As a homeless person Frank was put directly through to the Telephone Advice Service to have his matter sorted as quickly as possible.
He explained that he seemed to be receiving $40 less per fortnight in rent assistance than other men staying at the hostel and he believed this was because Centrelink thought that he was paying for “board” which includes meals rather than lodgings alone.
Frank was on the disability support pension because he was ‘silly in the head, but he wasn’t stupid!’. Frank had approached Centrelink about the issue previously but nothing had changed.
BRQ was the fifth service he had tried to access assistance from in relation to this issue. With appropriate authority, a BRQ advocate made contact with Centrelink to advocate on his behalf.
Within hours Centrelink staff had located the paperwork originally submitted by Frank, noted that his claim for rent assistance had been incorrectly coded, rectified the issue and arranged for arrears to be paid to Frank within two working days. Frank said this payment would assist him with the costs of moving into more stable independent accommodation.