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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:
$450
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
13 October 2018

Centrelink took money out of my tax return without my knowledge or consent for a debt that I never owed them.

Debt amount:
$752
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
17 December 2018

I'm perplexed, very angry, extremely anxious and too time poor to deal with this the week before Christmas! Assholes!

Debt amount:
$16000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
3 October 2018

I received the letter in October 2017.
The debt was for the period of time I was paid Austudy and was studying part-time at university.

I got four letters in total: one for the $13,000; and three for the start of semester payments of $1025 each.

Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
17 December 2018

High anxiety levels and incredibly frustrated and FURIOUS.
This is TWO WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS when my work slows to a halt and I am destitute.

Debt amount:
$14000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 July 2017

Earlier this year i received a call from Centrelink along with letters claiming that i owe them $14,000.00 approximately due to "overpayments"
They demanded immediate payment without any kind of explanation nor provided any kind of break down of how he debit occurred.

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
26 September 2018

Got a debt letter, felt that it was odd as i had either reported correctly at the time or centrelink actually never got me to report.

Debt amount:
$1120
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
9 November 2018

I am one of the many who has received a Centrelink debt from 7 years ago!

Debt amount:
$17700
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 November 2016

Original debt was $17700 had it reviewed and sent payslips it was cut to $9500
I said it’s still not right I want proof on how they got that figure but never heard back and they took my sons family tax payment.

Now they send another debt of $7200

Debt amount:
$0
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance

I received a letter from Centrelink in December 2017, saying I potentially owned them a debt for Youth Allowance back in 2013-2014

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 November 2018

Increased anxiety, worried about getting behind again financially.
Embarrassed.

It was like they didnt believe me, i told them about what they wanted but wanted so much information from years ago.
It took so long together. It was very tense in my household while I gathered everything

Debt amount:
$1298
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
13 December 2018

Significant financial stress to suddenly have to pay such a large amount - I have always honestly reported my earnings, and to be chased for amounts that I can barely remember is obscene.

Debt amount:
$29000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
10 December 2018

Was phoned yesterday by centrelink, the young lady on the phone said, "I am averaging out your income across the year."

I have always earned very little, and have definitely been entitled to my centrelink payments as often i earn under $450 a fortnight.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
3 April 2016

I was recieving a part single parents payment as I worked part time.
On my reporting days, I would over estimate just to make sure I didn't end up with any overpayments.

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
5 December 2018

Centerlink slapped me with a 3k fine/debt for a period I was overseas.

I arrived back in November 2013 from UK and claimed 2 new start payments only.
I have proof of this from bank statements which i opened with NAB on the 5th of November.

Debt amount:
$3960
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
5 March 2018

Anxiety over the amount owing.

Just when I think im in a good financial position I get a letter saying I owe Centrelink money.

Im stressed because I dont know if im going to have to pay all of it or if the government will sort their problem out and realise I haven't done anything wrong.

Debt amount:
$11000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
21 March 2018

I have put in a date for the first letter but as it has been proven I did not own a cent to Centrelink I threw the letters out so I can only guess the date of the first impertinent letter.

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
24 October 2018

I am very distressed and angry that this has happened

Debt amount:
$4800
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
2 November 2018

I have a 9 month old son, and Centrelink called me while I was putting him in the car.
He was crying and I was trying to do two things at once, I thought it was a scam and I told them to send me a letter if it was real and hung up on the person.

Debt amount:
$8500
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 November 2018

Not eating or sleeping and effecting my parenting and working capabilities

Debt amount:
$12032
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
5 December 2018

I burst into tears as soon as I saw the letter.
Have been feeling physically sick all day thinking about it.

Trying to get my head together to fight back about this.
I have just bought a house and it's Christmas, money was already tight.

Debt amount:
$5860
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
12 November 2018

It’s very hard I don’t make much money as it is after I pay rent, water, power, child care, food, public transport to work, etc.
don’t have heath insurance, death etc can’t afford it.
I rely on my tax return money for my son to get him clothes shoes things for school.

Now this hits you it’s not fair at all.

Debt amount:
$5860
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
12 November 2018

It’s very hard I don’t make much money as it is after I pay rent, water, power, child care, food, public transport to work,etc.
don’t have heath insurance, death etc can’t afford it .

I rely on my tax return money for my son to get him clothes shoes things for school.

Now this hits you it’s not fair at all.

Debt amount:
$11000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won

Downloaded bank statements into Excel spreadsheet and compared payments vs debt.
Found discrepancies.
Provided bank statements and log of engagement with DHS staff to prove DHS computer system errors.
Debts were cancelled and additional payments made !

Debt amount:
$2964
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
24 November 2018

I got a $3000 debt for a year I earnt $5800 - Even if I reported $0 for every single fortnight I would of only been overpaid by less than they claim I was overpaid. I reported correctly in this time.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
1 October 2018

I have twice had my ATO data averaged over the years in which for part of the financial year I was on Newstart, and for the rest of the year I was gainfully employed.
Once for the financial year of 2012-13 and most recently for the financial year of 2015-16.

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