I AM a white, mid-50s female Australian.
I earn $12,000 a year cleaning private houses.
I applied for rental allowance at Centrelink only to be told that as I don’t receive benefits, I am not eligible.
I have several options: give up my cleaning and go on Newstart and receive all concessions, work 30 hours a fortnight and receive part benefits and all concessions or do 15 hours volunteer work a week and receive Newstart and all concessions.
I currently work 25 hours a week plus 10 hours travelling time but the way Centrelink works it out, on paper I only work 17 hours a fortnight.
If I could do 15 hours volunteering a week I would, but that would take my total working week up to 50 hours and physically I cannot do it.
I can choose to sit on my backside, do nothing and get paid by the government but I refuse to do that.
Rental allowance denied. Motto of the story: don’t try to help yourself, Centrelink doesn’t like it and you will get no help from them.
– JULIE STEBBINGS, Longford.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.