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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:
$1052
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
22 June 2018

When I first received the letter informing me of my debt, I knew there must have been some kind of mistake. I had been on Youth Allowance as a high school and undergrad student, and was always diligent in recording my fortnightly income.

Debt amount:
$6201
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 October 2018

This debt has come at a time where I'm venturing out to start my own business.

Money is tight, stress levels are high and there are so many balls in the air that I have to juggle – this debt is a source of stress, anxiety, and frustration.

Debt amount:
$12000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Date debt issued:
1 March 2016

1 DEAD 2 DEAD 3 DEAD 4 DEAD - me INCLUDED and due medical I am still here so Centrelink has killed me TWICE now

Debt amount:
$30000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
1 May 2019

This debt caused me months of stress and anxiety, months of not sleeping or eating properly, severe suicidal ideations, feeling of complete hopelessness.
I felt like I had done something wrong when I hadn't.

Debt amount:
$56000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 November 2018

In November of 2018 I received a call alerting me to my massive debt. They told me it was 67 thousand but were doing me a favour by reducing it.. don't see how. I have 4 kids, 3 with disabilities and mental challenges and 1 with severe allergies. I am their main carer.

Debt amount:
$4123
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
15 August 2018

It has seriously caused me a lot of anxiety and several deeply depressive episodes

Debt amount:
$3100
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 May 2019

This amount was incorrectly raised and i am in the process of being reviewed i spoke with around 8 employees and they said it was being reviewed after i gave my pay slips. dispite it being reviewed i am getting constant calls from debt collectors even though the dep hum serv said they recalled the amount.

Debt amount:
$864
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
23 August 2019

I spoke to Human Services late March 2019 and Probe Group, debt amount $800 plus $100. I discussed with the collection agency and filed an appeal which I have not received a response until I received a centre-link letter dated before my call payment of debt amount.

Debt amount:
$2600
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
22 May 2015

4. when I proved with back statements I wasn't working, the fine amended to " voluntarily left work" 20.04.15, 12.05.15, 17.06.15 I suffered injuries at work following notification to employer 29.07.15 the fine, 02.09.2015 breaching Social Security Administrative Act section 42s sec reasonable excuse 42UA not a fine

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
14 August 2019

I am already a sufferer of Panic Disorder.
I received a Robodebt for when I was looking after my now deceased father fighting stage 4 Sarcoma.

Debt amount:
$11500
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 June 2019

They have advised me if they debt was generated 10 days laters I wouldn’t have been assessed as it was past 7 years.

Debt amount:
$35000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

I have been under enormous stress from this debt
I tried to settle for a much lower amount and after making me wait hours for a response we’re only willing to cut off a few thousand
Now I’ve just received a call that they want to review my financial situation because the amount of paying each week should be more.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
2 September 2016

i won but not all of it.
i was suicidal too. i wanted to do it right in front of the center link office.

Debt amount:
$4200
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
22 March 2019

I have always done my tax on time have always been honest with Centrelink. i have several debts spanning from 2011 until 2018 according to there records. 2018 debt is a FTB debt and they reconciled my FTB and then sent me a debt go figure!!!!!!

Debt amount:
$5500
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 March 2019

I was shocked to get a phone call and find out I had this much debt from 2 years ago. Centrelink never told me I had to upload payslips every 2 weeks so they based the payments off an average amount. As if I have this much money lying around if I'm already on Centrelink payments and a uni student on limited hours at work.

Debt amount:
$30000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
24 August 2018

Unjustified debt, unrealistic expectations of working more than 110 hours a week.

No help.
Just want it to stop

Debt amount:
$2110
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
25 July 2019

I am a University Student who also work part-time.
As part of the student loan program i was entitled to a $1050 payment at the start of year and half way through the year to help with student costs etc. I pay this back through the student loan help program through the government when I am earning more money..

Debt amount:
$8700
Date debt issued:
26 August 2019

I am 61 and have had nothing to do with Centrelink for over 15 years. They were not on my radar. I have been working full-time for many years and am still working 4 days a week. I've always submitted my tax return when I needed to. Today I received a letter from Centrelink saying I owed $8700 - a Non-Lodger Debt from 2001/02 (what???).

Debt amount:
$4050
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
30 August 2019

I'm 20 and Autistic.
I was on youth allowance from July 2017 to March 2019(but Centrelink says it's November 2018) and I received the book loan for the 4 semesters I was on it.
I switched over to the Disability Support Pension when I found out I was eligible for it.

Debt amount:
$3600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
5 August 2019

I’m so stressed out a) I can’t afford to pay it and b) u understand how they think I was over allowed by so much when I was barley receiving the equivalent of minimum wage, while also doing 30 hours or university a week.

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
8 August 2019

I work seven days a week. I simply do not have the time to forfiet income and deal with this. I am doing this so that I actually make a high enough income to contribute to my HECS debt, which gives me a sizeable chunk of tax repayments and will likely take me 10+ years to be clear of.

Debt amount:
$11000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
1 May 2015

tax check taken no warning,my dog saved me

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
22 July 2019

I received my letter claiming of overpayments between 11/2014 & 07/2016. I was not on any assistance or received a single payment for an entire 12 months in between these dates of when they are claiming I was over paid.

Debt amount:
$10000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 October 2017

in 2017 I was sent a letter wanting to confirm my employment dates between the years of 2011-2017. During this period I had worked for three different employees, all on a casual basis, I never worked permanent hours, my earnings always fluctuated.

Debt amount:
$11747
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
5 July 2019

My story in a nutshell...
Since January 2019, I've been dealing with going through divorce, I was coward punched which landed me in hospital and had me recovering for the best past of 3 months, I've developed anxiety and severe depression and recently found out I have ADHD as well.

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