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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:
$3000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
14 August 2018

Living hell just got divorced had nothing. Had to pay them 3000 had to get it from parents couldn't pay it back decided to live on streets though shame don't know why I got it has to pay it back as I am from NZ have been here and paying tax 37 years to scared to get sent back so I paid it. Still living on streets

Debt amount:
$2700
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
13 December 2016

I was doing year 12 and on youth allowance, finished school and had trouble finding work, wasn't until February that I found casual work (turned into full time and still there), the wages I earned from February to June 30th was then divided by 52, and I was told by robodebt I owed $2700. This was 2 weeks before Christmas.

Debt amount:
$9500
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 August 2019

I am writing on behalf of my wife who has been the victim of Centrelink Robo-Debt. $5500 of her tax return was taken with no contact from Centrelink and they propose to take another $4000 if the matter is not resolved. After providing documentation on two occassions and told it was resolved.

Debt amount:
$4000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
23 April 2019

This was for several debts issued together for a combination of Newstart and FTB.

Took me dozens of phone calls and yelling to get the numbers reviewed and reassessed.

I kept asking to justify their claim: on what basis, what facts, what numbers and what logic they were claiming I had debts.

Debt amount:
$7200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 March 2018

Copped a debt from 2015 for apparently not declaring my earnings.probkem is I stopped reporting as I was earning too much.appealed the debt 2mths ago and go a call back saying it wasn't right and he would call me in a few days,no reply!

Debt amount:
$3600
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
3 November 2018

5 years after I was paid I received a letter saying I owed them $3600. I was told they coded my payments wrong for a few months while I was unemployed, even though I had given them all the correct relevant paperwork and information.

Debt amount:
$5700
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
3 July 2019

I was slugged with this dent out of the blue. Ir took hours on the phone to just get a letter semt put how ot was calculated, and it quickly became clear that this sham accounting should be completely illegal. Anyone who has even a little sense can see that.

Debt amount:
$13200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
22 February 2019

I was first contacted by Centrelink in 2018, seeking verification of my earnings for several periods of time between 2012 - Jun 30 2016. In this tiny frame, I was predominantly working as a casual relief teacher, and doing both temporary and casual hospitality and retail jobs.

Debt amount:
$8000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

Stress, anxiety for both me & my husband. As my husband is my fulltime carer. I'm a palliative care patient as when I stop home hemodialysis my only option is palliative care because of the serious illness and complications of chronic disease I suffer.

Debt amount:
$19000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
2 January 2015

Thought i was on top for the first time in 30 years and whammy, major depression

Debt amount:
$2900
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 July 2019

Called a month ago when I received letter. Guy a spoke to could see error. Said he was going to fix it. Month later started loosing money from payment. Called again. They said it was a tax department error. Tax department said they got the figures from Centrelink so it's there error.

Debt amount:
$800
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
12 June 2018

I was sent a letter for debts owed without any accounting as to how I was overpaid. I reported all my income that year and my partners too. If I took time off to appeal it I would lose hundreds in wages so I agreed to a payment plan.

Debt amount:
$33000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
28 February 2019

This debt has severely affected my mental health.
I suffer from terrible anxiety and I constantly fear that my life is ruined because of this. I cannot afford to pay back such a large amount of money quickly.

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

Being unemployed at the time, finalising my fathers estate, looking after my mother and preparing to move interstate in order to find new work, it was very stressful. I will say that the coal face workers had lots of empathy but their hands were tied. I felt that they didn't want to be doing this.

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
6 February 2016

One Saturday morning in either February or March 2016 I received a phone call on my mobile from Centrelink. I thought that it was odd that they should call on a Saturday. I was told that I owed $3000 as a result of overpayment on my Newstart Allowance. I told them that I didn't have the money in my account.

Debt amount:
$1500
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
8 March 2019

I got the debt because my ex husband misrepresented his income so I supposedly got more child support than they thought however he doesn't pay child support and they aren't doing anything.

Debt amount:
$8800
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won

Couldn't sleep ,didn't know where to turn then with all the stress and expense not even a sorry or any explanation.

Debt amount:
$1200
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 May 2019

Called 3 weeks prior to gettinv married to let them know i was getting married on November 3 and would be away on homeymoon for 1 week. Was told to come to office on my return and do all paperwork. Returned and went into office and did all relevant paperwork.

Debt amount:
$1400
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
20 March 2019

I was just shocked considering it apparently happened in 2012 when i was working and probably due to payment from work not being immediately accessible, I probably didn't report accurately, hence just accepting it could be true, plus the fact..I don't have documentation that far back to prove otherwise.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
6 August 2014

I had to report every 2 weeks , which I did with my pay slip, always, but they say there was an error

Debt amount:
$7400
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
15 March 2019

I had just lost 2 jobs when I was hit with this debt.
I'm fortunate enough that my friends were accommodating and helped me through into getting a new job, but this feels like a shackle which I'll never break free from.

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
17 August 2016

I suffer from severe anxiety and, as a result, have trouble completing paperwork- including taxes. I take full responsibility for not submitting my tax since 2013. However, Centrelink has somehow managed to data match my income reporting with non-existent tax returns to claim I have underreported over tthree years and owe over $7,000.

Debt amount:
$5100
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
2 August 2019

Huge blow to our family budget. Our kids are the ones that miss out with the financial strains it places on us. The way that it's managed is highly stressful for families that are already under a lot of stress.

Debt amount:
$12000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
25 July 2019

This whole system is a joke. I have always reported a higher annual earning than I actually earn per year to avoid such debts as I am a casual employee and have no idea how much I will earn on a weekly basis.

Debt amount:
$11000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Date debt issued:
2 July 2018

What I don’t understand is they have told me I have a debt once for the period of 2017-2018 of $4000. It thought that would be it but then they called again in early 2019 to tell me I had a $7000 debt for the period of 2017-2018. So effectively it’s now $11,000 for the same period.

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