Someone I know has just been given a gift of $115,000. It was one of those gifts known as "compensation".
There is compensation which is deserved - and is often not nearly enough to cover the expenses which have been incurred. There is other compensation which people manage to get despite not deserving a cent.
In this case the individual concerned did not deserve a cent. She was not, despite her claims, injured at work. She simply didn't like the work she was required to do. She wanted to go on being a perpetual student - of things like embroidery and knitting and art. I have known her for about twenty years. In that time I have never seen a finished piece of work - and neither has anyone else.
She also gets a "mobility allowance". This puzzles me - and other people. She is much more mobile than I am or any number of other people I know. A friend with severe arthritis, unable to walk without a walker, not able to drive, and certainly not able to walk 50m was having trouble getting that same allowance. This woman can use public transport and walk to and from it without difficulty.
She also runs a car.
I don't get a mobility allowance yet - and I don't want it. At the moment I can ride my tricycle and I can, with some difficulty, get it on and off the train. If I can't go somewhere like that then I don't go. If it gets to a point where I can't do those things then I will think again and so will my GP. At the moment she would say I don't need a mobility allowance and she would be right. It should be reserved for people who really need it.
Of course the $115,000 was supposed to be used to cover the expenses incurred by the work related "injury" - except there was no injury. We have seen a sling and claims to shoulder surgery but a fellow member of the group who works in the hospital she claims to have spent a week in could never find her there. Then there were the crutches - and the same inability to find her in the same hospital. At that time someone else saw her at a craft fair in another state - getting around with no apparent difficulty at all.
The situation was reported and investigated but nothing happened. Compensation was awarded a couple of weeks back. She complained at how little it was but she is "feeling a bit better now" and is "thinking about going back to X... " where she is a "textile student".
She has about another ten years to go before she is eligible for the age pension. My guess is that she won't be able to go to work for the next ten years and that she will, somehow, retain that mobility allowance. It's wrong - but I suspect that the professionals just find it easier to give in to her and her stories.
So, I am sorry for the person, an actual friend of mine, who struggles with severe arthritis and genuinely cannot walk 50m who cannot get a mobility allowance yet. They are waiting until after her surgery (on a waiting list) to see how mobile she is then.