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Compliance officer tells casual teacher call lifeline over distress at $3200 debt from 6 years ago

Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Monday, 19 December 2016
Period debt occurred: 
July 2011 to January 2012
Payment Type: 
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?: 
Yes in process
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

It was very stressful receiving this just before Christmas. I felt very "unstable and even depressed" I decided not to buy any gifts this year for my kids and nieces and nephews. I made many attempts to call and try to get clarification. They asked for documentation and pay slips from a school that was closed until the end of January. They asked me to start paying the debt until the school makes contact.

They recorded my attempts to clarify what had happen and were very rude saying just answer the question, yet this was 6 years ago. They also reminded me that any wrong information is a criminal offence. By this stage I was shaking and crying. The compliance officer suggested I call lifeline. For the strong person I believe I am this situation and the way I was treated was humiliating. I was guilty without an opportunity to prove myself. I got told I must pay the debt. The next day I spiralled into a fever and spent 2 weeks in bed with shock.

How do you feel about the way the Government has handled this process?: 

I made many calls trying to get clarity. I couldn't even log onto MyGov because since that one time of receiving payment 6 years ago I have never had to make a claim. The operators had no idea as to why I couldn't open my account, so they just insisted that I had to start paying the debt or it will go to debt collectors.

I called an Ombudsmen for further support and he admitted that its a revenue making "experiment" I believe this "experiment" disenpowers people, and I guess thats what our government is all about.