We are collecting stories on the site because we think it's important to have a way to people to add their voice to this issue by sharing their story. It's puts a human voice to the issues with using technology and automating systems and providing a blanket solution without providing staff and people that can right wrongs and help people when there is an error.
Please share your story with us if you have a Centrelink debt story that you believe has been issued in error or due to a fault in the system.
As frustrating as it is, persist with the appeals process, and know others are behind you.
Stories are 100% anonymous
My family expected income estimate was already more then 80k but the CLink continue to pay some amount to me. Later some time after lodging tax return I found that I in debt of more than 4k. Why CLink didn't stop payments after the limits changed?
I am writing this on behalf of someone else who has been caught up in this awful government debt issue.
The debt has affected me by lowering my "faith" in an already corrupt system that appears to be based on guilty until proven innocent.
Got a letter saying I was over charged on my payments & I got to pay back what I owe them...
$2.20, if I don’t pay back by a set date it be referred to a debt collector...
The debt claim happened in the middle of an exam period, and no job.
It resulted in my partner and I splitting up and I was forced to move back to QLD and live at home with my Dad.
Well, I finally have a letter which reads that I have to pay ~$2500 within a month. Of course, by the time you receive the letter after CentreStink's awful private number phone calls telling you your made up debt from 7 years ago, a few days have gone by which limits your time to act on the letter.
Currently working to earn a living unlike all the drugged up dole bludgers, paying off a mortgage, trying to live a decent honest life, this makes it very bloody difficult.
They won't be getting a cent off me!!
In 2012 I was receiving a small amount of newstart as I returned to work after a severe illness.
I am feeling so sick about this. Every time I have spoken to Centrelink Compliance over the last two months I have been withheld the requested information.
I am now at the stage where I must request the calculations through a FOI request.
The last time I had to deal with CentreStink was 7 years ago. Since then I have had full time employment.
I found the email in My Gov inbox in the final quarter of last year.
Not one debt but bloody two!
After spending many hours on the phone trying to get answers and a clear explanation of how I incurred my debt, I finally gave up and accepted the debt.
If I wasn't busy with work and family commitments I would have fought it more.
Called me out of the blue. No letter received.
Say I owe them money for 4.5 years ago.
Told to find payslips but certainly don't still have those from that long ago.
Found bank statements that prove that Newstart payments ended when I started a new job!!
My daughter allegedly incurred a debt during a period she suffered a major physical injury after which she battled suicidal depression for 2 yrs, and could only work for short periods. She then lost her brother to suicide in 2014.
Apparently This debt has come up from issues with parental tax and has ONLY come up now.
I have been fighting this debt for over one year and 2 months.
I don’t have $6000.
I was a single parent due to partner suicide, went back to work to support me and my daughter, no support from partner as I was single, renting, I now can’t sleep, feel sick, worried as I work for a bank and would no way like to have this debt over my head at any stage in my life....
I received a robot call from Centrelink last October telling me I was overpaid and I owed around $2000!
I couldn’t believe it! I was freaking out!
The girl said to me that it’s only $2000?
Really I said well if you feel that way maybe you should pay it!
Spent 6 years at university living dollar to dollar and quite poor to finish and get a mediocre job.
In between paying back staggering amounts of tax and HECS debt I get lumped with this.
Have had this issue placed under review, only to receive no information from Centrelink for 6+ months.
Even contacted them to try and find out what was happening but no one could tell me.
I have only just completed my first year out of university and as a graduate I don't exactly earn a lot, as majority of it either goes to tax or towards my HEC's debt.
This supposed debt dates back to 2011, when I was grieving for the loss of my best friend to suicide.
my debt stemmed from my first and only job. when i got the job i tried to end my relationship with centrelink, but they insisted i had to continue to report my income and attend job services for an undisclosed amount of time
A couple of weeks before the end of financial year I got an angry call from Centrelink telling me i was avoiding them. Turns out they sent me a letter to an old address and when the due date arrived, they called and threatened me.