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Gone too far!

Debt amount: 
$11747
Date debt issued: 
Friday, 5 July 2019
Period debt occurred: 
July 2010 to July 2012
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
No
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: 

My story in a nutshell...
Since January 2019, I've been dealing with going through divorce, I was coward punched which landed me in hospital and had me recovering for the best past of 3 months, I've developed anxiety and severe depression and recently found out I have ADHD as well.

So leading up to the end of the Tax year, I knew I was going to be looking at a rather large return that was really going to help me get myself back on my feet.
This figure was just under $5500.
My tax return was lodged in the first few days of July with my understanding I would have this money within 10 business days.

Instead, I receive a letter on July 5th stating I owe the Centrelink Department $11,747.07 and not only that, they've decided to garnish my entire tax return to begin recovery of that debt.

I then find out that this debt is apparently from the years 2010-2012 yet I've never been notified about it.

Needless to say, the stress both mentally and financially has basically pushed me to almost hit rock bottom.
I've now had to sell my car due to financial pressure which has also put more stress on my work life to a point where I may lose my job.
Due to all that, there's a good chance I will lose my current accomodation as well and end up possibly homeless.

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

The Government hasn't handled this process at all. They've turned their back on everyone going through this.

Yes there are people out there who take advantage of the system and yes they should be punished but surely situations like this, where the figures clearly don't make sense, there should be a team of people investigating these circumstances before these letters even end up on our doorsteps.

It just feels like the government will take advantage of any situation to make a quick buck where the general public have no power in the matter.