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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:
$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.

Debt amount:
$4400
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 December 2016

Well considering I was given a total and permanent disability for PTSD and Anxiety after 13 years of policing service but I chose to get more counselling and get my crap together, then actually return to work because I didn't want to be on a pension for 25 years. I feel pretty upset about it and the anxiety has come back fairly strong.

Debt amount:
$335
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
9 December 2016

Thankfully i didn't even know about it until post-christmas since i was only contacted via email despite centrelink having my posting address and both my landline and mobile numbers. So from the get-go i'm already past my due date to submit any documentation to counter the claim.

Debt amount:
$1160
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
2 December 2016

received prior to xmas, i work casually only, stuffed up all xmas plans,holidays, children,etc, suggested i pay minimum $ per week bk to c/l by solicitor, so far payed $40.00 only to slow debt collector

Debt amount:
$2190
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
23 December 2016

Waste of time

Debt amount:
$6050
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
16 December 2015

I got this letter saying that I owe Centerlink money because they overpaid me for the above period. I was receiving Austudy for 12 months while finishing my honours degree and I told Centerlink that would be working when I initially filled out the online form.

Debt amount:
$907
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
27 October 2016

The original letter asking me to confirm my income for the 2010/11 tax year was sent to my old address. I only received that letter because I happened to go to that address for some classes at the end of October.

Debt amount:
$1000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
14 January 2017

I'm 19 and I live out of home. I attend full time university and have a casual job to help me get by, along with receiving Youth Allowance. Before Christmas in 2016 I was required to confirm my employment income from the 7th of November 2014, until the 3rd of July 2015. A bit crazy right?

Debt amount:
$1500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
4 January 2017

Further to my previous story. Called to negotiate a lower payment to my debt repayments.

They didn't update my records and they are still trying to make me pay out of my fortnightly work income as well as my rent assistance.

Debt amount:
$1900
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
4 May 2016

Apparently I was reporting wrong, which I still don't get. I also resigned from my job end of April 2012 but they wanted the missing payslips to end of June. No amount of explaining to them that they didnt exist because I was not working helped. So they added on what I would have earnt and made it my debt. I still do not understand it.

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