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
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.
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.
1 DEAD 2 DEAD 3 DEAD 4 DEAD - me INCLUDED and due medical I am still here so Centrelink has killed me TWICE now
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.
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.
It has seriously caused me a lot of anxiety and several deeply depressive episodes
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.
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.
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
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.
They have advised me if they debt was generated 10 days laters I wouldn’t have been assessed as it was past 7 years.
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.
i won but not all of it.
i was suicidal too. i wanted to do it right in front of the center link office.
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!!!!!!
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.
Unjustified debt, unrealistic expectations of working more than 110 hours a week.
Just want it to stop
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..
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???).
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.
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.
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.
tax check taken no warning,my dog saved me
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.
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.
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.