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feeling like the Government thought we were thieves

Debt amount: 
$523
Date debt issued: 
Friday, 16 December 2016
Period debt occurred: 
July 2016 to December 2016
Payment Type: 
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?: 
Yes & I won
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

We both work on contracts and don't get paid over the Christmas break and are under enormous financial stress. We tried calling repeatedly but with a demanding baby we had to hang up around the 30 minute point. We were then contacted by debt collectors, so waited 45 mins to get through to Centrelink who explained that (despite our called to rectify this problem several times) our medicare and Centrelink records were not linked and our payment was being recalled as we had not had our son immunised. Our son has had all of his immunisations and we have even sent them documented evidence of this. Despite it not being our error, we were then told that although we would not have to make the payment we would have to call the debt collectors to 'call off the hounds'. We're still on hold Probe Group trying to sort it all out.

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

Why couldn't they have detailed why we were being asked to make the payment in the letter? It would have been far better, we'd have known it was an error straight away, rather than feeling like the Government thought we were thieves. Then to have to manage the debt collection agency ourself... The government can not be efficient in managing our son's immunisation records through their agencies, making repeated errors, but they they can get a debt collection agency on to us to retrieve a legitimate payment in no time at all. It's a disgrace, it shows a contempt and distrust that this government reserves for low income earners. When you consider the perks and rorts of parliamentarians, it just makes you give on believing the government is capable of anything good. The government reduce us to units, consumers and burdens on the system, they hate us.