Maddison has leukemia and Centrelink refuses to help her

Photo from Channel Nine: Maddison Delaney
Contributed by Jim Hayes

A young 17-year old Sydney leukemia sufferer, Maddison Delaney, has found herself among the ranks of those being abused by Centrelink.

Diagnosed with the illness in October 2016, the year 12 Northern Beaches student went through eight months of grueling intensive chemotherapy at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick.

But once out of hospital, Medicare no longer covers the cost of her ongoing medication. This is the reason why she has tried several times, with the help of her mother, to qualify for a Health Care Card over the past eighteen months.

Although she is wheelchair bound and immuno-suppressed by her chemotherapy treatment, under the Centrelink rules, she was regarded as not being sick enough, and therefore did not qualify for help.

Medical records did not count.  At one point, she was ordered to turn up to the Centrelink office in her condition, so staff could “sight her,” even though her mother was acting on her behalf.

The sort of treatment is degrading and unnecessary.

Renee Delaney said about her daughtewr’s case: “We had medical certificates, we had doctors’ certificates to say what her diagnosis was. They didn’t need to sight her, and they felt really bad too, but their hands were tied because of the bureaucracy.”

Maddison is fighting back.  She has started an online petition with She wants to make it easier for all cancer patients to get help from Centrelink. Her petition deserves support.

The problem is that under existing legislation, cancer patients are not regarded as being sick enough to warrant help.

There is a silly argument that suggests another mark against help, is that disability is about permanent condition, and it cannot be determined whether a cancer is going to permanent, unless it has been diagnosed as terminal.

Cancer patients are ruled out for not being sick enough.

Maddison had to put up with the added disadvantage of becoming between the ages of 16 and 18, where you are no longer regarded as a child, but still not an independent adult. It means that your parents are expected to cover the costs.

The legislation is clearly punitive. Discrimination against and the punishment of individuals, because they have come down with a disease, should not exist in the modern world.

Changing this legislation is an important part of the package to make Centrelink an organisation that works for people,  and does not primarily exist for a government’s cost cutting ambitions.


2 Comments on "Maddison has leukemia and Centrelink refuses to help her"

  1. Who makes these stupid bloody rules? “They didn’t need to sight her, and they felt really bad too, but their hands were tied because of the bureaucracy.” This borders on lunacy. I am honestly left searching for words to use to express just how F**** stupid this system is. Some bureaucrat who would not know his arse from his elbow has come up with a TOTALLY inflexible set of rules, designed to save as many dollars as possible so that he/she will either get a pat on the back or a bonus. Cancer of any sort is a death sentence. Until one has passed the “5-year survival” period and even then, perhaps after that. My only wish is that the idiots who were responsible for this mean-spirited legislation are themselves afflicted with cancer.

  2. he workers through their union could take industrial action. I have not come across any PR to say this is happening. So if they are silent then they are supporting the government. Remember the only way for evil to win is for good people to say nothing. If they say nothing then perhaps they are not good people.

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