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Australia - need URGENT help to reapply for disability!

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by RustyJ, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    Does anyone know of a psychiatrist in the Sunshine Coast/Brisbane area who will support a disability application?

    I am asking on behalf of another forum member, but I may also find myself in the same situation, since my psychiatrist has recently retired and I am concerned about government moves to shake up welfare.

    The other forum member has a psychiatrist but was refused disability because the psych report did not support physical incapacity.

    I do not know how to address this, in the absence of a physical diagnosis.

    I previously gained disability on the basis of my now retired psychiatrist's report which did not mention a diagnosis of cfs, but referred to a mental capacity test and disabling symptoms of severe anxiety, depression, exhaustion etc. It was my understanding that the mental capacity test supported my assertions about not being able to work, but I don't know enough about the current centrelink requirements to feel confident about this.

    Basically my strategy is to find another psychiatrist and start all over again. Does anyone have a strategy for meeting disability requirements that will help?

    The other forum member is having real trouble coping with the situation. If anyone could offer advice, it would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    In the 80s a psychiatrist called Bill Wilkey knew a bit about CFS (as it was being called in 1989). He might still be around. Generally I have found most medical professions are inept. Its going to be a real problem for many of us. We may have to take group action.
     
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  3. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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  4. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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  5. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    I guess an alternative approach would be thru the GPs who profess to treat cfs, like Deed and Emerson. Perhaps they could refer to a psychiatrist and provide a GP report in support of the psychiatrist, although I am not sure if they are doing this. Might be worth asking.

    BRISBANE
    Ph: 07 3831 5111
    Contact: Mike Woodbridge
    Profession: GP
    Main interests: chronic illness including allergy - autoimmune disorders - anxiety - depression - fatigue - immune dysfunction - vascular disease
    Gives IV/IM Supplements - Does Chelation Therapy
    Website: www.drmikewoodbridge.com
     
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  6. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I personally suggest seeing a doctor for ME/CFS and get them to support the disability claim as something centrelink keeps hidden is that there is a also another way to qualify for disability is via a checklist thing they have were points are awarded for various symptoms and if you are diagnosed with ME/CFS you should be able to qualify via getting enough points through that. To do that your doctor needs to list every symptom on your application (and not only just write CFS).. you get so it can get points for symptoms on their point symptom list

    I was never able to get a copy of that thing which tells how many points one gets for what as centreline wont give it to people!!! as I said they try to keep this way of qualifying secret. Many in their own dept didn't even realise about this way that someone can qualify. I found out about it after 2 appeals so finally got every symptom I had listed on my application.

    I suspect in their crackdowns that those who have mental health issues such as only anxiety and depression could also end up being really targeted eg they may force them into a lot of therapy or group support or who knows what they could do. So it really maybe a good idea if they know you have a lot of different problems and not just anxiety and depression.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
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  7. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I honestly think that has a strong chance of not supporting your case enough (unless you get extremely lucky with a good centreline assessor with your application). Now days they have people such as those with downs syndrome working!! those with very low IQs. That's what the disability job centres are set up for, to help those with disabilities get jobs suitable for their disabilities (I was going through one of those before I finally got my disability pension)

    Just going and talking to the assessor could deem you to be quite mentally capable of getting to a job or capable of driving there or getting out of bed to go and do something.

    If they think you are possibly capable of sitting on the ground and stacking shelves they may have you doing it (someone in SA was telling me the other day about someone they know who has severe OCD and I think it was Aspergers/Autism too.. and Centrelink has this person doing that as a job - stacking and lining things up on shelves in a supermarket.
     
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  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I just thought of something else, you may actually have a big issue if you are needing support for your disability in regards to Centrelink in the near future. I think there was or still is a rule in which the dr filling out the disability forms for a person, had to have been their dr for a certain amount of time (6mths? a year? I cant remember now how much time it was.. I remember I couldn't just go and get any doctor to do this cause of the time period)

    :( I just thought of someone else with CFS who is on disability but hasn't currently got a doctor at all and hasn't been able to find one for this (she couldn't get in with 2 of the specialists I knew as they weren't taking new patients and the doctor I was seeing wouldn't take on a CFS person who wasn't under a specialist (and same with the dr I was seeing before that). She tried so many doctors before giving up finding one.

    Many with ME/CFS may be really caught out in this crackdown on us due to this doctor issues.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
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  9. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    An important point to consider, If you want a Centrelink report at sometime in the future, it is best to see the doctor ASAP, since Centrelink does not like 'doctor' shopping and wants evidence that you have a relationship with that doctor.

    I recently had some frustrating experiences with Centrelink staff, not so much that they didn't want to help me, but more that they didn't really know what they were doing (with regards to work participation interviews, they requested a work capacity assessment form and then did not note that they asked me to do so, when I handed it in, I still have no idea if they are going to call me in or not, but my (regular GP) doctor ticked the <8 hrs box, so...)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  10. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    Yes I agree about listing all your symptoms, such as memory loss, cognitive issues etc, though many of these can be indirectly observed in the mental capacity test, which incidentally shows a worsening of function over time, so it is not a matter of comparing with downs syndrome. The capacity test actually shows processing degradation and increasing mental fatigue within a set time, which does not happen with downs syndrome. Slurring of speech, eyes closing, inability to talk, to form sentences also show up in this test if you have a good psychologist. So diminished intelligence is only one dimension of what they should be looking for.

    A comprehensive checklist of symptoms can be found here http://www.shoutoutaboutme.com/about-mecfs/checklist-of-mecfs-symptoms/

    The problem is that most of these are subjective and not measurable, so you have to have a GP who trusts you to support documentation of these symptoms. Also highlighting those symptoms which limit work capacity, as many of them don't, would be a good guide.
     
