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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:
$11912
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
21 November 2016

I can't sleep, I am constantly stressed and irritable and I have no idea how I am going to pay it all back.

Debt amount:
$1500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
3 January 2017

I'm a 35 year old single female who suffers from an anxiety disorder living in Sydney away from my family in Adelaide.

Debt amount:
$3800
Payment Type:
Abstudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
28 December 2016

I was on a disability support pension and was required to report every fortnight. I followed the reporting to the T. I jumped through the hoops as required and did everything that was required.

Debt amount:
$7300
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
26 August 2015

Many hours and days were wasted trying to resolve this error that was caused by a 'computer glitch' ha ha, where my youngest child's initial entry to Australia (permanent resident visa) had been overlooked in the system and suddenly, all these years later we were being asked to repay family tax benefit for this period of time stat

Payment Type:
Aged Pension

On returning from overseas on 3/12, the Centrelink website would not let me report employment income. I went in to the Centrelink office on 19/12 and reported income. On 1/1/17 I reported online but the website said it accepted, but could not process my report.

Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
26 January 2017

I lost my job. I went on newstart. I found a job that was 22.5 hours a week - 3 days per week. So ring Centrelink AND my job provider to understand what I need to do as far as reporting as I AM SO SCARED I am going to get money from Centrelink that I shouldn't get. I don't want to receive it and then pay it back.

Debt amount:
$800
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
1 January 2011

I was on the phone to Centrelink, talking to a very lovely lady (it was years ago, so date and exact amount are approximate). We were working through something, updating details or something, when her computer froze. She couldn't figure out what happened. She apologised, and asked if she could put me on hold while she tried to fix it.

Debt amount:
$5200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
12 October 2016

I went through the online process alone the first time, and got a debt generated of $5,200.95 - I freaked!

Debt amount:
$11060
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 January 2017

I feel angry and upset. I am a hard working honest person, my community's government is treating my like a thief. Totally devastating!!

Debt amount:
$2615
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 January 2017

I have not received centrelink since 2014. On January 12, I got a centrelink sms, telling me to check my 'my gov' account. When the website finally let me login, I discovered $2615.52 debt owing.

Debt amount:
$1300
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
25 January 2017

Another False Debt being raised by the Government. My employer no longer exists and because I cannot provided payslips I cannot prove my earnings for the period, and have been "assumed" that I earnt income which I didn't. Centrelink won't listen and have issued a debt.

Debt amount:
$915
Payment Type:
Aged Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
9 January 2017

I knew as soon as I got the debt letter that it was wrong. I work intermittently and receive a part pension. It took several calls over a few weeks with the most recent being over 1.5 hours to clear the erroneous debt and was not a great way to start a new year.

Debt amount:
$790
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
3 October 2016

At the beginning of October I received my debt letter totalling $789.53 for the three months that I was claiming Centrelink benefits between early Nov 2014 and mid Feb 2015.

Debt amount:
$820
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
12 January 2017

I now have a $820 debt on top of trying to pay back the ato, child care fees, child support. Anxiety levels through the roof. I'm only just making it pay cheque to pay cheque. I never thought I would end up with a debt all of a sudden. I feel scared of them chasing me for it.

Debt amount:
$99
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
9 December 2016

The debt was tiny and ridiculously old. The data they had used to infer the debt was obviously wrong. Luckily I could find the payslips in my email archive. No real stress, just a waste of time.

Debt amount:
$1400
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
29 November 2016

This whole thing has had nothing but made me angry and anxious.

Debt amount:
$9000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
24 January 2017

I was studying claiming Austudy or youth allowance or something then suffered a horrific ordeal which left me incapacitated with severe PTSD, I coudn't seek help and continued to live off the student benefit but was failing all my uni subjects.

Debt amount:
$9000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
14 December 2016

I think it is absolutely ridiculous and greedy that this has happened. Given the fact Centrelink are taking $100 a fortnight out of my Centrelink pay, I really couldn't care less (it's their money anyway, and I earn enough to not have it crippling me).

Debt amount:
$3196
Payment Type:
Sickness Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
5 December 2016

I received initial letter of intent at the start of November 2016...I complied with everything I was required to do eg.. provide documentation and letters of support from my employer and yet I still received my bill of $3196 on the 5/12/2016...due date 3/1/2017.

Debt amount:
$10782
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 January 2017

This is a disgrace, it was 4.5 years ago it's going to be a mammoth task to find everything to prove them wrong, it's not a small amount of money and being on Carers pension isn't easy, this is stretching budgets to breaking point.

Debt amount:
$3266
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
22 November 2017

I am the mother never seen my girl so stressed, wants to give up in her life, due to this , we need help

Debt amount:
$5663
Payment Type:
Aged Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
14 October 2016

This "debt" was incurred whilst I was a 78 year old worker. I reported all my earned wages to Centrelink by phone as required. I received a letter in October 2016 asking me to confirm income information online (I have never had a computer and never used one). I am forced to repay $136.80 per fortnight out of my Age pension.

Debt amount:
$12485
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
17 January 2017

Well it started out at $12,485.31. And I sorted it all out over the phone before xmas, and the person from centrelink admitted there was a huge mistake by there part and I no need to worry. Thinking it was all done and dusted, I received a letter today saying the amount is now $6,497.10.

Debt amount:
$3200
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 December 2016

Very busy time of year, compounded by a death in the family, but the point is that it should not have happened.

Debt amount:
$43000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
15 December 2016

My life has drained as currently looking after 8 kids 5 kids of my sister and 3 kids of my own, my marriage was always like a boat, never settle or separated and he lived at his mum house some years and months and we go back. I am genuine and always worked and got shocked that I got $42k debt not sure why?

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