriminatory or just plain unfair. The Ombudsman also seeks remedies for those affected by administrative deficiencies, and acts to improve public administration.

    The Ombudsman has strong investigatory powers. If required, officers working in government agencies must produce documents, and answer questions under oath during Ombudsman investigations. The types of complaints that can be investigated include problems with Centrelink and Veterans Affairs benefits, child support payments and immigration decisions.

    Changes in legislation mean that the Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about government contractors providing goods and services to the public under a contract with a government agency, including those associated with immigration detention centres, Job Network and the Welfare to Work program.
     
  17. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    ahh thanks, that does explain it and my past experience with it. I couldnt work out how on earth I'd gone throu before what they were saying they are introducing now. Old policies which were here for a short time.. being brought back in now.

    My past experience was they refused to read anything I took in with me... as I said, they even were going against my own specialists and doctors so completely ignored any printed info I took in on ME/CFS. (they actually kept on taking the medical info I kept of making them put in my file about our illness, back out).

    Some who are in complete denial of our illness being real, you just cant educate them. There needs to be actual policies put in place to protect those with ME/CFS as they cant compare our illness with other illnesses. I wonder if our ME societies can be encouraged to get places such as Centrelink to more recognise our disability?

    Im actually currently seriously considering trying to take my past experience of this to one of the current affairs shows as I think my shocking experience would make a good story and I think people do need to know what has gone on. (Not this week Ive had two medical appointments this week and have an avocacy thing I need to attend tonight ...big town meeting tonight about the lack of medical support in my town.. we've had 11 people recently commit suicide in our small country town and one murder recently.. basically no mental health services here and it can take 2 and a half weeks to get in and see a doctor... but next week after ive got throu this week..

    Im going to try to get info together on Centrelink and their process of being forced to work while ill, the car accidents that caused me etc etc and start contacting the current affair tv shows to see if anyone will take up the story).
    .....

    We also have the SA CFS journal back being published again.. "Talking Point". "Emerge" wasnt up to catering for everyone so they brought our great journal back.. so maybe I could also write in my story about Centrelink and their disability job seekers place and the three appeals which took 9mths, I went throu. (My case actually ended up being heard interstate by someone who fortunately knew about ME before it was accepted, due to the ME/CFS disbelievers keeping on taking the medical info out from my file), so that people are more aware of what will be happening again to people
    ........

    Tuliip you are right I should contact the commonwealth ombudsman. I never did at the time thou many were telling me to do so as I was just too extremely ill to be dealing with it all. But now that I arent trying to work at all and dont have that completely knocking me about, it is time to try to get something done about the past. I will get busy next week and start trying to do something.

    Ive just turned 40 so maybe will be safe with the review when it happens. But that dont at all stop my outrage over what many with ME/CFS are going to end up going throu. I dont want ANYONE going throu what happened to me.
    Also what is next?? If this stops those with ME/CFS being able to get onto disability support payments due to being too sick to even get throu the application process (it was why I was sick for many many years before I even attempted to apply.. I had to even be strong enough to apply) and go throu all this crap of trying to work.. who's to say they wont extend that age upwards.
     
  18. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    Yes I can understand, unfortunately the people that are drawn to these types of jobs are bullies who are not there to help people, but harrass, intimidate and humiliate. I am postive your case will be taken quite seriously and something will be done. I do believe that it is against the law to ignore a WHO classified disease, you may want to contact WHO and see if they can help you to. Make sure you put everything that happened to you in the letter to the ombudsman and keep copies of your letters. I would contact the ombudsman before contacting a current affair, because knowing them they will contact centrelink who will issue their usual "well she didn't make a complaint" crap. So you need to have that covered!.

    And yes telling others with ME/CFS about your story under the current system is a good idea. It was hell for me to get the dsp in the mid 1990's, but they didn't try to make me work as that wasn't the policy. I was just stuck on sickness benefits until the 2nd appeal where I was granted it.

    Keep fighting!! They have done the wrong thing, not you.
     
  19. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    You are right.. I should do things in that order.

    The disability job place or whoever watching them.. knows I was very distressed and upset over what went on with me. When I finally did get out of the job seekers program after all those months.. I had to fill in a form of how I found that program. I even wrote up the sides of the paper with all my negative comments about it and what it had done to me and how I'd love to sue them for it all for making me sicker etc. umm so if the ombudmans investigated I wonder if he would find all this feedback form which is probably filed somewhere.. (it probably "went missing" like all the rest of my stuff they had was doing).
     
  20. Tulip

    Tulip Guest

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    The ombudsman can obtain all information regarding your case and the documents must be handed over by law. Centrelink is corrupt, but unfortunately so is every government department. It is just horrible when the public suffers for it. The "missing" letters/documents stuff has been going on for many many years.

    The ombudsman launched his own investigation into centrelinks bad behaviour: http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2011/s3165073.htm

    Google "centrelink ombudsman" for more stories.
     

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