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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:
$500
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
21 November 2016

the debt that i had supposedly incurred was 100% bogus, the debt was from a 1.5 year period while i was not receiving payments and had taken myself off all centrelink services, yet i still incurred an invisible debt.

Debt amount:
$16000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
1 July 2016

Crippled me financially & emotionally. It's ridiculous and they can't prove it exists.

Debt amount:
$1100
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 December 2016

I am currently on sickness benefits fighting cancer, receiving approx $265 a week.  Centrelink say I owe just under $1100 from 2011. I have to prove they are wrong, which they are, and I am currently appealing.

Debt amount:
$1350
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
16 November 2016

I reported my income for the required time before I had earned enough to be cut off. As my income was on a casual basis I reported accordingly. Now after all this time I was told by a woman I talked to they decided to average my payments over that time so I now I appear to have a debt .

Debt amount:
$900
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
29 November 2016

Very stressful as the due date of the debt was 25dec16 xmas day!

Debt amount:
$14765
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
5 June 2016

I was sent a threatening letter, went to centerlink , they could not help sort out the problem,I had to ring up, after many attempts and after many hours of waiting,I was able to speak to a real person who was rude to me, accused me of FRAUD, really scared me and I was told that A sum of money would be deducted from any future payments, I was ve

Debt amount:
$16042
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
7 July 2016

My debt relates to a service pension, paid to my wife and myself. I qualified for this pension through active service in an infantry battalion in Vietnam. I have a number of war related disabilities (Lumbar Spondylosis, Hypertension and PTSD) for which I receive a disability pension of $250 per fortnight.

Debt amount:
$4000
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
21 November 2016

I am a single mother of a toddler with no family support trying to finish my university degree so that I am able to find better employment to keep us financially secure. I only just received enough money to cover my rent and get a small amount of food for the two of us. Or pay rent and bills.

Debt amount:
$1700
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
6 December 2016

I was issued with this debt after arriving to my parents for Christmas holidays. I was embarking on a 6wk holiday. I was still keeping up with the costs of my living while I was away - rent, power bills etc. I also had Christmas to deal with. Prior to my holiday, my bank accounts were hacked and majority of my money was stolen.

Debt amount:
$4000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
14 December 2016

I have appealed part of debt as I somehow remembered having to report my income every fortnight while caring for my mother. I shortened my contract to fit in with their rules of allowing a respite time from a carer's payment. The other half of my debt, $2000.00 I do not remember so well and have paid them over $2000.00 !!

Debt amount:
$1300
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
8 December 2016

Now trying to get a detailed breakdown of income from 3 employers from 6 years ago as my fortnightly payslips do not align with Centrelink's pay cycle. It's probably impossible but I have to try. $1300 is not small change to me.

Debt amount:
$1953
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
3 October 2016

Anxiety, stress, already suffering from depression, financial stress, very upsetting not being heard or listened to.

Debt amount:
$4000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
19 October 2016

I've had a lot of anxiety over this...mostly because I don't understand why I owe so much! I would like to appeal, but unsure if I would be right or not. I'm just grateful that I'm in full-time employment, I can't imagine what those still receiving benefits must be going through.

Debt amount:
$6200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
10 June 2016

Of course finding out only weeks before our second child came into the world that we owe 6200 between us was stressful at the least. With a home loan/rates coming and a list of things we needed, after my partner had taken months off work. Surely was a big hit, I've set to pay this off in 12 months ending this coming financial year.

Debt amount:
$1720
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
14 December 2016

Financilly has put me in debt they hit me just before Christmas I had great anxiety and depression because I thought I wouldn't be able to make ends meet

Payment Type:
Youth Allowance

I was on Youth Allowance when I first moved to the city to attend university. First in my family to do so etc. I applied for Youth Allowance and started receiving while I looked for a job in a new state (and living away from a small country town for the first time). I secured employment, but initially it was casual with unpredictable hours.

Debt amount:
$606
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
13 October 2016

Extreme stress, financial fears at time and residual anger about the process.

Debt amount:
$2490
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
1 September 2014

Very stressed and upset and worrying
After being told had debt of 2500 contacted number on letter over 1 hour on phone was told to ring another number had also complained on centrelink site and uploaded bank statements from those periods

Debt amount:
$12600
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 November 2016

Very stressful especially as it's impossible to talk to anybody about it. We want to sort it out and just want an explanation from a real person but keep getting told to go online and complete compliance. We have asked for a review as we have always kept our income updated with Centrelink.

Debt amount:
$1800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
22 December 2016

Completely wasted my time while trying to focus on a hectic period at work! Debt was issued just before Christmas and I had a holiday booked departing on the 28th of December. I had to spend my time bothering old employers in their busiest time of year and spent my annual leave getting the docs together.

Debt amount:
$2145
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
23 October 2016

I'm just very annoyed. I am now in full time employment as I've completed my PhD. If an undergraduate or honour's student put together an analysis with this level of inflexibility and fundamental flaws I'd be taking a deep breath and asking them to do a more thorough job before resubmitting their work for marking.

Appealing Debt?:
Unknown

Centerlink has sent me a letter saying that i owe them money. This came as a surprise, has caused me alot of distress. Being a low income earner i am already finding it hard to manage my week to week living. On top of this getting into contact with centerlink is probably the most stressful task.

Debt amount:
$3482
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
23 December 2016

oh my god, i am a single mum and have always worked , my family tax benifit stopped in febuary 2016 as my daughter turned 18 ,, in september 2016 i recieved a letter that my ex husband income has changed to what was taken into account over the last four years from child support ,now somehow its my debt because he did his tax returns after 4 year

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

Political radicalism

Debt amount:
$1500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 November 2016

It'll suck dry the last of my savings I was living off. I'm currently unemployed. I was avoiding going on payments because I had savings and was working on my depression. I was somewhat proud of not needing centrelink while I sorted my shit. I could've been on Newstart for the last six months.

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