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
On an emotional level this was a disaster for me.
I was confident that I did not owe centrelink any money and had records to prove it. Getting someone at centrelink to listen to me was an incredibly difficult and time consuming experience.
I already suffer from chronic depression and anxiety.
This has been going of for 2 years and I still am yet to get a direct answer or any help for which i have asked for since the first letter.
Over the past 10 years, every year (all but one!) I seem to have a Centrelink debt show up on my tax return.
The debt has made my life a living hell. I thankfully live with my mum, but nonetheless it has made things incredibly difficult for me, especially since I'm unemployed.
I've been stressed and even contemplated ending my life, but thankfully, I haven't.
I'm suffering from high anxiety, stress, shock, confusion, annoyance, sadness, lonely.
Centrelink have sent my partner multiple letters advising of different amounts owed back to them, the highest one being $41,700, though then they advised that this amount was incorrect and the correct amount was only around $7,000.
My partner and I reported our income accurately and according to the income tests we were entitled to FTB payments.
Toward the end of the financial year, I changed jobs and got paid out 4 weeks annual leave from my previous employer whilst starting work at my new employer.
I am about to go through it again.
Causing enormous stress for me and my family.
Not eating, not sleeping, pouring over paperwork again, constant panic attacks . Chasing payslips from 5 years ago now.
I was always extremely diligent with my reporting and working.
This has to stop now.
I first received my letter on Friday 7th July (yet it was dated 9th November 2016) it was amongst a bulk lot of mail collected & forwarded to me by the new tenants who live at my old address.
I feel I will have a debt but not my fault - a casual teacher on Austudy - due to loss of job.
Got the letter asking me to confirm income... but because I said no I didnt have the bank statement from July 2013 for $50 I have been unable to confirm the rest.
I've had so many issues with Centrelink starting with first applying for YA when starting uni and it took something like 15 weeks for my claim to be processed then denied and then reviewed and found to be in error.
Debt is my daughters. Its from 4 and 5 years ago. I am helping her in the appeal.
Already we know it will be reduced.
Don't give up people. Everyone should appeal. Sign every petition you can.
Write to Tudge And Porter asking Robo debt to be abolished.
These debt recovery schemes have put my extended family into a place of ruin.
Huge anxiety. They are asking for payslips from 7+years ago. How is it my fault they over payed me and why has it taken them 7 years to get it
This debt made me feel so anxious knowing that there is no way i owe that amount
In January 2017, 21 yr old son agreed in a single phone call to debt collectors to back pay $18k worth of youth allowance and Austudy. He kept this hidden from his Mother and I.
I knew something was wrong & one day found a Pawnbrokers ticket for a $300 loan against his watch.
It is really unclear how to contest this debt, I think I have?
It seems to have been reviewed ? A reduced debt notice was issued, but it still seems to be incorrect.
How many times to I have to provide this government body the same piece of information? We're up to six times so far.
When will it end?
We haven't logged onto to Mygov account for a while as we had no particular need to. We then received a Dun and Bradstreet letter demanding $8518.00 be in their office immediately bold and underlined.
Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS) among other conditions can be triggered by stress. During 2nd appeal process for the debt, the "centrelink" officer would not advise time of call, call back or sms so medication could be taken to manage the NCS.
I am being pursed for a debt raised from youth allowance in 2010-2013 (7 years ago!!!). I received this allowance whilst studying full time and also working casually for multiple employers over the three year period. I have received both a letter and a phone call from Department of Human Services informing me of my debt.
I phoned to inform them my partner had gotten employment even before he started the job. Recieved a letter saying that I owe $10,000 in overpayments as our income was underestimated. They have a record of my phone call but it's my fault they didn't update it ????
I just got back from over seas been 4 years away and join centrelink June .im told I have a dept with no idea no letter im forced to pay $88.00 fortnight back .but there refusing to show me how it accured .and every one every day gives different answers. I get first payment and pay det on it $88.00
High anxiety to deal with a large amount right in the middle of the year before tax time, utterly disgraceful that the government can target honest citizens for the benefit of their agenda. Very upset and disappointed that we have been targeted.
Whilst I knew I had a legitimate debt I needed to pay off from Centerlink in the amount of $1000, I was issued and continue to pay down on a debt directly caused by a CSR lying to me about the payment I should have received.
My wife and I are traumatised stressed and depressed by Centrelinks accusations.We were just surviving and almost making ends meet on our DSP, Centrelink immediately cut this by over $200 and then slap a $90,000+ overpayment demand on top.