Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Why is it so hard to apply for the childcare rebate?

So I've been trying to apply for the childcare rebate lately and it has been doing my head in.

We aren't entitled to much in the way of government support and that's fine with me. I don't believe in middle-class welfare and would far rather the government spent the money making sure the hospitals and schools are amazing so everyone can have a great education and be healthy, no matter what their background.

Anyway, I simply cannot believe how incredibly difficult it is to use the Centrelink system.

I have a uni degree and English is my first language but I have been struggling for three weeks to do something that should be relatively simple. And if I can't manage it, imagine how hard it must be for some other people out there.

Today, having finally given up on the online system and been unable to ever find a phone number that was answered by a person, I gave in, printed out the forms and filled them in by hand.

But when I went to put them in an envelope I found that THERE IS NO POSTAL ADDRESS listed anywhere on the form or in the accompanying information. Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!

And, despite having read the information five times, I am still totally ignorant as to whether they want me to send Princess' original birth certificate or a certified copy.

Honestly Centrelink, I'm sure you have a really difficult role to play, and I know lots of people are trying to abuse the system, and perhaps my difficulty is that I am on the edge of your system and if I were right in the middle of it it would all be easier, but this is all way too hard!

And in the end, when I did finally get a really lovely girl on the phone (after calling a number that had nothing to do with my area and begging for help) her best advice was ... 'I'd take the form into a Centrelink office if I was you.'


How have your experiences with Centrelink been? Do you qualify for much? Do you find it mind bogglingly impossible to work out what you are supposed to be doing?

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