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  11. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    Was this a reassessment? ATM, I thought this wasn't happening for 45+ ages. If the proposed shakeup goes ahead, everyone will be reassessed and age won't be a protection.

    I have found the centrelink staff very helpful, though I am aware this is not always the case. I also made sure that the psych report emphasized the less than eight hours requirement. I have a fairly well documented history of having to reduce work hours over a number of years, till eventually I couldn't work even a couple of hours without weight loss and exacerbation of other symptoms.

    It may have helped me that over a number of years I was reduced to part-time menial jobs, despite having university level qualifications, and a fairly lengthy professional career.

    A complication with the less than 8 hours requirement may be on the horizon as the government is asking for proof you can't work for that time. Not sure how that goes. Hoping my history will help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  12. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    Tania, are you able to provide that list here? It might be helpful for others.
     
  13. Snow Leopard

    Snow Leopard Hibernating

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    I'm 30 and recently finished studying (more or less I guess...). I should clarify that they requested the form to be filled in, I have no idea what is happening after that.
     
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  14. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    No... as I said in my other post (you must of missed it), I couldn't get a copy of it. I couldn't even get a copy of how they'd used it to add up my own symptoms. They said they didn't get out copies to people due to people could use it to abuse the system.
    .....

    I do remember though that someone here some how did find info on it online.. maybe Alex knows about it and where to find the details of this???
     
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  15. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    I misinterpreted this to mean you came up with a list of symptoms they accepted?
     
  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I don't know anything about symptom checklists. I think it might be possible to search for this though. Someone might have posted something.
     
  17. Sea

    Sea Senior Member

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  18. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    To prove mental capacity, for ME, one need to get a neuro-psych assessment, which looks at capacity to concentrate, capacity of memory, just to name a few. It is well known that in the case of ME/CFS/SEID there are many defficiencies in that regard. Unfortunately these exams are not cheap, need to be performed by experts in their field and need to know the features of the illness.

    I would refer the person to a specialized clinic such as Dr Marshall-Gradisnik center at Griffith University.
     
  19. AndyPandy

    AndyPandy Making the most of it

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    I was assessed favourably by an Occupational Physician for a non Centrelink invalidity pension. Found me to be totally and permanently disabled due to ME/CFS. You might want to try and find one of these in the Brisbane area.

    Best wishes.
     
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  20. postit_note

    postit_note

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    Hi everyone, My name is Jamie (F) and i am 26 years of age
    This post was made on behalf of me (thank you rusty j)
    Ill explain my situation
    Ive had CFS since the age of 17 in 2006 after having a severe case of glandular fever which took me over 6 months to recover from, however the fatigue never went away. I was brushed off for years by doctors telling me its normal or that is was because of depression. I didnt even know what CFS was untill about 2012 when my tafe teacher told me he thought i had it because he also coincidentally was my teacher when i had glandular fever (but i had to quit as a i was so sick)
    I finally found a doctor about two years ago who diagnosed me with CFS, after running all the basic tests and assessing my symptoms, how ever she is just a GP, not a specialist.
    My level of fatigue impacts all areas of my life, some days i cant leave the house and can only get out of bed briefly. Some days i can go for for a couple of hours then just crash once i get home. My concentration, memory and mood is greatly affected. I also get extremely dizzy whenever i stand or bend over, i lose my vision, sweat, feel nauseous, weak, shaky and have to hold on to something till it passes. This happens most days.
    I get hart palpitations occasionally from bending over which causes me to faint if i dont stop what ever im doing and sit it out.
    I also have IBS and some bladder issues. I have moderate to severe muscle, joint and nerve pain partially due to a leg discrepancy caused by a rotated hip, however that doesnt explain my finger and elbow pain. Headaces most days.
    I also have mental health problems which are currently managed. However at the news of my application being unsuccessful i had a total break down for a couple of days untill i came across this forum and started to have hope again.
    I was relying on the extra pension money so i can move out of my parents house (ive been rejected from every rental i have applied for because my income is too low, even though i have an excellent rental history) and have some independence, also so i could finally afford to see specialists.

    Okay so about my pension application. I had my GP fill out the report, she stated that i have CFS and that i am unable to work at all. She listed some symptoms but i know it wasnt in depth enough. She also put down depression/ anxiety due to my poor health and recommenced that i get my Psychologist to write a report taking about how my condition affected my mental health. I asked my psyc to do this and she repeated that "i acknowledge that physical and mental conditions over lap how ever i keep to two separate". She did write a very short two paragraph report stating that i suffer from an anxiety disorder and she defined the disorder.
    With my claim i also attached the report from when I originally had Glandular fever, and two physio reports.

    At the job capacity interview with an Occupation Therapist at centrelink i further discussed my symptoms but i felt very dismissed by the interviewer who really seemed like she was completely skeptical of me and almost manipulative. She also asked if i had seen any specialist about CFS and i told her the only ones i knew of (at the time) were far too expensive for me to afford on my current payment of $250 pw. She also asked if i was on any treatment for it and i said i didnt know of any apart from all of the supplements, painkillers and physiotherapy i was already doing.

    I am waiting for a letter to come in the mail explaining why my claim was not approved, i hope this gives me enough information so that i can appeal.

    Since joining this forum i have found out about the CFS clinic at Griffith which sounds really promising for me, i will be making an appointment and getting a referral ASAP. I couldnt find any information about weather they charge or not, the phone lines are only open Thurs and Fri so i will be calling first thing Thurs. I also did a google search about psychologist who specialise in CFS and i found one on the sunshine coast by the name of Sam Clarke

    http://www.scclinpsych.com.au/about-our-psychologists/sam-clarke/

    Thank you so much for all of the responses, ive already learnt so much and this is only my second day on here!
     

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