PAUSED – TIME ON THE DOLE

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By Ebony O’Flaherty 

At the moment my partner and I are trying to get a house together, but do you think that we will get accepted when they see the half of the application that says “unemployed”, showing that I am receiving government benefits of only $200 a week? We will get a polite “sorry, your application has not been accepted”.

Everyone on the dole knows the feeling of being put down by others. Being called a no hoper, dole bludger, or even putting up with comments like “they only want government benefits so they can buy their drugs”. What they do not know is that there are people on the dole who are not on drugs and who are trying very hard to find a job and striving towards a better life. Those people use their pay check for what it is actually for – living.

Trying to go for a job is even harder when you need qualifications for everything, or some sort of experience behind you. How are you supposed to gain those when you have a case manager always calling you, saying “sorry but you need to attend these appointments” so you can’t go to a course. Or the best one I have heard yet was “you can’t attend a job interview because you have an appointment here and if you don’t come it could affect your payments”. You would think they would say “that’s great” or “well done, we can reschedule”.

Being assigned to a job search network provider, you would automatically think “oh ok they are going to help me look for a job,” No. No they will not. In a time frame of about 2 years, my case manager has only told me once about a job offer. I asked for the details or at least a phone number and do you think she ever gave them to me? Think again. All they want is to keep their clients so they keep getting paid. That is why they will drag out everything so you end up on work for the dole. Because in the end the more clients they have, it’s more money in their pocket.

Every day I am looking for a job, every day I am trying to better myself. But by constantly being put down and have someone look down they’re nose to me because I am still receiving Centrelink payments, it is very upsetting. You do what you need to survive. I get paid $400 on a Monday and I can guarantee you, by the end of that Monday I have $70 in my savings account so I have some sort of money to get me through the next week and then about $50 to get me through the first week. I have bills that need to get paid and then food and transport to get me through the two weeks. So yes of course I am looking for a job, because how is anyone supposed to live off $60 a week? And then to be put down by anyone and everyone who think they are better because they have full time employment, a house, a family or even a car.

Time on the Dole is not that easy.

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