Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Final Financial Frustration

So you think they just give money away at the Dole Bludger's office? BZZZ WRONG!
You want to apply for an unemployment benefit? Something to cover your bills while you wait for jobs to close applications, shortlist people, interview potential employees, and fill the job? Some money to make sure you don't bounce your rent payments?

Nope, no money for j00, come back one year!
Here are two possible scenarios if you want to get some financial assistance having just finished your Uni exams:
1. Student Unemployment Hardship from Studylink.
2. Unemployment Benefit from WINZ.

Both pay exactly the same amount. For both offices, you have exactly the same client ID number. Can they talk to each other? NO! That's against the Privacy Act. WHAT?!
It's like saying Telecom and Xtra can't talk to each other even though your bill arrives in the same envelope.

Ok ok, that aside, let's investigate your options further:
1. Studylink - so so easy to apply for, fill out the form, show last couple of payslips if you had any, and your ID, done! The catch: you have to hand in your form in person in town, which they then send off to their processing centre, then it takes them about four days to process it, THEN your one week stand down begins, and only then do you get paid, no back payments.

2. WINZ - you have to attend a seminar called WRK4U (txt speak is the new black, ask any NCEA student), I didn't make it up, that's what was written on the overhead they presented. The seminars are only held at 8.30 in the morning, and the examples of points being discussed are Why is working better than the dole? and How to make an appointment with a case manager. So you think, I've attended a seminar, give me the dole, right? Wrong. You have to go home, ring the call centre, and make an appointment to see a case manager. Can you make an appointment right there at the office? No, go home, ring the call centre. When you come for the meeting, make sure to bring with you nine pieces of documentation, ranging from easy ones like your ID, to mind boggling ones like proof of 52 weeks of income. Sure, you'll say, Just ring IRD and get a statement, or Get your landlord to mail you a copy of the tenancy agreement. Of course that means waiting for a week or so to get all those documents together, then you make the appointment, then you see the case manager, then you get paid. Bonus: the one week stand down period is counted from the day you called them to get scheduled for WRK4U seminar, and you'll get backpay. Another bonus: if you get a job, they'll give you "bridging support", i.e. money to tie you over while you wait for the phat pay checks to start rolling in. The catch: no matter what option I take, I still won't get paid next week.

Executive Summary: I can't afford rent and bills for the rest of the month. This includes the monthly bills for November I still haven't paid. Whoever said dole was the easy way out obviously hasn't tried applying for one. On the job front: declined for MAF, declined for Aotea Pathology, didn't quite make it for Fujitsu (job was gone after my interview with the recruitment agency), still waiting to hear from Impac, ACC, Wakefield GE Research, and ESR.

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