Caught in welfare cogs: disabled young man needs job

JOBSEEKER: Gympie’s Sam McFarlane has trouble getting work, because of his disability, but has been told to get a job or he may lose his pension. It was a dilemma which led to intervention yesterday by the office of federal MP Warren Truss.
JOBSEEKER: Gympie’s Sam McFarlane has trouble getting work, because of his disability, but has been told to get a job or he may lose his pension. It was a dilemma which led to intervention yesterday by the office of federal MP Warren Truss.

YOUNG disabled Gympie man Sam McFarlane needed help yesterday - and he got it.

Now he just needs a job.

Mr McFarlane, 21, was faced with what seemed an insoluble Catch-22 dilemma.

The disability pensioner, who receives benefits because of the challenge he faces finding and keeping paid employment, had been told he had to get a job (or he would no longer get the benefit he only receives because he cannot always do that).

He has obtained work before and quite enjoyed some things about collecting the shopping trolleys at Gympie supermarkets.

"It got me out of the house, I got some exercise, met people and got paid," he said.

But the jobs were on a casual basis and did not last.

His worried mother Debra Glover contacted The Gympie Times after her son was told he would need to obtain eight hours a week paid work.

Voluntary work would not do, the authorities said.

It was just not right, she told The Gympie Times.

"Tell him to ring us," said the person in the Maryborough electorate office of Gympie's federal MP and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, when we rang to ask what Mr McFarlane should do.

So Mr McFarlane did exactly that - and Mr Truss' staff sorted it out.

Under new federal laws passed last year, he and all pensioners under 35, have to get some work if assessed as able to do so.

And so now he has to work on finding that work.

But some things are easier said than done and Mr Truss's office said this was understood.

"If he doesn't miss his appointments and tries to get work, he will not lose his pension," the staff member said.

His grateful mother, Debra Glover, said her son had been born six weeks premature and had co-ordination and balance problems.

"I've enjoyed working in retail," he said, but his problems with height and balance probably rule out the shelf stacking side.

"But he is a fast learner and great on the computer," Mrs Glover said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  centrelink, disability, gympie, welfare

August entertainment at the Gympie RSL

Great acts are set to continue rocking the mic at the Gympie RSL in August.

Cold nights are set to warm up with entertainment at the Gympie RSL

Winter Essentials

Check out these five winter essentials to help you not only survive but thrive in the cold.

Feeling the cold? Maybe you need to pick up these five products.

A tribute to Betty's legacy of flowers and friendship

Gympie Horticultural Society. NINE DECADES YOUNG: Betty Cockburn cuts her birthday cake at the Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society meeting in Mike and Mavis Silvers' Wolvi garden.
Photo Contributed

Betty Cockburn passes away aged 91

Latest deals and offers

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Is Gympie having a building boom?

There is plenty of building activity happening around the Gympie region.

New home approvals for Gympie region double

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley