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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:
$1650
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
24 June 2018

I was asked for records of my payslips in April 2018 as I was being audited, which I provided to centerlink within 2 days.

The lady I spoke to (I have recorded all names I have spoken to) said she would get back to me within two days.
I did not hear anything and thought it was all finished.

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
7 August 2018

So annoyed. I've wasted days on this rubbish. How dare they accuse me of defrauding. I erred on the side of caution every time I had to report.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
28 November 2016

I was not aware I had any “debt” until it was garnished from my tax return 5 years later.

Debt amount:
$600
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 April 2018

In March 2018 I got a letter asking to confirm my employment income from 2015.
I know i always report perfectly. Lucky i have same employer so could get the payslips.

At the time i was pregnant. Had just gone from parent payment as my son turned 8 ( had to move house to cheaper rent already) so was already starving.

Debt amount:
$8000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 August 2018

I am a young carer under 25 for my mother who is schizophrenic. I work casually in retail.

My income for 15-16 is 12k
My income for 16-17 is 11k

ATO contacted me and asked me to confirm my income and I submitted all my payslips to confirm my annual income stated above.

Debt amount:
$3440
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
3 July 2018

I'm still studying and working full-time to support myself, and finally get off Centrelink payments, the whole time I was getting them was stressful.

I've been threatened with a debt 3 times over the last 5 years, the first debt apparently occurred when I was 16.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
30 September 2017

Through FOI got data that didn't match mine including a copy of the C/Ls original ADEX Debt Schedule Report which showed they had me working full time with one employer and concurrently working with two other employers on some occassions and didn't show all reported income for the whole period.

Debt amount:
$3816
Payment Type:
Sickness Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
18 January 2018

Recently being diagnosed with MS i had to get sickness benfits as a bad flare-up put me out of work for 2 weeks.

Getting put on sickness benefits was a problem as it took six weeks for me to get a payment and i had to borrow money off others to get by during those first two weeks.

Debt amount:
$5078
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
18 July 2018

I first received a letter over a year ago stating I owed closer to $10,000 which sent me into a state of extreme anxiety even though I know it was preposterous!
I was asked to give individual weekly payslips from multiple past employments which I had to contact myself which gave me further anxiety.

Debt amount:
$4028
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
29 July 2018

I got the letter asking me to confirm my amounts from 2013/14 and 2014/15 like everyone else .

Debt amount:
$1200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
10 December 2017

This happened to me last year.
Just leading up to Christmas I received a nasty letter stating that I owed around 1200 dollars.
This was a result of the centrelink glitch, same as everyone else on here. Between working roles I was on the dole for about 2-3 months of that year.

Debt amount:
$32000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

The shock of this debt has affected me greatly
I fear I’ll never get on top of it and it will hang over me forever

Debt amount:
$1176
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 April 2018

Beware they are taking the false debt directly out of tax returns now.

It's been like a one-way conversation.
15 months ago I provided all the evidence which if any logical person spend 5 minutes on it will make sense of, they still sent me a letter of debt this April.

Debt amount:
$12000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
1 November 2016

Centrelink issued me with a debt of over $12,000 from when I was studying.
I was receiving youth allowance at the time and getting roughly $260 a fortnight.

Over the period I received under $4,000. I was gobsmacked that the debt was 3 times the payment I received.

Debt amount:
$5900
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
11 July 2018

I just got a call from Centrelink, I had changed my address and they sent the letter to the old address
Anyway I had to confirm who I was when he called me ?

I told him and he said between 2009 and 2010 may have run into 2011 I was overpaid

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
13 October 2017

I knew nothing about this debt until last night. I had to look it up in the app. No one told me I had already paid $1300 off the debt.
I could barely sleep, which is not good considering I have been diagnosed with Bipolar.

Debt amount:
$10877
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
5 July 2018

I am currently unemployed with mental health issues such anxiety and depression as well as hormonal disorder I am finding it hard to hold down a job.

Debt amount:
$1700
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 April 2015

I suffer from depression and anxiety. I'm also a recovering addict. Not quite sure of exactly yrs but around 2009 to 2012 I was working at that stage of my life I wasn't an addict.

Debt amount:
$625
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
5 July 2018

I was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer at 24 years old. I was without work for 6 months and already have the stress of cancer without the stress of having to pay back money

Debt amount:
$2057
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
29 June 2018

Received the 'debt' letter just yesterday. I'm assuming the initial 'explain yourself' letter was sent to my previous address, because I never got it.

Debt amount:
$19000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
4 July 2017

I received notice in August 2017 that I needed to confirm my income from 2010/2012.

They say something payslips not matching and i owe this huge debt.

Financially, mentally and physically exhausted.
Currently i have no stable accommodation and looking for a breath of air where ever and when ever i can.

Debt amount:
$2100
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
2 July 2018

I have been very anxious about this experience.

Debt amount:
$950
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
26 June 2018

Causing grief where it is not due, bringing back anxiety attacks whilst at work.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 June 2018

I'm lucky that the claimed debt amount would not be an issue to pay.

Luckily I was taught by my parents to keep all payslips and documents from a young age so I can easily prove this debt is wrong.

Debt amount:
$2319
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
27 June 2018

I was on Austudy between late September to mid December of 2014 because I was a full-time student (over 25), with a crappy retail job and on-top of that I was supporting my divorced, PTSD/Depressed Mother which was why I needed the centrelink payments in the first place to help cover expenses like rent, food, electricity, internet etc.

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