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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:
$13641
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
5 January 2018

Was at work today and opened the electronic letter... WTF!!
Caused disruption to my work all day, having to make phone calls to centrelink and previous employers.
Absolutely ridiculous

Debt amount:
$4000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process

Whilst routinely reporting income online, I noticed I had a new notification to update some details.... After updating those details, I randomly continued to scroll down the page. At the bottom of the page I noticed it said I owed $4000!!!! I HAVE NEVER BEEN NOTIFIED ABOUT THIS 'DEBT' IN ANY WAY!!!!!

Debt amount:
$8400
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 October 2015

My DEBT has put a huge financial stress over my head. Money is tight as it is.
barely being able to pay my bills and they keep withdrawing $100 per fortnight from my bank account. I've tried negotiating cheaper repayments as i've still got about $5600 left to pay but they won't lower repayments.

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
26 November 2016

When I received my debt back in November of 2016, I had knots in my stomach and cried and just couldn't believe I had received a letter of this nature, it wasn't until not long after that I realised that so many other individuals would be targeted too.

Debt amount:
$5714
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
9 November 2017

They raised my debt in my opinion because I told them I was lodging a complaint about Centrelink & the Early Release of Super section of Dept Human Services over their treatment of me while in hospital having a leg amputated with the Ombudsman (I did that).

Debt amount:
$14600
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
8 September 2017

Very stressed both mentally, emotionally & financially & got very sick .

Debt amount:
$775
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
24 October 2016

This debt has been a nightmare for me, due to the debt being from 2012 it was very hard for me to get and provide the required information by the extended due date so Centrelink started forcefully collecting the debt from my fortnightly payment at $60 each payment, this has made it extremely hard to live and has now got me in debt with other com

Debt amount:
$6586
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 July 2015

This debt has far reaching effects, I suffer from severe depression bordering on suicide, I am living with my parents as I can't afford to live anywhere else, I am also concerned that my taxation refund will be taken to part pay the debt.

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
12 September 2017

EVERYONE should appeal! The centrelink office even gave me the form, it's also online.

Debt amount:
$1600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
22 November 2014

It's left me not being able to pay for food or a full fortnight's rent.
I'm always scrapping by and still trying to pay it.
Would have been easier to have nothing from them at all.

Debt amount:
$9600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
5 October 2017

I had to research all the facts and read the appropriately named SSAct, you should too, no case is the same.

Initial review officer (i requested after calling centrelink debt recovery) called once and left no message so concluded that i owed over 9k for moving from a share house to a home with a parent and not telling them.

Debt amount:
$8200
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
31 October 2017

This is ridiculous!!!! I received a letter from Centrelink via registered post which told me to confirm my employment income.
I went through the entire process to gather all my payslips and enter in all the payments online. After I submitted all the information, Centrelink told me it turns out they overpaid me $8200+ !!!!!!

Debt amount:
$3500
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
15 November 2017

After failing to do my tax for a few years (my fault). I have now been issued with a demand letter from centrelink for $3,500 of the $4,400 I received on Ausstudy while retraining as a teacher.

Debt amount:
$4300
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
13 November 2017

I am on a lower income and I've done my best to get back into the work force.
I understand that my partner is on a higher income but I don't understand that we are in debt as we never received any FTB for the past 24 months. ?

Debt amount:
$1053
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 October 2017

In brief this has worried me greatly. It has caused great stress.
I dont have the kind of money they're saying I owe them lying around. I'm a very low income earner.

Debt amount:
$3408
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
8 November 2017

First correspondence about any potential debt was from a collection agency, obviously I was concerned and confused so I logged into my mygov account and there I also found an owing balance but no further details of how this debt was obtained or over what period.

Debt amount:
$0
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
28 September 2017

I worked for a company for a few weeks doing vacation work while I was at uni. Some of this time occured in July of the 12-13 financial year. I ended up getting a graduate job at the same company in December. I cancelled my Youth Allowance in the month prior to starting work.

Debt amount:
$4904
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 August 2017

I know there are few weeks where I miss-reported or did not report, but these were due to Centrelink's confusing interface and the change over to the MyGov website. I was also told many times by Centrelink that I did not have to report my income during certain periods.

Debt amount:
$1417
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 September 2017

A few years back I decided I was sufficiently stable to not have to rely on Centrelink anymore.

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
1 May 2017

I (husband) am a commission paid salesman. Because my commissions and, ultimately, my end-of-year total earnings is unknown to me at the beginning of any given financial year, I was advised by the Centrelink staff to give my base wage. Since that is very low in comparison to my actual earnings, I estimated my earnings.

Debt amount:
$8207
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
23 February 2017

The debt was from June 2011 to October 2012… ridiculous.

My daughter requested for more information about the debt, she call numerous times and done nothing and start draw $95.20 out of my support pension.
Must be a huge mistake, extremely stressful for my family.

Debt amount:
$6080
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 July 2017

We have been just scraping through by the month with the payments this debt will be paid by drawing back on a loan - single income two kids. They both just had their birthdays and we are leading into Christmas. Wish us luck.

Debt amount:
$14000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
3 April 2017

I suffer from schizophrenia and was hospitalised in 2014 when this debt overpayment began.
My partner is my only carer and was a temporary resident ineligible for any income payments from centrelink, None.

Debt amount:
$8750
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 August 2017

Major financial stress

Debt amount:
$77000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 August 2017

I gave Centrelink my income information three times.
Two years later they came back to me and say I owe them $77,000.

They have no record of the info I gave them.
They are calling me a liar to my face and have said I should be happy I am not being prosecuted for fraud.

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