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
Issued a few weeks before xmas, with no warning and a demand for $6000 to be repaid before Xmas, I was rendered incapacitated by re-traumatisation and a serious relapse in my health conditions.
I recieved a debt of $1800 and i got the adex sent to me.
Are they creating debts now? I suddenly got an extra $150 in my fortnightly payment along with a letter stating I received it. The letter had no details explaining why. Ive had no changes in circumstances for 2 years. I went to centrelink to find out it was a "glitch in the system".
I too have been victimized by the automated debt recovery scheme, eventually pinned down by the Probe group.
Centrelink initially claimed an illegitimate debt of more than $17,000.
I am a support person for a person who is on the disability support pension. This person has extreme anxiety associated with being on the spectrum, dyslexic and intellectual disability. Now having to deal with a complex situation such as receiving an employment confirmation letter. That is totally incorrect.
I am anti-depressants, & my anxiety levels are skyrocketing because Centrelink aren't listening to me.
I think this is one of those things where you know it's wrong but you end up having to pay anyway because they have you over a barrel.
Like you have no idea how the hell am i meant to pay $22,603 thats a brand new car no one can afford that.
I just dont know what to bout this it makes my anxiety levels through the roof.
Received an E-mail to my private E-mail account from myGov, to notify me that I had a new message available in my inbox. This email notification was sent to me 3 days after the message was generated in my inbox on myGov account... The moment I opened this message and read that they wanted to confirm my income details, my stomach dropped.
I am a single parent of a 4 year old.
Debt collection agency is hassling me late at night and many times a day.
I’m a uni student in my final year of study and I have now been kicked off Centrelink all together!! Have had to move home and look for extra work just to survive.
I'm so stressed and scared and freaking out because I have like no money right now and I asked how to appeal this debt and the lady on the phone who told me about my debt today gave me no real information and said that my debt could increase if I appeal.
Had been told by Centrelink that I had a debt of 1400 approx from back in 2014.
I was told that I had been contacted numerous times throughout this period even though I had not once received a letter or phone call from them until September this year (3 years later) even though my contact details had not changed my entire life.
I was seeing a counsellor for anxiety and stress before i got the letter ~ its why I never responded.
During the time frame they say the debt was accumulated, I was not required to report my income. This was while I was a at university.
I recieved a letter stating that I did not have to report to recieve youth allowance and I received payments without having to declare anything.
I did some part time work during the financial year of 2011/2012 (Aug-Dec 2011 then March 2012).
They say my reported earnings are different to what they have and what the ATO have.
-I am scared that it's never going to end. I am just so sick and tired of dealing with it and not getting anywhere.
-I need to stay strong and hang in there but it is so hard.
I am disabled, one of the injured workers of NSW with 80% of my weekly income... pay my taxes and atill centrelink claims I have a debt...
I was fortunate enough to be 'caught' in the 'new and improved' robo-debt dragnet, implemented in response to the scathing senate enquiry into Centrelink's implementation of a no-oversight policy of chasing ambit debts (whilst a government threatened jail terms for those who had received more than their allowance).
They provided no evidence of any debt (from over 4 years ago).
I was freelancing at the time and frequently had long periods when I was unpaid, and relied on Newstart completely.
They knew this at the time.
When I turned 25, I developed quite bad hip pain. It made working difficult due to the pain, so I had to drop my hours and I was on pain killers daily. I went to Centrelink to help supplement my income as I was on an extensive waiting list for medical treatment/surgery but couldn't get disability, so was put on Newstart.
First off I was unable to login to the stupid MyGov, as I haven't used it in nearly five years (since I became full time and stopped receiving Centrelink payments).
I went into a Centrelink office and was told they couldn't assist as it was debt related - they even refused to help me access MyGov.
A letter dated 8 September was added to my MyGov inbox 10 September, to which I was alerted 14 September. This should give you an idea how brilliantly the situation is being handled. I was given 28 days (from the date on the letter) to respond, which as you can see is 22 days from finding out I even had something to which to respond!
Was reporting my earnings to my job provider with pay slips now im stuck with a huge amount.
Have paid some off but feel terrified and scared
Anxiety. Totally stressed about the debt. Can't believe this is happening.
High stress. Bad moods. poor work performance .
Feeling like screaming but nobody hears.
anger at government.
Utter compassion for other affected worse than myself Especially children.