Make it easier for Cancer Patients to access benefits from Centrelink.
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I was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer in October of 2016 at sixteen years of age. I am now seventeen and have finished intensive treatment, yet still have to take oral chemotherapy and antibiotics which are expensive.
My family and I since I was first diagnosed have tried multiple times to get a Centrelink Health Care card, which would mean that my medication would be cheaper. In order to get this card, you have to be eligible for a benefit scheme yet, time after time we have been denied. We do not want any money. We just want the card so it cheapens my medication.
Some of the reasons for my rejection include:
Being over the age of 16 and under 18 at diagnosis.
Not having a terminal illness
Not having enough of a disability.
My oncologist, CNC's and Social Workers have all written letters and referrals, yet Centrelink has still denied my rights to a card. At one point, I had to be taken into a Centrelink centre with virtually no immune system to be sighted, only weeks later finding out we had been rejected again.
When we are on the phone to Centrelink, the workers are amazing. They are helpful when trying to find us a successful avenue and upset and regretful when telling us we have been rejected. We even have had one worker state they are campaigning for an easier avenue for cancer patients like me internally.
We have gotten to the point where we have decided to just pay the excess amount instead of spending hours on the phone only to get another excuse. Hopefully, this campaign will allow my family and the multiple other cancer patients and their families to have access to a concession card quickly and easily.
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