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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:
$1600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
16 August 2019

Stress anguish. My son was told he had incurred a debt when he wasn't even registered to receive payments. Centrelink told him that the money must have gone into our (parents) bank account. He paid the bill as he doesn't need the stress.

Debt amount:
$12000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 August 2019

My husband didn't work for about 3 year and didn't receive any payments from Centrelink. Now he owes money back that was apparently paid to him????

Major stress and can't sleep at night over how to sort this out. We have appleled and haven't heard anything back.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
24 August 2017

Received a debt in 2017 of over $5000, from 2011-2013! And even though they had my reporting data they still averaged my income out from ATO over the years. (I worked uni holidays on a station and didn’t even get Centrelink payments during holidays).

Debt amount:
$6600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
3 September 2018

I have experienced severe financial anxieties. I have not paid for things I needed such as clothes, food and fuel to get to work due to limited funds. I pay a little amount each fortnight just to get by. I have relied on other people to pay my food and bills as I cannot provide for myself.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
26 September 2018

I am a single mum with no support whatsoever from anyone else. This debt has really made us miss out on basic things

Debt amount:
$4000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
9 July 2018

Centrelink contacted me in 2017 about resubmitting my payslips from 2011 to 2013, which I did twice, I was then informed in 2018 that I had this debt to pay which I had contested and wanted it reviewed. Centrelink didn't bother to tell me that I lost and I was contacted by their collection agency that I had to pay this amount.

Debt amount:
$2100
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process

My anxiety levels have gone through the roof, my depression is back, and the stress has caused physical illness.
On top of that, I wasn't able to enjoy the lead up to my wedding due to dealing with this, and it is putting a lot of strain on a new marriage and our finances.

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
22 May 2014

I received 5 letters of different debts all adding up to $20000 have been fighting it for 4 years now without success only found out this year AFTER not during a 3 month review that I had to go to my bank and print out copys of my bank records from the years I owe debt and bring them in thats a fuckload of paperwork that im hoping the bank still

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
14 August 2019

Anxiety, depression.

Debt amount:
$5600
Payment Type:
Sickness Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
26 April 2019

My story is alike many others on this site. The debts have been raised againat me for overpayment more than 15 years ago. I visited the office and declared my wages etc and declared my change in circumstances and Domestic Violence.

Debt amount:
$2200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
5 February 2019

I apparently owed $2??? But yet they have taken my whole tax check of $4235 without notice also part or the debt was Centerlink saying I only paid $240 per fortnight rent when I sent them the lease agreement and informing them I have paid $240 per week for the last 2 + years at the same address and through a rental agency !!

Debt amount:
$11000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
14 August 2019

Was contacted in Sep 2017 to provide payslips and confirm income. Thankfully I had email payslips and confirmed it.

Debt amount:
$4500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
7 October 2018

At the time I received notice of this debt I was having chemotherapy. I was not on any payment whatsoever as I living off my savings and the few pays I was owed from my employer. I didn't actually apply for any type of Centrelink payment until September 2016 so how could I have a debt.

Debt amount:
$8500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
10 June 2019

This has got to be the most stress I have ever been under. I work seasonally and make sure I save enough money so I only have to be on Newstart for a few months until I start work again. Usually, by the time Centrelink processes my application I only receive a few payments.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 February 2018

It has caused mental health and stress levels to sky rocket, unstable work and life balance as an outcome, endless time and money costing me to chase records from my old closed bank accounts and pay to get statements printed out from old archives. Very unprofessional and very incompetent of the Australian government.

Debt amount:
$4000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Date debt issued:
6 March 2017

I was issued a $4000 debt because of my husband's payslips, (which were all declared, but Centrelink always claims they are not years later) for a payment I never received. I have also had my FTB taken at tax time this year to pay the debt.

Debt amount:
$0
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Debt amount:
$3200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 May 2018

Request this be investigated 5 times, only 2 times repayments were paused. Initial debt was July 2014-June 2016 for $4700, however since beginning of it being investigated this has changed multiple times, both with the amount AND the time period.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
26 June 2016

The stress of all this debt is not anyone should have to go through. In November 2015 I had lost my job because of my violent ex partner abusing my boss. Start of 2016 I left my ex partner and i took 2 of my 3 kids because I couldn't handle the abuse I was receiving from her.

Debt amount:
$10000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
24 June 2013

My debt started back in 2010. I was offered a full time position which meant i was back in the work force, no more struggle days. At the time i was a single mum of 2 girls and there were times where we would live on 2 minute noodles but made do. So when i was offered a full time position i was stoked!

Debt amount:
$8800
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
15 July 2019

I have been paying $40 a fortnight since 2017 they assured me my wages and tax returns would not be touched because I was in a payment plan (They have never touched it before this year)because of a debt for underestimated income.
They gave me no letter or phone call and took my whole tax return $2800

Debt amount:
$1850
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
1 May 2017

My partner and I were switching full time roles as parent/student, thus switching payments of Parenting and Austudy. What should have been two simple applications proved otherwise.

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
1 April 2014

Horrific dumb and just a joke. Went on maternity leave on 31 Aug 2010 returned first week of sep 2011 so 1 year unpaid leave.received first payment in Oct 2010 bub was nearly a month old.

Debt amount:
$7800
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 September 2018

My deabt is in appeal and has been for close to 12 months. They have put a hold on debt recovery for 3 months because the appeal still hasn't been processed and told me it can take up 2 years. But they took all my tax return of $1200 even though they have put a stop to recovering the debt.

Debt amount:
$14000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 June 2018

My husband was out of work for 3 months and while he never received a single payment from centrelink, I was receiving parenting payment to support the 4 of us as I was on unpaid maternity leave.

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