As you may remember from this post three weeks ago, WINZ is currently “reviewing” my disability allowance.
The disability allowance is the portion of my benefit that helps towards costs directly relate to my illness – doctor’s visits, medication etc.
My case manager informed me on 14 February (the day before I was going to Wellington for a week) that I had until 14 March to supply new information, or my support would be removed. Getting this new information wasn’t going to be an easy task for me, and it’s fair to say I felt terrified and distressed during that phone call.
My case manager also said she would send a Special Food Grant application form to me, which I needed to provide to them along with at least a month’s worth of receipts to show my grocery expenses.
While I was away, I made phone calls and sent emails in order to get the requested information from my medical providers. As soon as I got back, I labelled them all and took them in to WINZ. That was on 25 February.
Since then, I have sent several emails and left several voice messages, none of which have been returned. My online account shows “no applications pending.” I haven’t received any letters or application forms in the mail. Meanwhile, it’s now less than a week until my support will be removed, and I have no idea if I have provided the necessary information to stop that from happening.
I find it increasingly ironic that WINZ want me well enough to go back to work, yet they consistently subject me to behaviour and systems which stress the fuck out of me, and make me more ill.
Did I say ironic? I meant frustrating, depressing, anxiety-inducing, dehumanising and debilitating.
Yes, WINZ, I agree with you. The sooner I can go back to work, the better.