wings and things

I found out today that Anthony and I are ‘illness separated’.

on November 12, 2013

photo credit to Jane Terren

Ming and I were at Centrelink (Australia’s social security service) this morning to pursue job possibilities for him now that he is not supposed to do manual labour. He is still working for our neighbours as a dairyhand but only for three days a fortnight, and with no lifting allowed. As many of you know, this is because Ming tried to lift something really heavy in our shed a few months ago and actually fractured some of the titanium in his ‘new’ back. He will be scheduled for further surgery in the next couple of months, after which he will obviously have to quit milking the cows for good.

So we were at Centrelink with a the doctor’s certificates and other paperwork that might help Ming claim some sort of interim allowance before and after the next surgery, when (whilst waiting for her computer to reboot) the beautiful woman serving us chatted with me about this and that and she took an interest in my own circumstances. As I had previously received a carer’s allowance when Anthony still lived at home, I was on the system, but she could easily see that I have had no income of any sort for nearly 18 months and haven’t been able to claim any social security help due to living on a farm (asset). She asked me about Anthony and, when I told her he was now in a nursing home, she said, “Well that means you are separated.” I said, “No, no!” Then she said, “It’s okay, I just mean you fall into the Centrelink category of ‘illness separated’ and, as such, you could probably do with some financial assistance.”

She then said she would do anything she could to assist us in our Centrelink pursuits. I was so grateful I nearly got teary and then suddenly she realized that Ming (whose Scottish name is spelled Menzies) used to play football with her own son and, even though she and I had never known each other back then, I not-so-instantly recognized her!

I am feeling a bit uncomfortable about lodging a claim for financial assistance but, on the other hand, Anthony and I have, like so many, paid a fortune in taxes over the decades, so why not? It’s difficult for me to get another job at the moment because I spend a lot of hours with Anthony every week – either here or at the nursing lodge; and it’s difficult for Ming to commit to another job until he knows about surgery (next appointment with surgeon in two weeks).

One of the things I am so grateful for is the fact that my beautiful, now incapacitated, ‘illness-separated’ husband, has had enough savings to sustain us so far. And that we are living on his/our beautiful farm.

22 responses to “I found out today that Anthony and I are ‘illness separated’.

  1. Though the term does seem a bit harsh, it’s wonderful that it’s recognized as a potential financial need and funds are available. Doubt we do something so kind in the US!
    Good luck to your son with his surgery and recuperation.

  2. Delighted to hear this.

  3. I think sometimes we just have to accept the help, especially when you paid into it for so long. It’s like insurance — and I’m sure you wouldn’t turn down an insurance payout! And never forget, you deserve it! Good job!

    Good luck to Ming. I hope he gets the support too — and that the surgeon’s appt. goes well.

  4. Rhonda says:

    Hope it helps ease the mental stress a bit, for at least ONE thing Jules…xo

  5. elizabeth says:

    So glad you are getting some help Julie. You’ve probably been entitled to it this whole time. Hope Ming can find a job he loves. 🙂

  6. Financial assistance is exactly for people like yourself …. In effect you are still Anthony’s caregiver because you do spend so much time with him in and out of the nursing home …. So …not to feel bad at all about taking some help…. Hope Ming finds something suitable for him… Diane

  7. I hope it works out Julie. A little extra would be a blessing. Love to you all!

  8. ingridrick says:

    It’s nice to meet someone who is helpful and understanding at Centrelink … and don’t feel guilty about accepting some help – that’s exactly what it’s there for and you deserve a break.

  9. Terry says:

    I understand where you are at in life. Me taking care of Al and my diabetes don’t mix well with outside jobs. I worry and stress about my future. Who will help me? I can’t imagine going into our SS office and anyone offering me help. Here we have to prove that we have anything possibly that we can do for ourselves. Make a tiny bit of money and be on poverty level and then end up with no food or shelter and living in a box or with family. It scares me now that I am older

  10. The terminology leaves something to be desired but I think that it’s wonderful that the government recognizes that illnesses can have a devastating affect on economic circumstances. Good thing you aren’t living in the U.S, it wouldn’t be the same story. I’m glad that Ming is being proactive about his job prospects, he is such a lovely young man. 🙂

  11. tootlepedal says:

    That is why you pay the taxes. From those who can afford them and to those who need it. You need it.

  12. Julie–there is no shame in this at all–you need the help and I am so glad you are getting it!

  13. Jules: you do so much to help… the universe is just returning the favor. And, it makes me smile sweet woman. Love, Paulette

  14. I hope it comes through for you. And that Ming finds a job he looks forward to every day.

    What a pleasant surprise, kindness and a little help.

  15. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    I understand how you feel about accepting financial assistance from the Govt. But you HAVE paid your taxes and probably a whole lot more than many others in this country. You ARE entitled to assistance and you should accept it with the knowledge that you couldn’t possibly get a job and still keep up with your time at the nursing home or bringing Anthony home.

    Maybe one day there’ll come a time when you can work, but in the meantime, accept the help from every source possible. You deserve it and you need it. V x

  16. janeslog says:

    If you are entitled to benefits then take them. It’s not as if you have scrounged off the taxpayers for years like some people.

    In the UK we have our own benefit claimants,the the asylum seekers and the Eastern Europeans who have no shame in taking from a system they have never contributed to.

    You have paid into the system so are entitled to get something back from it.

    Hope Ming gets something suitable which he likes. There is nothing worse than a job which you hate.

  17. tersiaburger says:

    So glad that something positive has happened. Love

  18. ksbeth says:

    it is lucky and funny, the twists and turns that life takes. i’m happy this took a good turn for you

  19. every little bit helps and with everything you have had to deal I am glad you happened upon this

  20. Yes you have paid your taxes so if Centrelink can help you then take the help,life shouldn’t be any harder then it needs to be, if that makes any sense

  21. W all need that level of financial security to make us feel safe.
    I am glad that you are able to get some assistance.

  22. Accept the financial assistance! As you said, you have supported Centrelink through your taxes, and you could certainly do with a little support. It’s got to be tough to run a farm alone, especially now with Ming laid up. I hope you are both able to qualify.

    PS glad your computer problems have eased up.

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