The Virus Diaries: Rejected

April 1, 2020 at 4:40 pm (Fully Sick, general life, Mental illness)

“After considering your circumstances, we have made a decision that you are not eligible for Disability Support Pension. To be eligible for Disability Support Pension, you need to have an impairment of 20 points or more under the Impairment Tables. These tables are used to assess how much your ability to work is affected by any permanent medical condition that is fully diagnosed, treated and stabilised. You have been assessed as not having an impairment rating of 20 points or more.”

Thus ran the message I received in response to the Disability Support Pension application I filed in February.

The good news is that my various conditions are diagnosed, treated (with varying levels of success) and stabilised. One of them is about to get a new treatment which is promising, but the rest are pretty useless.

I’m way over 20 points of impairment, but now I’ll have to gather more data to support that, then apply again, then wait months for the next response.

This is not an unusual story. Many people with fibromyalgia (and other conditions, but fibromyalgia is relatively new so it makes it easier for people to deny its existence) wade through paperwork and expensive specialists for years before getting approved (which we’ve already done for an average of 5 years before getting diagnosed). Drowning disabled people in complicated tasks and paperwork is a great way to save money, because loads of them are too sick to keep applying.

I have at least one more round in me. After that, we’ll see.

I’ve printed off thirty or so pages of Impairment Tables to go through item by item, and then take to my GP. I’ll also need to figure out what form to use for an appeal, probably by calling Centrelink. At the moment, most of Australia is already on hold to Centrelink. Wait times are at least two hours. Well, fine. It’s not like I was busy attempting to educate my kids or anything.

Resource of the day: Anything that’s not Centrelink.

Recommended donation of the day: I’m not the only person dealing with Centrelink at the moment. Send some chocolate to someone you know who’s “lucky” enough to be abruptly unemployed.

A lot of people are suddenly discovering that when circumstances beyond your control send you to the dole queue, it’s not nearly as fun or helpful as you would think.

Personal action of the day: Don’t get sick. (I’m just full of usefulness today, aren’t I?)

Recommended hoarding item of the day: If you’re chronically or seriously ill, make sure you keep all your medical paperwork. If nothing else, it’s another handy source of toilet paper.

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