I was born with severe debilitating epilepsy and for most of my life I have received some sort of pension, when I became gender disphoric that also qualified me for a pension, then once my spinal problems came that was another disability that on it’s own was qualification for a pension for life so in 2007 I was declared to suffer multiple permanent disabilities and was granted a pension for life.
All of this was done as an Australian citizen who lived over seas permanently, Australia has a long history of allowing benefit receivers to live outside the country so much so they have a permanent department called the International pensions office.
International pensions started when after the refugees from world war 2 from Europe who became citizens qualified for age pensions, but they wanted in their golden years to go home to live their last days in the country of their birth they had been forced to flee they were allowed to still receive pensions there.
In the 50’s and 60’s people with disabilities were not even on the horizon, it was considered then a families job to keep them home and financially support them. Once it was realized that we like everyone else had the right to a life and could be equally productive members of society, they also had to realize that from legal precedent if an aged pensioner lived over seas so could we.
So don’t think we live like kings and queens, for most of the last 7 years I received $280 every two weeks! a joke, but they knew I lived in new York ,They Knew I had a green card and they knew I had no intention of ever living home in Australia permanently again.
Well the little extra I received wasn’t much, but it allowed for a little breathing room each pay day we were available to save a little and actually make a indent in our medical expenses.
Well this Thursday just passed instead of waking to my pension in the bank I awoke to a letter saying I had basically committed pension fraud and was cut off?
I rang the international office and there reason was I was living overseas?????
THEY GRANTED ME AN OVER SEAS PENSION KNOWING I LIVED IN NEW YORK
THEY HAVE SENT 7 YEARS OF MAIL TO NEW YORK
THEY GRANTED ME AN “OVERSEAS PENSION”
THE REASON FOR KICKING ME OFF IS I LIVE OVERSEAS?????
Does this stupidity make sense to anyone? Not me so I asked for an appeal
It seems to the government your home is always Australia even if it’s not, let me explain, every 18 months since 2009 I have flown home for a short 2 week holiday and flown back to the apartment we own in new york, to the job Ella has in new york, to the family and friends and social circle we have in new york, but to the Australian government they considered not the trip to Australia the holiday but the trip back to new york as th eholiday? Their rules say any holiday over 3 months is cause to cease payment ?
So it didn’t bother them I flew to Australia it bothered them I flew home? My real home not their definition
So the definition of international is somewhere over seas or across a international border, so by definition of them granting me an international pension the government realizes my home is somewhere other than Australia but then in there schizophrenic state because I hold citizen ship they also think Australia is my home so returning to my home of 17 years where we own a co-op and Ella has a career to them was a holiday and because we took their version of a holiday(we went home) that is pension fraud and I have my pension permanently canceled?
If any of this con-fluted hypocrisy makes sense to anyone run for office Abbott really needs at least one friend.
So after my second phone call to Tasmania where the international office is (that should have tipped me off) I was spoken to like a criminal, and told everytme I cross a border for any reason I must get permission from them?
I asked the jackbooted one did he have any idea of life in America? He replied he has never been
So I told him I have a friend who lives 1 kilometer from the Canadian border and drives over the border to shop every day and get gas would he need to call he said yes ?
I told him my nephew is a marine, if he was stationed in san Diego and was invited 30 minutes away to a restaurant in Mexico and went if he was on a pension would he have to call he said yes?
I told him if Ias a pensioner went to Niagara falls and as most tourists do walk across to Canada just to take tourist pics would I have to call him he said yes?
I tried to explain to this plebe that in other countries borders are nothing more than the other side of the street but to no avail.
So for a grand total of $560 Australian a month the federal government owns me, but just for their information the phone bill calling them every time I move would cost more than the pension they dish out .
Now Abbott says he is cutting pensions because we live the life of Reilly on the tax payers dollar,well Mr Abbott you have to realise Australia is an island there are no borders you can cross but there are people everyday in other places who live on a street with a white line in the middle one side side is France the other is Monaco if they walk three houses and borrow a cup of sugar they crossed the border.
I have friends who live in Texas, their sister lives 20 minutes down the road in Mexico dropping the kids for their sister to look after while they go for a hospital stay and they cross a border.
If Australia is going to have “international pensions” they need to study how people in other countries live.
Man drew lines and called them countries, many families have borders running through the very farms their families have owned for hundreds of years, so halfway through ploughing they cross a border!
You cannot say its OK to live in New York but that I must do it Australian style, the very reason people emigrate is to assimilate into societies they have never been to before.
Get your colloquial head out of your ass Mr Abbott, are you made to live like an Englishman to receive your pay? Remember you were born in England you are an emigrant to Australia a 10 pound pom after all.