Peter’s Story – Part 38

It had been six months since Peter had worked in Pharmacy. During that time his Registration to practice had fallen due. As part of the application he was required to state if he had any “impairment” that may affect his ability to practice as a Pharmacist. It was necessary for Peter to disclose his current battle with his Bipolar Disorder, or he would be making a false claim.

At the time, Peter wasn’t aware of the complications not being a Registered Pharmacist would cause to his immediate working future and not to mention the financial consequences. Effectively, Peter was unable to practice as a Pharmacist until he was cleared to do so by an independent Psychiatrist, one who he’d never met before. Each visit to this Psychiatrist had to be paid for at the full rate without any subsidy from Medicare.

Prior to the happenings of the previous six months, Peter and his wife were both working and paying off a double mortgage. The payments required a significant financial commitment. Now think about this. Peter had no income for the best part of six months and had only recently been receiving Centrelink payments.

Luckily, Peter’s wife was smart enough to approach the bank and apply for a hardship claim. Banks very generously offer this service for individuals or families like Peter’s to make things a little easier and to actually get to keep their mortgaged property.

The mechanism of a hardship claim is that loan repayments are put on hold for a certain period eg three months, then the hardship situation is reassessed. This is certainly a reprieve for a family who has no income. However, repayments might be put on hold, but interest continues to be charged, so the financial situation is still regarded as being severe when a double mortgage is involved.

Peter was very conscious of trying to mend his relationship with his wife and children. He knew it was going to be difficult but he wasn’t banking on having to do so whilst slipping further and further into the depths of depression.

He was beginning to be very despondent, the drive that he’d had for the last six months had all but disappeared. All the positive and constructive plans he once had were gone. Getting from one day to the next was now a huge battle. All the confidence he exuded had left him, decisions were impossible to make and he was fast beginning to isolate, feeling more secure in the confines of home.

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