Centrelink concession card blunder

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Not only are single parents due to have their Newstart Allowance cut, they have also been erroneously told that they must cut up the concession cards which grant them discounts to utilities, public transport and medical services.

Centrelink is to apologise to the 63,000 income support recipients who received an inaccurate letter in the post, advising them that they were no longer entitled to use their concession cards. The letter was sent to single parents who from 1 January were moved to the lower Newstart payment.

Although the letter was computer generated, Human Services Minister Kim Carr said Centrelink should have taken “a great deal more care” and he has asked the department to contact all affected.

Anyone who has received such a letter and has already destroyed their concession card should contact Centrelink to seek a replacement card.

Find out more about Centrelink concession cards.

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Written by Debbie McTaggart


Total Comments: 29
  1. 0

    I didn’t destroy mine as I was waiting to see what was happening. I received a health care card and also another pension card(blue one I had for parenting payment),and still no idea which one I should use so am keeping all 3.It is a 35-45 minute wait on the phone to contact them which I can’t do only having a mobile phone. I have to drive 20 minutes in an old car to an office too.

    • 0

      can you go online I have a blink stick it costs me 20 each month and gives me 3 g day time and 3 g after midnight. Then you can go to the centerlink web page. But it still is sick to take it away.

    • 0

      Today I received another pension card so now I have 4 unbelievable! What a waste of paper and government resources. I pity those working for centrelink they are clearly stressed out.

  2. 0

    I am on a DSP how are young girls with children meant to live if you cut there health care cards I would be in so much trouble if I lost that. Gov. needs to rethink how they are taking from why did they give maturity leave paid to women that have husbands at work when they take a health card from a women that has children by themselves. SICK THAT IS JUST SICK.

    • 0

      Thanks trickie,have been to the centrelink webpage several times over the last 2 weeks,I emailed them several times but no call backs.Not sure if blink would work in my area. I have tried Vodaphone,virgin and now on optus and it is much more consistent.Who can afford Telstra? I think that if I had a husband earning enough money I would give back family assistance,health card and baby bonus! Or at the very least help out someone less fortunate.Have you seen all the advertising for school bonus payouts? Surely if you are working you can afford that extra $400 a year,why not sell your flat screen TV and use a CRT like me.Or drive an older car that’s running on it’s last legs.You are on my side trickie I want to give you a hug.

  3. 0

    It’s pity it is a mistake,now these single mothers have lost the incentive to go and find a job, like the rest of us have to do to support our CHOICES.

    • 0

      Your comment doesn’t make sense. There are no jobs when you have to be home for your kids,who looks after them when they are sick. Not everyone has family support. There are many young,childless people who are sitting around doing not much who need the jobs more than single mums or dads,we are too busy juggling our bills,stressing about the rent,finding ways to cut back on our food,wearing jumpers to keep warm and sweating without aircons.whilst making sure our kids have a good education,staying healthy and happy so they can grow up to work ‘like the rest of us’. If we are too busy working and not being there for the kids we will have more kids growing up to be useless,unloved and unsupported and running amok getting into petty crimes whilst we are working.My mum was always home for me after school and I grew up and worked most of my life, I didn’t chose to be a single mum I thought I had a future with my male friend who walked away before the kid was born never to be seen or heard of again. Don’t put all single mums in the same basket,if I had no incentive to get out of bed each morning and do the work i have to keep my child alive then I would have given up hope.

    • 0

      The Government used to look after widows and children once and single women with child/children were rare. But today there are so many single women with children that the community and the goverment as a whole is fed up of keeping them So now they’re being told to work and keep your children yourself. But one size doesn’t fit all.

    • 0

      There are so many single women because there are so many single men who don’t want to take any responsibility for their actions,and just keep having as much fun as they can and just move on when it suits them or the women just wake up to the fact they won’t make good fathers and are immature and irresponsible so they go out on their own to try to make a life for their children. There are also single fathers too who are left with the kids. Saying the government as a whole is fed up is ridiculous,how do you know this? I believe they are just trying to recoup money so they(MP’s) can keep raising their wages and feeding their retirement funds.

  4. 0

    What a cheap excuse from the Centrelink re ‘concession card blunder.’ They say that the ‘letter was computer generated.’ Children in early Primary School already know how computer works. It does not generate anything by itself. It is programmed by the operator to perform a certain task which is under full control of the operator. If the operator would not purposely put all the data of the affected recipients in, computer would not generate anything. I see that Human Services Minister Kim Carr’s computer literacy is in doubt. Strange and uneducated people govern this country. Some APSs at Centrelink Service Centres look at computer screen as if they see them for the first time in their life too. Glitch perpetuates glitch, and the results are astonishing in final numbers (63,000 persons + their families affected). So, Centrelink decided to take gullible people for a ride and put the blame on computer? What a joke! In my case, a mere $270 of external income, effected a cumulative loss of benefit of almost $500 – how come? The complaint was lodged in September, and I have been told that it will take 5 weeks to clarify it. Now, we have January the next year, and Centrelink experts still sit on their hands – no answer/ruling to date. They are already 5 months behind under their own promise in writing!

