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What to do if you get a Centrelink debt recovery letter

9 January 2017
Jim Alouat
Fraser Coast Chronicle

Centrelink

recipients across the region are being told to pay back false debts sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars because of a faulty computer algorithm.

The Federal Government and Centrelink have come under heavy criticism from all quarters over the automated system that has been used to match welfare recipients' reported income.

Amid all the anger the government agency began using Twitter to refer welfare recipients to crisis support hotline Lifeline as the hashtag #notmydebt began trending on the social media platform.

Labor, Independent MP Andrew Wilkie and social service organisations have urged the government to suspend the system.

But Social Services Minister Christian Porter has defended the system telling ABC radio last week the system was actually working "incredibly well”.

"The complaint rate is running at 0.16%,” Mr Porter said.

"That's only 276 complaints from those 169,000 letters.

"That process has raised $300 million worth of money back to the taxpayer which was overpaid.”