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on my second appeal, really affecting me & my daily life & making things very difficult.

Debt amount: 
$24500
Date debt issued: 
Friday, 14 October 2016
Period debt occurred: 
September 2011 to May 2014
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: 

I am dealing with a Centrelink debt like many others. A debt of $24,500. I was on Centrelink from 2011-2014 while I was a casual employee & living on my own & self sufficient. I did everything that was asked of me, gave them every bit of information they requested from me, declared every fortnight & showed up to every appointment with payslips as required from them. I was never told that anything was wrong or not matching up. I wouldn't know how to rort this system as they require so much information & I thought they were doing their job & checking my information every time I went in for appointments with pay slips. Now I know this was not done.
I am now onto my second appeal. I have been sent countless letters since the finding of the debt- amended group certificates, & my file & have found countless inconsistencies & problems obviously with their computer system & staff error. Every number given has been different from the one before & they seem to be withholding certain information as it pleases them even though I always have to give a mountain of information at any given time.
I decided to stop being on Centrelink as I seemed to be earning just enough to get by (I was earning too much some fortnights so I didn't get a payment from them) & would rather that than have to deal with them every week. I am still at the same job, a casual employee living on my own with all the expenditure that brings. I have to budget every week & make just enough to pay only my necessities (rent, bills, travel to work, insurance) & sometimes don't make enough for that, let alone anything extra like going out with friends or to do things to make life really enjoyable. I work very hard to keep myself afloat to stay out of the system.
I am clearly struggling financially, but also with some other situations in my life. They have bullied to send debt collectors. Which they could do but I have nothing for them to take. It is clearly an admin/system/staff error but they are trying to make me pay for their mistakes. They should be spending their time & money on overhauling & fixing the problem so it doesn't continually happen. Its obvious if they are trying to average out a casual wage they will always be paying people the wrong amount. It's not logical, or smart business. They shouldn't be bullying the people they are supposed to be helping. This will now be at least 5 months of my time & energy trying to deal with this whilst still trying to deal with other things in life.
They need to start being human, realise they are chasing the wrong people, admit they stuffed things up & sort it for future payments. I understand that there are people trying to rort the system & they should be caught. Though it seems that, as usual with Centrelink, everyone is thrown in the same basket & they presume the worst from everyone & you are guilty straight away & have to work hard to prove your innocence.
The government is happy to pay politicians hundreds of thousands of dollars & waste tax money (mine included) on things that are not needed but are happy to money grab from people barely getting by.
This is really affecting me & my daily life & making things very difficult.
Thank you for your time. I would be happy to talk more about this if it can help others & get the government to start being human & to see sense.