When the system punishes – a never ending story

I don’t usually do a follow up post but in this case I really want to share the ongoing frustrations our systems put people through.

So in the first post we got to the stage where a benefit was cut because someone with an intellectual disability hadn’t completed a form that was never sent to him, meaning he hadn’t proved that his disability hadn’t suddenly disappeared.

Sadly that is not the end of this little saga…

WINZ said the GP would have the required form. The GP said they had no idea what the form was and that WINZ would have it.

We searched the WINZ website for forms, nothing. So I browsed through the instructions for GP’s and buried within, there it was – no not the form, rather where the GP can find it. It is only available on pads supplied to GP’s by WINZ or electronically via the GP system.  As I couldn’t provide a copy or link for the GP, all I could do was print out this wee paragraph and let them see that.

In the meantime we’ve now seen the size of the form required to get back onto the benefit he should be on. Gob-smacked is the only way to describe our reaction.

WINZ, according to their website, are meant to be helping their clients. Call me cynical but I really don’t see it.

This whole debacle is due to:

The system not being flexible enough to handle people with a disability having normal relationships, and ending those relationships (ie being normal).

The system being the most important thing. WINZ needs to relook at why they are there – they should be about client outcomes but in reality it appears not.

The sad fact is that whatever the rhetoric and good intentions espoused, people with an intellectual disability are continuously being marginalised. No other demographic could be treated this way with a huge backlash from the media and community.

As a society, we need to hang our heads in shame.

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