Uncaring bogans



Re: Aussie expats refused pension (PM Mailbag Friday, 20 September 2013) – I once had to deal with Aust Social Services & I found them to be a bunch of non caring bogans. The rule is they need not tell you of all your entitlements unless you ask them a specific question. After being granted the pension it was taken over by Veteran’ Affairs & things have been going OK.

Over the years I have gone home every 6 months and have had no hassles. This year I did not return and was contacted by V/A and was told that as I had not notified them of my intention of going overseas my pension could be affected. When I told them I had a letter thanking me for informing them I was going overseas, their reaction was that there was no record of such a letter and that the person who signed it was not known by V/A and no one of that name had ever worked in V/A. Later the dept manager sent an apology for her overzealous staff member. She also asked when I would be returning and wanted to know my address here. I feel that through no fault of my own I have ruffled a few feathers and am now “red lined.” Even going to the extreme of deducting $1.15 off my last payment. I had no intention of going home this year and as I have nowhere to stay there, I must spend $’s on a trip I could do without. (Put it bluntly, I’m scared.)

Back to your problem. You state you were born in Sydney and worked all your life in Australia. However, were your parents Australian & were they or yourself ever naturalized? I wish you luck and hope there is a brighter future ahead for you. (You could enter through Java and get an allowance the day you arrive: free clothing, food, phone card, internet etc., then when you receive your visa and pension, bring the whole family over.

Bryan Patricks