I already suffer from depression and anxiety, and am on medication for both, but today I was told by the Commonwealth ombudsmen that there is nothing they can do, despite admitting that it was clearly a structural issue.
I worked hard for the money I earned, I have even told Centrelink that there is a mistake in their calculations (multiple times) and now they are threatening to take what little tax return I will get this year because I did some work.
I don't understand why they are still using this system if they know it is faulty, but I am guessing there are so many people that just pay the debt that it works out financially for the government.
I am disgusted. Nobody wants to help me, I have been waiting since January for a response to my initial complaint, and recently (May 4th) my Centrelink payments were garnished in order to pay the debt back, despite the fact that a) the department never bothered to get back to me to discuss the result of my complaint, and b) that they are required to at least contact me within 10 days of my complaint.
It is also interesting to note that this is the second debt I have incurred since 2017, and in both cases they requested information for the exact same period of time that I provided bank statements for initially.
I have sent this information again, but without discussion or notification, other than a PDF via their website, Centrelink started taking $85 from my approximately $620 per fortnight, so well over 10%.
This has now been decreased to $15, but only after I requested this occur.