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NotMyDebt Stories

We are collecting stories on the site because we think it's important to have a way to people to add their voice to this issue by sharing their story. It's puts a human voice to the issues with using technology and automating systems and providing a blanket solution without providing staff and people that can right wrongs and help people when there is an error. 

Please share your story with us if you have a Centrelink debt story that you believe has been issued in error or due to a fault in the system. 

As frustrating as it is, persist with the appeals process, and know others are behind you. 

Stories are 100% anonymous

Debt amount:
$1200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
10 December 2017

This happened to me last year.
Just leading up to Christmas I received a nasty letter stating that I owed around 1200 dollars.
This was a result of the centrelink glitch, same as everyone else on here. Between working roles I was on the dole for about 2-3 months of that year.

Debt amount:
$32000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

The shock of this debt has affected me greatly
I fear I’ll never get on top of it and it will hang over me forever

Debt amount:
$1176
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 April 2018

Beware they are taking the false debt directly out of tax returns now.

It's been like a one-way conversation.
15 months ago I provided all the evidence which if any logical person spend 5 minutes on it will make sense of, they still sent me a letter of debt this April.

Debt amount:
$12000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
1 November 2016

Centrelink issued me with a debt of over $12,000 from when I was studying.
I was receiving youth allowance at the time and getting roughly $260 a fortnight.

Over the period I received under $4,000. I was gobsmacked that the debt was 3 times the payment I received.

Debt amount:
$5900
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
11 July 2018

I just got a call from Centrelink, I had changed my address and they sent the letter to the old address
Anyway I had to confirm who I was when he called me ?

I told him and he said between 2009 and 2010 may have run into 2011 I was overpaid

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
13 October 2017

I knew nothing about this debt until last night. I had to look it up in the app. No one told me I had already paid $1300 off the debt.
I could barely sleep, which is not good considering I have been diagnosed with Bipolar.

Debt amount:
$10877
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
5 July 2018

I am currently unemployed with mental health issues such anxiety and depression as well as hormonal disorder I am finding it hard to hold down a job.

Debt amount:
$1700
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 April 2015

I suffer from depression and anxiety. I'm also a recovering addict. Not quite sure of exactly yrs but around 2009 to 2012 I was working at that stage of my life I wasn't an addict.

Debt amount:
$625
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
5 July 2018

I was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer at 24 years old. I was without work for 6 months and already have the stress of cancer without the stress of having to pay back money

Debt amount:
$2057
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
29 June 2018

Received the 'debt' letter just yesterday. I'm assuming the initial 'explain yourself' letter was sent to my previous address, because I never got it.

Debt amount:
$19000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
4 July 2017

I received notice in August 2017 that I needed to confirm my income from 2010/2012.

They say something payslips not matching and i owe this huge debt.

Financially, mentally and physically exhausted.
Currently i have no stable accommodation and looking for a breath of air where ever and when ever i can.

Debt amount:
$2100
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
2 July 2018

I have been very anxious about this experience.

Debt amount:
$950
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
26 June 2018

Causing grief where it is not due, bringing back anxiety attacks whilst at work.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 June 2018

I'm lucky that the claimed debt amount would not be an issue to pay.

Luckily I was taught by my parents to keep all payslips and documents from a young age so I can easily prove this debt is wrong.

Debt amount:
$2319
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
27 June 2018

I was on Austudy between late September to mid December of 2014 because I was a full-time student (over 25), with a crappy retail job and on-top of that I was supporting my divorced, PTSD/Depressed Mother which was why I needed the centrelink payments in the first place to help cover expenses like rent, food, electricity, internet etc.

Debt amount:
$11900
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
1 July 2016

I had to change my living situation from student to job seeker in office.

Debt amount:
$22000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
22 June 2018

I already suffer with anxiety and this has really taken its toll on me.

Mentally it has depressed me as I’ve had to go on medication as this issue has just tipped me over the edge.

Physically my body had broken out in a stress psoriasis, which I am now having to get treatment for x3 times a week.

Debt amount:
$156000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
25 June 2018

Severe anxiety, chest pains, inability to sleep, focus very difficult.

Financial impact is debilitating.

Work has become extremely hard to focus on and I work in Mental Health !!

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Date debt issued:
16 November 2016

My debt was given to me in a letter saying I owe $20,000. They say I failed to update my study details.

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
15 June 2018

This is my second debt. No one can explain to me how it has happened except my pay slips dont match up with my reporting.

Debt amount:
$2800
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
7 May 2018

Right before exam period approaches I get a letter to say I owe a mass amount of debt, absolute panic attack as I've never owed in my life and all of a sudden they want money in 14 days!

Requested a hold and a copy of DATA BREAKDOWN which allows you to verify what you reported so you can cross reference your pay.

Debt amount:
$1300
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
29 April 2016

Centrelink performed a data matching with the ATO.
The ATO had my earning $X for a particular period but centrelink had recorded $Y for the same period being less than the ATO.
They then decided this meant I had underdeclared my income.

Debt amount:
$15787
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 April 2018

Very stressful as I am already struggling on my current income.

There’s not a chance this debt could be accurate.

Debt amount:
$498
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 October 2017

I received notice in August 2017 that I needed to confirm my income from 2012.
Panicking and unsure what to do, I spent hours going over old bank statements calculating the fortnightly net payments from my employer.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
12 June 2018

I am about to undertake my final exams for my degree (ever) and I feel very overwhelmed that they have just contacted me.

Very anxious and uneasy and have two exams this week. Can't stop thinking about it.

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