  5. 0

    “It’s pity it is a mistake,now these single mothers have lost the incentive to go and find a job, like the rest of us have to do to support our CHOICES”. Macjam…you must be male…what a disgusting statement.
    1) Why do you assume ALL sole parents are women? Many men are sole parents these days
    2) Do you think raising (a) child/children on your own…often with NO support is NOT a job? It’s a 24 hr job and if you are unable to simultaneously be in the paid workforce you and yr kid/s are already living in financial stess. Why add further stress to this family!!
    3) Who is going to look after the 8 yr olds whilst the sole parent is in the paid workforce? Don’t assume EVERYONE has family or other supports, Believe me, if you leave an 8 yr old alone at home the authorities will not like it.
    4) The child/children already have the disadvantage of having only one primary care-giver in a lot of cases. Why take that parent away from the child/children!!
    5) Not all sole parents become sole parents by CHOICE. Some are widows/widowers; some have a parent of the said child/children who has refused to offer support or ‘walked away’ from the sole parent family; some women conceive a child through rape, but make the decision to carry on with the pregnancy (hardly a CHOICE of her own making). 6) Some sole parents have children who are disabled or ill so often, entering the paid workforce is not an option. 7) There aren’t a lot of paid jobs out there…look at how many people are already on Newstart. 8) There definitely aren’t a lot of paid jobs that allow the sole parent to start work after 9 and end before 3 (school hours). I could go on, and on, and on, but as I feel sick to the stomach after reading your comment I need to stop,
    What a judgemental bastard you are!!!.

  6. 0

    I can not get a job I have studied a number of certificates and diplomas and applied for thousands of jobs not just where I live but up to an hour away and still no JOB. Do you think this is fun being a single Mum? I assure you it is not. I have a family court order restricting where I can live and so here I must stay where there is little to no work and unless you are 15 you have literally no chance as I have discovered over 5 years of persistence.
    I think so people need to think before they open their mouths. I HATE WELFARE, I WANT A JOB, I WANT ONE NOW!!!!!!!
    I have a Diploma of Business Administration (I also obtained certs 3 and 4), Certificate 4 Front Line Management, Certificate 2 information Technology (Credit) Applications, Certificate 3 Teacher’s Aid Special, Previous Management experience, Certificate 3 Printing and Graphic Arts Multimedia, Associate Diploma Animal Science… AND STILL no JOB!!! It is depressing, disheartening and at times impossible to cope with particularly when you get idiots telling you to get off your ass and get a job!!! I have been trying to for 5 damn years. So if any one wants to give me one in this country town I happily accept it!!!!!!

    • 0

      I hope you find a job soon you cleary deserve one. Maybe start your own business.I have none of these skills so what hope have I got if you can’t find a job?

  7. 0

    I’d also love this job to be within the school hours of my child. And yes everything that you said Arb1950. Some people should jut shut it before judging

  8. 0

    Arb1950 very well said. 🙂 I find it perplexing that single parents are now expected to be in paid employment yet there are less advertised jobs around. No government creates jobs, it is small business and look how governments have made many redundant through increased taxes, charges and red tape. The same politicians have no qualms about feathering their own nest though.

    • 0

      Exactly,if there was more support for small business local industries could offer work but they just can’t afford to pay wages beyond their own, working too many hours to make sure all the overheads are paid. You see many small businesses with both partners working with their kids running amok after school and on weekends.

  9. 0

    The beauty of computers is that people who make mistakes can blame their mistakes on the computer and get off “scot free”. I will not use internet banking because I do not trust these systems with my personal information. As for single mums getting put on to New Start, will there be after school care for the children of the mums that do secure full time work? Our ALP government has an unfortunate track record of failing to do “due dilligence” in weighing up the consequences of their legislative proposals. Sort of like the song “Fools Rush In” and wind up leaving their successors to clean up the mess they leave.

  10. 0

    the mess is double sided. There are the people already needing support who now have it taken away overnight and are expected to cope somehow, and there are those who can’t wait to have a baby (or six) as the best way to get a home, healthcare card and a lifestyle of sorts.
    I mean no offense or disrepect to those who are single parents through tragedy or trauma and who should be suported. It is however pretty offensive to have third-generation welfare recipients wringing the max benefits out of taxpayers.
    Maybe instead of the rubbishy part-time-permanent-casual jobs that pay peanuts, give no security and push all costs onto the so-called “contractor”, we should try hard tofind a way back to a mandatory living wage for all those workers supporting a family.As it is, it is much safer to cling to welfare-

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