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  • Matt Balogh

Declared Dead by MyGov

The morning after being discharged from hospital, and not in the best of conditions, I discovered that my account at The Australian Taxation Office had been permanently deleted. There were three possibilities, I was dead – which is officially the only way that an account is deleted, I had immunity from ever paying tax again – which is well known to be impossible if you are not dead, or there had been a right royal fuckup.

In Australia, an application has been carefully designed to ensure right royal fuckups – called MyGov, a portal that also has a phone app which controls all access to all other online government services. It takes genius to work out a computer system wherein all possible things that might go wrong are ensured.

A brief reprieve came when I managed to create a new MyGov account (I must be a whole new person), only to find it bare of all links to government services. Unexpressed anywhere by MyGov, I needed to increase my security settings from Basic to Standard. There are no other options like Good, or High, so you have to know that in MyGov’s pea-sized brain, Standard is monumentally better than Basic. It took three minutes shy of two hours on hold to learn that one thing.

Even then, there were some issues. To raise the security level of MyGov, you need to do things like put in valid Medicare account details. Ooops, my medicare account has been revoked. Clearly, I have been so distracted that I overlooked the event of my own death. All I need to do is fix my Medicare account by adding it to MyGov. No problems, My Gov will be delighted to give me authority to add Medicare, so long as I have the authority generated by already having my Medicare account connected to it. I soooo want to know who designed this.

There’s more. There is always more.

The requirement for the password for MyGov online is mutually exclusive of the requirements for the password for the MyGov app. I can’t quite figure out what the difference is, they both want a mix of characters, numbers and a special character – maybe it is the number of characters. To recreate the Medicare account turns out to be possible, if you put the MyGov online password into the Medicare App, as opposed to the MyGov App password. Of fucking course, why didn’t I think of that.

But most of all, it is the helpful solutions on screen that really envigored me. Only one offered the slightest solution – to call Medicare, who, transferred me to MyGov, who told me the issue was with Medicare.

Now that I know that Where Can I Log In? means that this is the page where you find information about how to attach accounts, and now that I have found out how to login to MyGov, as there is no tab or link to the login to MyGov on the MyGov home page (I kid you not), and provided my bank account details as well as the postcode of the last doctor I saw (wait, I saw about 5 doctors in hospital, which one might have processed their documentation last?) I seem to have restored things to normal. So normal, that the app suddenly remember the original pin code I had before this whole saga began.

My next quest is to find out what triggered my removal from existence by the Australian Government. Unless you hear otherwise, the most likely bet is that some hospital form recorded me as deceased. I can’t believe I went to all this effort of bringing myself back to life just to pay tax.

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