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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:
$1303
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 June 2018

I actually laughed when it first came.
It was around the time of the half billion dollar grant to an organisation that didn't ask for it and a time when politicians were under all sorts of scrutiny for the dodgy use of taxpayers' money.

Debt amount:
$2460
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
1 January 2018

Due to incorrect address recorded, did not even know this occured.
ATO garnished my tax return to pay this false "debt".

Took approx 3 months to get it back.
Had to provide employment records due the entire year as well as bank statements and statements from the employment agencies.

Debt amount:
$10000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
2 March 2015

I have to repay part of my payment to Centrelink every fortnight because they won’t let me appeal it further.
I also now live alone so the financial stress is greater.

Debt amount:
$9069
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
21 November 2018

My parents handed me a letter in November 2018 they had received at their home that stated Centrelink had unsuccessfully tried to contact me at my own home address to have me re-report my income for a 12 month period from 4 years ago.

Debt amount:
$5400
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
3 November 2018

To breaking point. Constant stress day and night. Concern about how we can afford to live

Debt amount:
$9039
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
8 February 2019

I received an initial letter requesting employment confirmation back in 2015.
I attempted to fill out the online forms and dates for the last three years and of course it was all wrong.

Debt amount:
$909
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 February 2019

I was shocked when I received this and felt sick, this has caused me a lot of anxiety and frustration at having to put a lot of effort to prove that I did the right thing.

Debt amount:
$5676
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
9 February 2019

This has been a truly awful experience.
I've had multiple Centrelink customer service operators hang up on me when trying to request a review or ask for a receipt number.
It has caused me great anxiety and has given me depression for weeks now.

Debt amount:
$3777
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
14 December 2016

Anxiety through the roof and don’t have the help to fight it

Debt amount:
$4200
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
16 December 2016

I got a bill in Dec.
I did try to communicate with varying Centrelink departments and when the phone did ring through and was answered I was only ever told that I needed to prove I did not owe any money.

Was 24hr carer for my father who had MND. Apparently I was working too.
Dear Centrelink. Absolutely no idea.

Debt amount:
$8750
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
24 December 2018

I was sent an email to mygov inbox regarding the debt the day befor xmas 2018

Debt amount:
$4058
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
4 February 2019

I have been suffering anxiety due to my circumstances (loss of a child) and this debt letter making it worse for me.

I sent them my bank statements my payslips but no reviw received and on top the debt is increased.

It is not fair reciving a bill to pay with no information or background into it that when it has happened.

Debt amount:
$9000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
16 September 2013

Insecure anxious financially strained

Debt amount:
$52000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
24 January 2019

Supper stressed, single mum of 3 kids, I don't know how I'm supposed to ever get ahead, they already left me homeless twice.

What's next?

Debt amount:
$8400
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
14 January 2019

I'm scared and cannot understand how this has happened when i reported as i was supposed to, have provided bank statements to get a reassessment, i'm hoping its a misunderstanding.

Debt amount:
$3966
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Date debt issued:
17 January 2019

I am very stressed and anxious and it doesn't make any sense

Debt amount:
$2300
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 January 2019

I deferred my university course for just 6 weeks in September. I had developed anxiety and carers stress while caring for a sick relative.

Debt amount:
$8000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 November 2017

The first I new of my debt was from a text from the debt collection agency.
I called them and they straight away demanded payment.

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

Extremely upset and stressed.

I have had to take days off work to try and handle this mess.

Debt amount:
$6400
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
11 January 2019

This is going to cripple me for most of the foreseable future.

Debt amount:
$5400
Payment Type:
Sickness Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
7 July 2019

I was on income protection and sickness benefits and it seems i incurred a debt of 5.5k

Debt amount:
$9800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
6 March 2018

After countless hours, over a period of 6 months on the phone and providing documents (178 pages of bank statements & immigration records-available free from immigration on a 1359 form) finally got onto someone with authority that could see the light.

Debt reduced from $9,800 to $477.

Debt amount:
$1272
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 August 2018

I received a debt approx 4 years ago from 2010-2011 for over $2500, I went on a payment plan and over a number of years paid the debt back.

This year, I received another debt of $1600 from the same year.
A few months later i received a debt of $3000.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
9 November 2018

During the period of any paid work I notified centrelink and submitted payslips.

Online self service showed nil amount from Centrelink.
Also at the branch.

Then in early 2013 applied for TAFE and then received AUSTUDY after 6 months of entering TAFE.

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
8 August 2018

I first received a online in August letter saying that I needed to confirm my income.
The lady on the phone stated that I owed $7,000 in debt as I had under reported my earning. The lady also went on to make me feel like a criminal by going on how this was wrong and how did I intend to pay this back.

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