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About illness, Financial hardship, WINZ/IRD

Quick WINZ update

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.

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About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@_writehanded_) or read more of her writing at writehanded.org

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Quick WINZ update

  1. I would ring the Winz callcentre and ask to lay a formal complaint against your case manager. State why you feel you havent been treated fairly within the appropiate legislation and timeframes to discuss the urgency of this matter
    Ask for a Manager to contact you and come up with appropiate solutions.?
    Ask why you have been ignored and inaction to your predicament has caused further disillusionment and distress otherwise handled professionally and in a timely manner you would not be feeling disillusioned and distressed.You have been dealt with inadequately ask to have a a new casemanager assigned to your case.
    And def dont feel that any of this is your own wrong doing it is not.
    I hope you get the help you need and deserve with respect.

    Posted by justiceisfair | March 11, 2014, 5:01 am
  2. I am so sorry you have to go through this. I know what it’s like. I too am disabled and have been since I was 25. It took me ten years to finally get my social security disability. The first hearing I had this very old and decrepit judge looked up and said if you were fifty I would give it to you. On paper you have all the requirements. But since you’re only twenty nine I just can’t approve this. What!

    They make you jump through hoops. My advice is to, Get a lawyer. Call the supervisor of that woman your dealing with. When ever you send something out to them copy in triplicate. So if they loose it you have another copy. Also send certified mail. That way someone has to sign for it.

    Insurance companies run the world. It seems they can override what our doctors say. And it all comes down to the bottom line of Money..You did exactly what you were asked to do now why can’t they just do their job. Is that too much to ask for. I hope you get this all sorted out. I’m posting an angel note for you ASAP. Just know you are not alone..

    Posted by aedmonds315 | April 1, 2014, 9:03 pm

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