A mother was keeping her daughter alive by running three life support machines at her home. The cost of the electricity bill was significant for Jane; but in a lifeline of her own, she had been entitled to a discount on her electricity bills under a scheme set up by the(then) Department of Health and Human Services.

One day, Jane’s power company said she would have to pay the full electricity rate because her daughter’s machines were not on the Department’s list of approved models.Without the discount, Jane could not afford to keep the machines running.

“It was horrible having to make about twelve phone calls, and every time you get onto someone they put you onto someone else,” Jane said.

We made enquiries with the Department and asked it to reconsider Jane’s eligibility for the discount. The Department ultimately decided that Jane was eligible for the discount.

It helped Jane prepare an application and later contacted her power company to reinstate her concession. It also back-paid Jane for the period she had been without the discount, so she was not left out-of-pocket.