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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:
$6000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
2 January 2017

I do not even know what words to describe my frustration. I finished University & a new year has started for me. The first thing i received in the letter box is a letter titled "Account payable" stating i owe $5,000+. I repetitively questioned myself how is this possible?

Debt amount:
$60
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
4 November 2016

The debt collector called me, and ask to pay the payment immediately.
Me : What debt? I never receive any letter about debts
Collector: originally you own $300 something, but you have paid $260 last year, so you owe...
Me: I never be on any pension or benefit before tho..

Debt amount:
$1850
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
23 November 2016

This began as is standard. I received an unexpected letter asking me to confirm my income for the 2010-2011 year. I visited a centrelink office to query the letter and was told that if the figure matched my records, I should simply login and confirm it. So I did.

Debt amount:
$7012
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
19 December 2016

I am a single transgender parent who works 3 jobs and have been clawing my way out of debt this year only for them to drop this on me a week before xmas. This makes me wonder why I even bother.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
4 January 2017

I was issued not one, but two separate debt letters. The first referred to when I received newstart allowance in 2013/2014.

Debt amount:
$4458
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
10 November 2016

Centrelink issued a debt for a $4,458, which included a "Recovery Fee" of $261, for alleged under reported income for a period of study in 2010-2011.

Debt amount:
$5800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
22 December 2017

I am lucky enough to be in the position that I knew there was absolutely no chance this debt was correct and had contacts who could supply me with my payslips. Hence, it hasn't affected me too much emotionally from that standpoint.

Debt amount:
$1100
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
9 December 2016

Both people I have spoken to regarding this debt have been forced to admit I have received this debt in error but are powerless to do anything about it, they were forced into admitting it when it is CLEARLY listed in my records as payments stopping around the date my debt starts and then starting again at the end of my debt period, meaning I hav

Debt amount:
$69000
Payment Type:
Aged Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
10 November 2016

When the debt notice arrived, I knew it was nonsense. (I hadn't earned 69 000 since 2010!!)

However, I was very affected by it - I could not sleep that night and spent most of the next few days in tears.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
19 October 2016

The debt that arrived just prior to Christmas was very upsetting, I instantly felt anxious & had trouble sleeping as I worried about it.
I knew I had always been honest when reporting my income, but I felt I was accused of being guilty, even before I had a chance to prove my innocence

Debt amount:
$1578
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
18 December 2016

Got my centrelink BS sorted out at the end of last week!

Debt amount:
$1400
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
8 December 2016

I have not relied on Centrelink for a long time but am still a financially struggling student with both anxiety and depression. Christmas time is already very hard for me and before I saw that it was a widespread issue I felt so alone I was contemplating suicide.

Debt amount:
$2671
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 December 2016

Well at first , i received the assessment process letter , i rang them up and advised that the information they had was incorrect , the lady on the phone advised me that this was unusual and would help me complete my review , i had faith that they would review it , but i was sadly mistaken.

Debt amount:
$3500
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Date debt issued:
15 December 2016

My Family Assistance was cut off with no warning in December 2016. There was nothing in the post, and so I checked the myGov website, which said that as I had not responded to Centrelink communications, my matter had been referred to debt collectors.

Debt amount:
$3500
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
3 January 2017

Have only just got this today but I had lost my job yesterday. I am extremely anxious and will have to draw down on Superannuation to make ends meet. We are also looking after my daughters 18 month old son but we are not able to claim allowance for him because she is a single parent struggling herself.

Debt amount:
$6723
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
3 October 2016

I feel helpless, I tried appealing because the debt was such a long period. The problem was they wanted payslips to assess how much I really owe them, not all my employers kept my records. So I'm struggling to gather that information.

Debt amount:
$475
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
29 September 2016

I knew this debt was false as soon as I saw the dates where they claim that I didn't report my earnings from 7th April 2011 till May 18th 2011. I was made redundant from my job and replaced with people on 457 visas on the 7th April 2011.

Debt amount:
$7317
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 October 2017

Please bear with me, I've made this as brief as humanly possible.

Debt amount:
$3274
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
28 January 2017

I'm extremely stressed.
Tired of this system, suicide is a common thought.

Debt amount:
$6800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 January 2017

I have been feeling stressed about the debt because I don't know how I can repay it. I submitted an official proof of full-time enrollment to them and they still say that I need to make repayments even if I have launched an appeal against the debt. I don't know where I'm going to get the money.

Debt amount:
$3400
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 October 2016

Luckily I am pretty familiar with Centrelink processes. First thing anyone still on payments should do is have the repayments reduced to $15 a fortnight. If even that will cause financial stress, they can suspend repayments, but I've read they've been told to resist that.

Debt amount:
$6286
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
24 November 2016

So my mum got a debt notice because she told them she works casual at christmas for australia post and she told them but somehow shes got this huge debt. she couldnt stop crying and called my sister who is working as the only gp in a country town. so my sister had to take work leave to calm my mum down and my mum thinks shes going to jail.

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
21 December 2016

paralized with depression have been considering suicide since I received this notice. How am I suppose to pay this when already multiple times throughout the year I go to bed hungry because I'm unable to pay for food medication and housing expenses on the allowance I get

Debt amount:
$913
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
16 January 2017

Today I received a text saying Centrelink would call me to discuss my payments. I missed the call. Eventually, after 9 attempts to call and (only) 36 minutes on hold, I was able to speak to someone who told me I owe $913.51 for Newstart from 1.1.13 to 17.5.13- 4 years later!

Debt amount:
$3293
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
28 November 2016

I received the debt notice the same time I was organising my finances for the Xmas period Having a debt in the thousands I realised I would have to make cutbacks where I wouldn't usually and would have to possibly loan money to get me through Christmas.

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