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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:
$703
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
22 December 2016

Was a very big shock to receive letter notifying debt owed just 3 days before Christmas. With a young daughter this added heaps of unnecessary financial stress and I questioned whether we could even afford to celebrate Christmas at all.

Debt amount:
$32000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
16 November 2016

depressed, stressed out financially broke

Debt amount:
$9200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

I can't even survive on the 'normal' rate of Newstart. Now, having 20 a fortnight taken out to cover this supposed debt, it is even more difficult.

Debt amount:
$2300
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
21 December 2016

This caused my lupus to flare up which means severe chronic pain which is preventing me from doing simple daily tasks like bathing, eating and sleeping, an anxiety attack and several hours of crying, not to mention the migraines caused by sleepless nights and sitting on the phone listening to the god awful hold music that seems to be designed to

Debt amount:
$25000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
7 December 2016

I felt physically sick when I opened the letter. I had sleepless nights of worrying about the whole situation. I was stressed and worried for the the 3 months that it took to resolve the issue.

Debt amount:
$3500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
5 October 2016

I'm in insecure employment in education, already on a very tight budget and felt I had no choice but to begin making repayments while appealing. Despite multiple phone calls I am yet to fully understand why I have incurred a debt & therefore what evidence is needed to dispute.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 October 2016

Financial stress and unnecessary anxiety surrounding the process of appealing

Debt amount:
$162
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
12 October 2016

I'm a long term sufferer of depression and anxiety and being informed i was being investigated made my condition worse. I usually apply for my yearly cash advance at this time of the year to pay my car registration, however, now i have a debt with Centrelink, i am no longer eligible for this loan.

Debt amount:
$14578
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
4 September 2016

A huge amount of stress, I have had to take sick leave from work because of it. Financially, the debt collectors threatened to recover my wages in full if I didn't pay a large part of the sat up front, so I placed $500 on my credit card upfront, and was forced to set up a payment plan of $140/week.

Debt amount:
$16000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
10 October 2016

Im very stressed. My debt is apparently from 2008/09 but i never knew until now and always received my benefit this whole time not knowing. Why did they come up with this now??

Debt amount:
$1500
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 October 2016

Has affected my depression very badly

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
9 September 2014

All of the above. The anxiety I experienced after receiving the debt notices (there have been two) was paralysing, the attitude of the collection agency rude, belittling and unhelpful.

Debt amount:
$4500
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process

I'm stressed out about challenging the debt, even though I know I'm in the right I expect it to be tedious and drawn out and am loathing the idea of having to go through the run-around because of a stupid careless bureaucratic f***up. I'm also just... angry. Just so damn angry and I'm one of the lucky ones.

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