Constituent assisted with Centrelink claim

This article was written by Cait Kelly and Josh Nicholas and was published in The Guardian on 6th March 2024.

Melbourne woman Megan, 58, who did not want her real name used, waited 114 days for her claim to be processed.

For more than a year she put in a medical certificate every six weeks so she would not have to perform mutual obligations, which require payment recipients to study, attend job interviews, improve literacy or work for the dole.

In October Centrelink said it would no longer accept Megan’s medical certificates. She broke down on the phone and the officer told her they would give her another two weeks’ exemption.

Desperate, she called the office of her local MP, independent Zoe Daniel. Three days later Centrelink told her she could start her claim without having all the proper DSP paperwork.

“Suddenly, this door opens that wasn’t there before that pauses your obligations until the claim has been resolved. No one had ever said that until I went through my MP,” Megan said.

She applied on 6 November and had her assessment on 30 January.

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