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 stress levels have gone through the roof, nearly crashed my car because I got double vision after being so stressed over having to pay a debt I know I don't have to pay because I know I did the right thing when I declared and being stressed because no one can help you face to face and you have to do all online, what kind of joke is that,
It's certainly made me anxious, but mostly I've found it incredibly frustrating trying to chase up the necessary information and provide it in the way Centrelink asks (i.e. the online system which for me has been impossible to use).
I have mental health issues that include High Anxiety, High Insomonia, Decreased Comprehension all from an Acquired Brain Injury, Post Concussive Syndrome and Meniers Disease.
Yes, I had daily calls at 8.30 am every morning on my way to work from a different phone number and I would become upset and anxious.
My anxiety levels are increasing, due to the complexity of the process and non-accountability of the organisations involved.
I have gone through a part 9 debt agreement I now didn't get money for my daughter as she has turned 18 and can not get my loan for my pension
I worked my arse off. Reported my earnings. Sometimes based on estimate, as centrelink ask for. Would even over estimate at times, just for peace of mind.
I had finished up work to have a baby.
2, nearly 3 years up the track, I've been hit with 3 different apparent debts, that, together, add to a neat 5000.
It had a emotional breakdown effect on me i wasnt myself through the whole or deal..
I am dealing with a Centrelink debt like many others. A debt of $24,500. I was on Centrelink from 2011-2014 while I was a casual employee & living on my own & self sufficient.
We both work on contracts and don't get paid over the Christmas break and are under enormous financial stress. We tried calling repeatedly but with a demanding baby we had to hang up around the 30 minute point.
The first that I heard that I had a debt was when the debt collection agency contacted me in January 2016.The debt collection agency gave me 48 hours to contact Centrelink to investigate why I had a debt.
This putative debt relates to an extremely stressful period when my daughter was very unwell. Revisiting this has been extremely distressing for both of us, and this has been exacerbated by the terrible way in which the process has been handled.
This was the worst experience I have encountered in a long time. I'm pregnant with shocking morning sickness-first trimester at the time. I got this ridiculous debt that was not calculated correctly (who works consistent hours in retail!?!) amd am told to pay it back or risk having a bad credit rating or going to court.
As a single parent this is not what I needed before Christmas!
Yes! I am an underemployed masters graduate with a huge hecs debt, 3kids & no $$!
This has brought up alot of bad memories from a time that I was at a pretty big low, I had been fired from my job, therefore not earning an income which is why I was on centrelink, but the ATO says I was working until the end of the financial year even though I have provided my employment separation certificate on 3 occasions now which states th
I received a call from Dun & Bradstreet early in December. I had never received any notices from Centrelink as I have moved house several times since 2011. I was accused of being a "welfare cheat", the D&B staffer said I was falsely claiming benefits and working.
Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, financial stress etc
In ways you have no idea. I haven't been able to contact Centrelink due to personal issues . Have been so disheartened as I have no way to prove anything. The company I'm been accused of under declaring for sold to another client in another town.
Anxiety and finiancial stress. Just entered into a mortgage and having to factor in $50 a week repayment
Social Security Minister Christian Porter boasts they’ve raised $300 million in Centrelink ‘debts’ and the majority of those pursued for alleged debts have not complained. I am one of those people. This is my story.
Very stressful. I have recently returned to study so I am not in the financial position to repay a debt such as this. I am confident that I do not owe this money, so am hopeful. I do feel incredibly angry though, and can only think f all the people who have paid unknowingly and been taken advantage of.
I could easily repay this "debt" but will not out of principal. I had no idea until I watched 7.30 report tonight that this was a widespread problem.
It was very stressful receiving this just before Christmas. I felt very "unstable and even depressed" I decided not to buy any gifts this year for my kids and nieces and nephews. I made many attempts to call and try to get clarification. They asked for documentation and pay slips from a school that was closed until the end of January.
This has affect me a lot as I can't get a Centrelink advance and I use the advances to pay for a lot of my kids school stuff