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Down And Out In Centrelink And NewStart

The first welfare rort I ever perpetrated took place inside a Job Network provider’s office.

CentrelinkLike all cheating, it started with a small lie, so small that it seemed churlish to resist. I acquiesced as my “case worker” entered three hours on the claim form, even though I’d only been there around an hour. My scrawled initials of consent didn’t seem as serious as a proper signature.

The justification was simple enough. It helped speed the process. There was mutual benefit in claiming the maximum time allowed for the process of putting in place a job agreement. After all, I wasn’t worth much to the provider. They didn’t get paid much for dealing with me. It would be better for both of us if I had some kind of disability or could be classified as long term unemployed.

I was something of an oddity at this establishment. “We don’t get people like you,” I was told. Professional people don’t use the Job Network. I went to work in a collar and tie. I had a stable employment history. I knew what to put in a curriculum vitae. I didn’t need training in how to write a job application. I had my own internet connection and computer at home so I didn’t need to use the facilities they provided. I was already familiar with the list of employment websites they gave me. [Read more…]