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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:
$3800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
30 November 2016

I am losing sleep and precious time trying to re-appeal the process, despite their clear indifference to my situation. My Centrelink payments are being reduced despite the reviews being IN PROCESS, which places extreme stress on my financial situation.

Debt amount:
$12700
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
9 December 2016

This has been a very frustrating process that makes sure to instill a sense of hopelessness. I went into Centrelink the date I received my debt to dispute it in disbelief. They wouldn't let me talk to someone and referred me to an online dispute site.

Debt amount:
$4460
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
7 November 2016

Centerlinks system can access my tax details from the ato so are saying i have been over payed, i have contacted centerlink 3 times and have given proof that my tax has been done, every time i contact them i get the run around, my benifits have now been cut this is very distressing for my family as my partner is not working atm

Debt amount:
$1503
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
21 December 2016

This debt comes at the worst time, my partner had her contract finished so she just started a new work, but we had to get a 30k pay cut. Now we cant afford much extra and that extra stress is coming.
My wife is extremely anxious and that makes her anxiety levels go through the roof.

Debt amount:
$1822
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
25 January 2017

I am, for the first time in many years, unemployed following illness. Incidentally, I am not eligible for Centrelink so it is rather ironic that today I received a bill for $1821.97 stating this was for the full amount of Family Tax Benefit I received between 1/07/13 and 30/06/14.

Debt amount:
$2131
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
28 January 2017

This is the second debt I have received via centrelink the first which was a mistake made by the ato. I have paid this first debt, like they told me to while the investigation was underway and I would be reimbursed the amount. It has been over 18months since the investigation and have not received reimbursement.

Debt amount:
$4300
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 December 2016

Currently renting, studying and working part-time. Retrieved a debt letter in my letter box last week. Firstly I thought this can't be real, has to be a scam, then my gut sank. Closer inspection revealed this debt has come from Centrelink and handed on to a debt collection service.

Debt amount:
$2139
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 October 2016

Over the last 4 months, i have spent over 30 phonecalls with centrelink trying to resolve the issue (Clearly Documented on paper) Their computer system did not work, i had to take off time from work to see centrelink, their IT system is no help and frankly their staff are uninterested in helping resolve my issue.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Aged Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
3 October 2016

Many months before I finally received a short term contract at the age of 70, I wrote to Centalink. I also went and visited them and gave them a copy of my contract and asked could they please take me off the aged pension.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
27 January 2017

We have no idea how we can get this debt, we didnt claim family tax benefits. We are both in defence and cant get FTB.

Debt amount:
$1800
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
4 December 2016

So I have already been on here to tell my story but I am back again! So annoyed now as Centrelink not now the right information I spoke to someone on 5th Jan and they said you get reassessed then appeal but no not what I got told yesterday that day in January.

Debt amount:
$2800
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 January 2017

Debt Owed From FY 2012 - 2013..... I cannot believe that Centrelink have the hide to charge an extra $235 debt recovery fee on top of the amount I apparently owe???
If I don't pay the outstanding amount of $2,800 by a certain date I would have been charged interest???
What the hell......

Debt amount:
$2279
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 January 2017

Aside from the financial hardship of having to pay such an enormous amount of money to the government - which I do not believe to be legitimate - this has caused a great deal of anxiety as recourse and appealing the decision is such an arduous process.

Debt amount:
$800
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
16 March 2016

I was studying as a mature age student & was on Austudy. I picked up some part time work. I actually reported every cent i made & was still being paid the full amount of Austidy. I rang centrelink & told them there had to be a mistake & they said it was ok & that I had working credits. Years later a debt.

Debt amount:
$18000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
12 April 2016

Basically our whole parenting payment for two years ($17K) plus incurring a FTB debt last financial year for under- estimating our annual income.

Debt amount:
$8045
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
27 December 2016

I received a random text message while I was away on holidays informing me to call a number, so I called it back and it ended up being a debt collection agency for centrelink informing me that I owe $8045.39, I was shocked and irritated as I had not been on Centrelink for over 5 years so why are they chasing me for money now?

Debt amount:
$2015
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process

I had 3 different casual jobs and studied in 2011/12 financial yr, they are claiming I under declared around $6000 resulting in a 2k debt but have not sent any justification on how this has been calculated...

Debt amount:
$1494
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
31 October 2016

I was sent a letter advising that I owed close to $1500, including the recovery fee. I immediately went to check my on line Centrelink account and found that these dates are not available on my account any longer. I completed the employment assessment and it came out with the same result.

Debt amount:
$670
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
13 December 2016

As you can imagine, I'm not happy, already have anxiety and depression issues and this has set it all off more than I'd imagine.

Debt amount:
$1665
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
5 December 2016

Centrelink said that they had sent me a previous letter to which I did not respond to, I did not receive the first letter as my mother is my second contact person and she received duplicates of all my centrelink correspondence and she did not receive the first notification .

Debt amount:
$19100
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
16 November 2016

I originally received a letter telling me to confirm my employment income, so I went online and did this and my debt came out at a whopping $19,100.07!!

Debt amount:
$9200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
7 November 2016

When I received my debt advise, I felt utterly outraged to how such a debt could possibly occur. To my full knowledge and understanding I have reported my income on time and correctly. I am absolutely confused and deeply anxious. Not to this day have I received a full explanation to how such a debt was apparently created.

Debt amount:
$242
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
27 January 2017

This is the third figure they have come up with and it is still not right. I gave them a daily breakdown of the hours I worked for the 2 month period in question, as my payslips were monthly.

Debt amount:
$9517
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 March 2016

I have a history of mental illness/anxiety it has been diagnosed and I have spent some time getting the amount of care provided by professionals.

Debt amount:
$9409
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
1 December 2016

I act as Centrelink nominee for my daughter. The debt alleged that she owed $9409. After ringing Compliance and having the debt confirmed and it was strongly suggested that a payment plan be entered into. The alleged debt was completely false.

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