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NotMyDebt Stories

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

Debt amount:
$1298
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
13 December 2018

Significant financial stress to suddenly have to pay such a large amount - I have always honestly reported my earnings, and to be chased for amounts that I can barely remember is obscene.

Debt amount:
$29000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
10 December 2018

Was phoned yesterday by centrelink, the young lady on the phone said, "I am averaging out your income across the year."

I have always earned very little, and have definitely been entitled to my centrelink payments as often i earn under $450 a fortnight.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
3 April 2016

I was recieving a part single parents payment as I worked part time.
On my reporting days, I would over estimate just to make sure I didn't end up with any overpayments.

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
5 December 2018

Centerlink slapped me with a 3k fine/debt for a period I was overseas.

I arrived back in November 2013 from UK and claimed 2 new start payments only.
I have proof of this from bank statements which i opened with NAB on the 5th of November.

Debt amount:
$3960
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
5 March 2018

Anxiety over the amount owing.

Just when I think im in a good financial position I get a letter saying I owe Centrelink money.

Im stressed because I dont know if im going to have to pay all of it or if the government will sort their problem out and realise I haven't done anything wrong.

Debt amount:
$11000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
21 March 2018

I have put in a date for the first letter but as it has been proven I did not own a cent to Centrelink I threw the letters out so I can only guess the date of the first impertinent letter.

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
24 October 2018

I am very distressed and angry that this has happened

Debt amount:
$4800
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
2 November 2018

I have a 9 month old son, and Centrelink called me while I was putting him in the car.
He was crying and I was trying to do two things at once, I thought it was a scam and I told them to send me a letter if it was real and hung up on the person.

Debt amount:
$8500
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 November 2018

Not eating or sleeping and effecting my parenting and working capabilities

Debt amount:
$12032
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
5 December 2018

I burst into tears as soon as I saw the letter.
Have been feeling physically sick all day thinking about it.

Trying to get my head together to fight back about this.
I have just bought a house and it's Christmas, money was already tight.

Debt amount:
$5860
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
12 November 2018

It’s very hard I don’t make much money as it is after I pay rent, water, power, child care, food, public transport to work, etc.
don’t have heath insurance, death etc can’t afford it.
I rely on my tax return money for my son to get him clothes shoes things for school.

Now this hits you it’s not fair at all.

Debt amount:
$5860
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
12 November 2018

It’s very hard I don’t make much money as it is after I pay rent, water, power, child care, food, public transport to work,etc.
don’t have heath insurance, death etc can’t afford it .

I rely on my tax return money for my son to get him clothes shoes things for school.

Now this hits you it’s not fair at all.

Debt amount:
$11000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won

Downloaded bank statements into Excel spreadsheet and compared payments vs debt.
Found discrepancies.
Provided bank statements and log of engagement with DHS staff to prove DHS computer system errors.
Debts were cancelled and additional payments made !

Debt amount:
$2964
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
24 November 2018

I got a $3000 debt for a year I earnt $5800 - Even if I reported $0 for every single fortnight I would of only been overpaid by less than they claim I was overpaid. I reported correctly in this time.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
1 October 2018

I have twice had my ATO data averaged over the years in which for part of the financial year I was on Newstart, and for the rest of the year I was gainfully employed.
Once for the financial year of 2012-13 and most recently for the financial year of 2015-16.

Debt amount:
$10000
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

My family and I were left homeless and left Australia to seek help.
I took Centrelink to the AAT (Tier 2).
The day after Centrelink were notified of this they claim I requested a Centrelink payment.

Debt amount:
$331
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
24 October 2018

Actually the debt is small but it is very time consuming appealing it and makes me feel very sure that this government is the enemy of the people.

I was working as a casual teacher and they have used the algorithm to claim that I worked during school holidays ..... the school was closed!!!

Debt amount:
$3600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
15 September 2018

I had no idea about this debt until I got a letter from Milton Graham.

Debt amount:
$1200
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 October 2018

Both my partner and I received letters via mygov stating that we owe a combined amount of $1200.
Unfortunately once again the mygov site and the centrelink app did not show that we had letters waiting to be opened so we've only just found out.

Debt amount:
$8000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
8 August 2016

I found out I apparently owed $4400 when my entire tax return was garnished this year.
I was planning on using that money to pay rent and bills and get ahead. No chance when a $3300 tax return was gone before I'd even seen it.

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
12 January 2018

In my case the ATO data was completely incorrect and it was easily fixed when I provided bank statements.
I'm sorry for everyone who is struggling to provide evidence.

Debt amount:
$19473
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
6 November 2018

I haven't even been on centrelink for over a year, and they sent me letters a few months ago once I lodged my tax return saying that I need to update my employment details (as I moved to full time from casual)

Debt amount:
$1434
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
31 October 2018

Stress, spending repeated half days on the phone after working long night shifts, zero consideration to this.
Making work very much harder due to sleep loss.
Being gaslighted repeatedly, supplying requested documentation then told it was not provided at a later date.
Affecting family time due to exhaustion, repeatedly.

Debt amount:
$830
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
14 March 2018

This has been so stressful.
I've been worry about this all day everyday. Second guessing myself that I declared my income wrong when I 100% declared it correctly.

I supplied them with my bank statements which show how much money was earning but they are still saying that I earned more money than I actually did.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

In 2013 my dad had passed away with a 2 and a half year battle with a brain tumor
3 Years later my mum suggested i go on youth allowance as i had an unstable job and was looking for full time work so i had joined Youth Allowance but in the hope i could join an agency to help me find fulltime work.

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