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Centrelink and physical health/mental health issues.

Community Member

I don't know what else to do. I'm at my wits end and even had a breakdown after what I experienced this morning.


I tried to call Centrelink this morning to try and get what I thought was a 2nd exemption due to my endometriosis.


I was met with being treated and spoken to like a criminal and a liar because apparently my last medical certificate I sent through wasn't accepted either so "why are you saying you where exempt? Because on our end you've never been exempt." even though I was told by a different Centrelink employee over the phone while uploading my old med cert that I would be exempt for 3 months and Workforce Australia said that I was exempt on their end but I would have to upload a new medical form which I did and it got declined by Centrelink so that's why I called them to fix the situation. 


After almost 2 hours of waiting over the phone just to be spoken to like absolute trash. She wouldn't even let me explain my situation and kept cutting me off saying "you don't understand" I was then fobbed off to sort it out with Workforce Australia. 


Since that phone call, I have sent an email across to WFA explaining the situation. Hopefully they reply and can actually help me but I don't know what else to do and I feel incredibly anxious and depressed due to been made to feel like a liar even though I know I'm not. 



After that experience this morning I had a breakdown. I'm so confused, frustrated, anxious and depressed and I'm just trying to help myself especially before I go into surgery for my endometriosis. 


I just feel like ending it all over a stupid phone call. I know I'm not going to get any help anyway so what's the point. I'm just a number, not a human. 


2 Replies 2

Community Member

Hi AquarianSaga,


it’s a really brave step to share what you’ve shared, so be proud that you’ve spoken out here on these forums.


Given what you’ve said at the end of your post, I really encourage you to call lifeline on 13 11 14, they’ve helped me immensely in the past when I’ve felt overwhelmed and in breakdown. 

give them a call, and maybe when you’re ready come back to us and we can talk together about how to navigate what you’ve described must have been a really upsetting and frustrating experience with Centrelink.


know that you are loved and the we’re here for you as peers to listen and share how we navigated similarly difficult experiences as we try to access help. Stay safe x

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi AquarianSaga


Some people can be so unbelievably triggering and are definitely in the wrong job. Sounds like this may be the case with this woman from Centrelink. Not sure if you're in a position to actually go into a Centrelink office, to be served in the way that you need to be. If so, if you live close-ish to one, it may pay to take someone trusted with you who can help you get to the bottom of the matter and what the problem is (a friend or family member who'll do a lot of the talking, especially if you're not feeling confident). Btw, I live a 20 min drive away from a Centrelink/Medicare office. I've learned in the past that it's faster to drive down, be served and be back home than it is to be served over the phone (takes about an hour in total). If you're not close to an office, another phone call to Centrelink on speaker phone with that same friend or family member could possibly get the same result as an in person visit. While I took my 85yo mum into Centrelink just last week, the 'matter of fact' kind of cold service we were getting suddenly changed to being more helpful and compassionate when the staff member saw the sad and frustrated look on my mum's face. I think this can be a part of the problem with over the phone, a depressing lack of emotional connection and, yes, it can feel like you're just another number, another person in line. Used to be much easier back in the old days when in person service was the norm.


I think the objective in any intensely challenging situation is to find a good guide. Unfortunately, it sounds like you're finding questionable guides. The first Centrelink person may or may not have misguided you. The 2nd was a shocking guide by the sound of it. Not only was she rude, dismissive and upsetting, she also left you with no direction to take. While I know people who work at Centrelink would come across some seriously difficult and rude customers who test their patience and tolerance levels, this is absolutely no excuse when it comes to being impatient and intolerant toward those customers who are polite and in genuine need of support and guidance, such as yourself. For a good portion of Centrelink customers, they're facing some highly stressful and/or depressing circumstances and this is something certain workers need a refresher course on, as a reminder. You're under a lot of stress to start with, while experiencing pain and an upcoming surgery amongst other things. Sounds like you've met with your breaking point and understandably so. When it comes to any system, Centrelink included, you know there's something wrong when you think 'I hope I get a good one (an employee who does their job well and with compassion)'. Anyone less than good should not be in the job, based on substandard service. Anyone excellent, who excels, should be paid a bonus.


Wondering if WFA have a record of the first Centrelink exemption/approval. If so, there's your proof it was accepted and the first Centrelink person may have been right. My wish for you is that you come across some really solid, caring and thoughtful guides while also regaining greater mental, physical and soulful health. The wrong kinds of people for us can definitely have a feel to them. They can be stressful, depressing, enraging and more. I wish you didn't have to experience them while feeling their impact. You deserve far better than that, especially under the circumstances. ❤️