For most of my working life my wife was my daughters carer, in 2012 her health had deteriorated to the point that Centrelink wouldn't allow her to be carer anymore.
I was forced to retire and look after both my daughter and my wife, for a time my son helped but he was able to find full time work. Caring for both of them with rising bills I burnt through a retirement payout of $30,000 in the first 4 years, and was forced to seek some type of employment.
I (volunteered) worked to help a school camp run, it allowed me to keep registered with VIT, assisting with about 6 camps a year.
The school payed me, mainly because to get to the camp site 240km and back would have been a financial burden. The cost of being in VIT and meeting the VIT requirements for training etc means that in a year if I do 6 camps i received no net taxable income, basically the cost of doing the work equaled the money payed.
The only outcomes is that the school could run the camps, I kept up my registration with VIT for future employment, and i got to get out of the house for 18 days in a year.
Centrelink contacted me and want the total Gross payment payed back to them, even though the cost of getting to the camp each time was about $440, log book, drivers license, office ,VIT, VIT training etc had eaten the rest.
How can i pay back money i never really got, what happens to the debts incurred in earning that income?
Poorly, they should allow people to preserve a possible future career whilst they are carers.
They should take into account the costs of earning an income, not just hit people for gross amounts, who gets the gross amount any way its an imaginary figure.
They say you can work a small amount but then hit you as hard as possible if you do, how when the pension paid keeps us in poverty do they expect us to cope with a tripling of gas bills, a doubling of electricity, a 30% increase in rates, hikes in food etc. Caught in a poverty trap with no reasonable way out.
I would return to work but who would care for my wife and daughter?