When I contacted ABS they assigned a Welfare Officer to my case and she arranged a telephone meeting straight away. I explained my situation and the impact it was having, and she then sent me a form to record my financial details in order to make an assessment. The form was much simpler and less stressful than applications for financial assistance I have made in the past, and soon after I returned it, I was contacted to say that I had been approved for a monthly grant. The whole process only took a few days.
Hearing that we would soon have support in the form of grant funding was an enormous relief for my partner and I. It allowed us leeway – for my partner to focus on getting well enough to work, and for me to reduce stress and be able to meet my own needs. As well as the grant, one of the most helpful aspects of the support I received was the conversations with my Welfare Officer. When talking to her I always felt that she was taking the time to listen and fully understand my situation in a compassionate and empathetic way. It made a big difference to hear that she could see how hard things had been and that I deserved help.