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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:
$10000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
15 October 2017

So, i was told i had a debt of nearly 10 grand, for a three year period beginning eight years ago.
I was applying for Newstart at the time of discovering this information so i was understandably upset.

Debt amount:
$10000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 April 2018

During the periods of 2015-2016 I was in a domestic violent relationship with my then partner who controlled all my finances and put me in a lot of debt over the 18 months I was with him.
I contacted centrelink in 2016 about the DVO I had placed against him as well as them providing me with a crisis payment.

Debt amount:
$3592
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
31 March 2018

This has had the same effect on me as everyone else.
I was originally told I owe over $10,000 before they reduced that to the current total of $3592.87, which I still can't believe to be correct.
I am still studying now and living on a paltry salary.

Debt amount:
$1020
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
10 January 2018

I was extremely shocked to hear about my debt from two years ago.
I went back through all my document uploads etc on mygov and Centrelink to see if i'd missed letting them know about any changes of circumstances etc back in 2016 that may have lead to mistakes, and me incurring a debt.

Debt amount:
$1400
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 April 2018

$1300 worth of stress whilst in the midsts of study.

Debt amount:
$8000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
3 March 2018

Sick feeling of hopelessness that government agencies couldnt have attended to this at the EOFY in question. When tax returns were registered and calculations made with refunds provided. No cross referencing.

Debt amount:
$8000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
3 January 2018

finally got off my debt... see previous story, they got it wrong and I got off it.

Debt amount:
$4500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 April 2018

I watched my wife sob uncontrollably today for the first time since the traumatic birth of our first child. The last time I saw her that upset was when, because of the trauma of labour and an eventual emergency C-section, she was unable to walk or even hold her newborn baby in her arms.

Debt amount:
$2997
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 November 2017

I am a full time carer with BPD and chronic depression.
I am absolutely defeated by the fact that I can't prove this debt is not mine while centrelink will only apply the same flawed methodology to my evidence, as they had so arrived with their irreverent robodebt calculators.

Debt amount:
$4800
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 March 2018

My disability is bi-polar and anxiety disorder.
I have been unable to function and have regressed in my mental health as a result of this debt process.

Debt amount:
$2500

Just to rehash ...

So far, I have talked to about 10 different CentreStink staff, always asking the same simple question... what is this first number in the calculation? The "old" column (what I reported) reads $0 ... and a "new" column (what CentreStink say I should have reported) reads $250.

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
18 March 2018

an absolute joke I have paid my taxes I haven’t received a payment from Centrelink since 2014 when I was 18 and last year went back to study full time (so will soon owe the govenerment 40k more) and work as much as possible to avoid dealing with them again

Debt amount:
$445
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
29 March 2018

What's the point of working if everything you declare is still not correct when a flawed algorithm is used.

For this exact same period I had an online audit with a real person in 2016 and everything was correct. Then they introduce this new system and now have to pay a double dip.

Debt amount:
$10000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
30 October 2017

And on the saga goes. I m a carer for my severely disabled adult daughter. + I try and work a few hours, every now and then.

They reckon I owe them several thousand $ I’m angry, frustrated.
The fight goes on. As if I don’t have enough to worry about.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 March 2015

Suddenly I found myself with 2.5k of unjustified debt for periods where I was a full time student. Yet had to repay my allowance.

I am repaying at 10$ a week.
To me it is saving money as I am 100% sure the debt is incorrect just the process of fighting it is so painful... I’ll get round to it eventually

Debt amount:
$18000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 February 2018

I was slapped with 2 letters within hours of each other correcting amounts on my PAYG statements from 2013/2014 and 2011/2012.
A day later a letter without prior warning they claimed I owed $18,000 from "overpayments" made to me from 2011-2015! It's 2018!

Debt amount:
$18000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Debt amount:
$3700
Payment Type:
Sickness Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
8 March 2018

I worked intermittently that financial year due to poor health. I declared every hour that I worked.
Some fortnight's I earned a little, others a decent amount and many fortnight's nothing at all.
I have provided centrelink with all payslips, bank statements, medical certificates and my tax return.

Debt amount:
$2018
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
28 February 2018

This has seriously raised my anxiety levels as I do not have the time or resources to negotiate with a Centrelink staff member.

It is quite stress full having to explain your story to three or four departments in order to get the information across.

Debt amount:
$32054
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
7 March 2018

Completely stressed out l called them and she kept saying l was supposed to go and tell them about our income which l did and we did our tax and l received a letter everytime telling me based on my income this is the amount you are entitled to and she then said that they got nothing to do with the tax which l know it's all bull if it was a

Debt amount:
$5491
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
9 March 2018

I am currently paying off a debt ($2,057.36) from 2012 to 2013 for incorrectly declaring my income, I have been paying this debt off since 3 June 2017 on a hardship payment plan, paying $20 per fortnight.

Debt amount:
$20500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 March 2018

Extreme levels of frustration, anxiety, stress, exhaustion, fatigue, depression

Debt amount:
$6322
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
2 March 2018

Working freelance im often between jobs, this period is quiet and im struggling financially already then to receive a letter saying you owe $6322 made me furious.

Im currently expanding my business and in the same week have discovered my wife is pregnant so the timing couldn't have been worse.

Debt amount:
$2886
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
12 January 2018

I handled the news relatively calmly, I’ve heard that people incur these charges from Centrelink all the time.

It’s an ‘Overpayment by Centrelink’ between the dates given.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown

I got to say, I have started to become really anxious about this debt. I haven't felt this anxious in my whole life. It is really starting to affect my health. I'm having to spend hours of my work days on hold and getting upset. It is outrageous.

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