This particular pointless rant actually started days ago.
I may have told you this before. I was in Centrelink with my mother and daughter, I was sitting separately because during the previous visit my panic attack had badly distressed them. I had a massive panic attack; flapping, stimming, banging, self harming and making noises. Fellow clients accused me of being a druggie and were scared. A security guard shadowed me to make sure I didn’t damage property. I finally managed to be able to baby talk and went to check on my appointment. The staff member called me by my child’s name and asked where I was, when I was finally able to convince her with gestures and ID who I was she said, “You’re not claiming disability why are you f…” The only end to that I can think of is faking. And that is the attitude.
NDIA staff are more likely to accept you are disabled, about half of those I’ve met are actually very sympathetic and reasonable people. But they are hog tied by a system that is terrified of being shown up by the media.
The second year a planner told me that the over riding caveat on all requests regardless of medical advice was ‘How would it look, taken out of context, in the newspaper.’ In other words no matter how much someone needed something, no matter how many medical specialists agreed, if a theoretical journalist could make fun of it, it was not allowed. And remember we in Australia only have journalists under the thumb of media magnates or on a newly shortened leash of a government funded body, i.e. a free Western Press. (I know other places are worse but that is not a reason to allow bad things to happen).
The rules governing NDIA planning were actually overhauled deliberately to prevent planners from becoming too sympathetic to their clients. And to reduce the power of front line staff to make decisions. A decision was made that decisions could only be made by people who had never met the clients and who were restrained from being too sympathetic by strict guidelines. Heaven forfend any human emotions come into caring for the vulnerable.
There are also other departments to blame. Not for us to blame, for NDIA to blame. So NDIA will not fund anything they deem as part of Medicare, Social Security or Education. That may sound reasonable, except they all pass the buck so none of them have to provide the service. And no one knows how to even start dealing with it, they are separate departments, they can’t communicate; they are separate, they can’t be held to account; they are government departments.
So what is the solution?
If you are really, really good, not to mention really, really lucky I will tell you…
Wicked laughter fills the room as a shadowy figure withdraws, sees chocolate sneaks back a bit and leaves the room, chuckling muffled by a full mouth.