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
I felt severely depressed, pillaged and taken advantage of. I feel more sorry for the poor people who were hit with over 10k.
I am a mother of 2 single and had advised child support of my shared percentage of my children this was to download to centrelink automatically centrelink informed me child child support records didn't download to them properly so they took there own information and made me repay $8000 back which left me broke unable to live and nearly home
I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety, Also I would be dead before I pay the dept
I had just moved my 3 kids from regional Queensland to Brisbane. Only working sparingly.
Im gutted, as i try to be as honest as i can when dealing with government. They have taken all my tax and FBT this year $3k that would really help. But instead they take it away from a mother of 3 kids.
I’m 26 years old and I got advised of my debt when I first started back working but I could not afford to make repayments as I was supporting my mum paying rent of over $500 per week plus we are behind.
TL;DR - centrelink lost my rental documents, as such robodebt claims my rental assistance was invalid, provide rental documents, find out I UNDERCLAIMED $200, ask for $200 from centrelink, get rejected because claim was OVER 5 YEARS AGO ??? (WHY CAN THEY CHASE ME FOR "DEBT" OVER 5 YEARS AGO)
12 months of fighting Centrelink and the debt was reduced to $2500. They took my tax return 2 years running and reduced payments while the dispute was ongoing.
I had irrefutable proof that they were wrong and still got penalised. What a joke.
i took my payslips in and they reduced the debt from $20000 to $16500 but i know i still dont owe that much money to them
Was issued a recovery notice in November 2017 for Austudy payments in 2011-2012.
After I lodge my tax for that year, I discarded documents older than 5 years (2011-2012). Issued recovery notice a few months later.
I have been dealing with this debt for years, I originally apparently owed over $4500 from Single Parenting Payment, which I tried to fight but with my anxiety and depression and what not, I gave up and agreed to pay a certain amount fortnightly. I finally paid ALL of this off, just before the final payment.
I received this debt out of the blue, 2 years after I am supposed to have incurred it. I am now no longer on a family tax benefit as my son has finished high school. I am actually now on a Neis payment while I try to start my own business.
I was receiving parenting payment at the start of 2016, by the start of 2017 i started working a different shift which meant i could work more and stopped recieving parenting payments.
I used to contract for work and would have spates of work then not. I then went to uni In between and was eligible for Austudy and took a causal job to pay bills.
They called me saying that there is income discrepancy from ATO and my centrelink, however I was 120% sure I've updated my income statement with centrelink, but when I check with them after receiving the letter they said the amount for $0.
I have been on a disability pensions for over 20 years due to a mining injury at work. This injury has left me with chronic pain and depression, so how could I possibly deal with a debt from 8 years ago, and because of a supposed income of an ex-partner. Every fortnight she contacted Centrelink to declare casual earnings.
Going through divorce, lost my father, lost my job, all in last month.. do my tax hoping to use that money to help me until I get new job... Waiting for my tax return to find out they have taken my whole $5800 return!!
Sent me letter without calling or pre letter to allow my evidence. Quit caring in 9/2018 but said i was not caring in period from 1/2018. Have all evidence friends, court, police, 000 call etc but not interested in my evidence that the person i was caring for was in fact living at my address.
I am a single mother with 2 young children aged 4 and 2. I am recieving single parenting payments (reduced because i will not seek child support) and familly tax benefits. I have a very tight budget but i manage to get by. I dont recieve any other income but centrelink i have chosen to be a stay at home mum for my childrens benifit.
Initially in June 2019 on my gov it showed I had an overpayment of $23000, which I rang centrelink about at which time I asked that they provide me with detailed and fortnightly information of how this debt was calculated. They did not provide this.
I initially got the debt at $9100 and when I called, admittedly a little hysterical, I was told that I lied to Centrelink about how much I earned in the 2016/17 financial year.
I remember clearly spending hours on the phone to Centrelink when my wage went up (I went up one day to working 4 days per week).
I called Centrelink to and got transferred 4 times with no assistance or compassion.
Had to explain my story 4 times and by this point I was very distressed and angry.
I called Centrelink to and got transferred 4 times with no assistance or compassion. Had to explain my story 4 times and by this point I was very distressed and angry.
So anxious because I have to pay rent!
I had no units to study from August 2018 to Nov 2019 but I had one to study in Jan 2019. Still had above 75% full time study load.
I called up Centrelink and asked if there was anything I could to to continue payments. They said yes and nothing happened for a year.