I have been very anxious about this experience.
When I called and spoke to the people who are supposed to help you put in your payslips, I cried for 20 minutes on the phone to her about the amount I apparently owe.
I could tell she wanted to help, but it wasn’t in her power and I appreciate that she listened to how much this will affect my future.
I know this amount is impossible because I didn’t work for a month and a half of the four month period I was receiving payments, as I was in hospital unwell, and apparently there was only slight overpayments each week (eg $50, max one time was $150) yet the amount I owe is essentially the entire amount Centrelink gave me for that financial year.
I am a university student who struggles to eat every week, let alone payback a debt I don’t believe I owe.
The government doesn’t give a rats butt about low income earners.
They are using this as a means of paying off their own debts and bullying people like us into paying excessive amounts back.
I really hope whoever is behind this realises how much they are hurting people, and how many families are suffering because of their faulty system.
I wish I never received Youth Allowance and will never EVER be claiming anything again from the Centrelink system again regardless of whether I need it or not.
I would rather do what I am now and work three jobs while studying full time, it’s less stressful.