I am in the process of finalising a thesis, which in itself is very stressful - having to confirm my income, make over 15 phone calls to Centrelink to prove that I didn't owe debt added to my anxiety.
I provided Centrelink with my income over the phone based on my bank statements.
I believe they entered my income incorrectly as they said that I owed $1,650 worth of debt and wanted me to confirm this amount.
When I disputed this over the phone, they told me that I needed my payslips. Luckily I was able to obtain them.
Centrelink's barely functioning computer system wouldn't let me confirm my income using my payslips through the online system as I had previously entered my details over the phone.
The only way I was able to update my income based on my payslips was over the phone.
Like the last time, Centrelink would not confirm what their (overworked and undertrained) staff member had entered over the phone and if it was correct.
Luckily they provision debt amounted to $0.
If I had just used my bank statements, I would have owed Centrelink $1,650 incorrectly.
I'm lucky I questioned the debt, a friend of mine received a debt for a carer payment that she did not question and paid.
At this point in her life her brother and mother had recently passed away, and she was not in a fit mental state to question the debt.
Centrelink passed her details onto a debt collection agency and did not consider her difficult personal circumstances.