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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:
$384
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
11 October 2017

I received a robot call from Centrelink last October telling me I was overpaid and I owed around $2000!
I couldn’t believe it! I was freaking out!

The girl said to me that it’s only $2000?
Really I said well if you feel that way maybe you should pay it!

Debt amount:
$766
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
23 January 2018

Spent 6 years at university living dollar to dollar and quite poor to finish and get a mediocre job.
In between paying back staggering amounts of tax and HECS debt I get lumped with this.

Debt amount:
$3600
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 November 2016

Have had this issue placed under review, only to receive no information from Centrelink for 6+ months.
Even contacted them to try and find out what was happening but no one could tell me.

Debt amount:
$917
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
30 November 2017

I have only just completed my first year out of university and as a graduate I don't exactly earn a lot, as majority of it either goes to tax or towards my HEC's debt.

Debt amount:
$915
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 January 2018

This supposed debt dates back to 2011, when I was grieving for the loss of my best friend to suicide.

Debt amount:
$300
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
20 December 2016

my debt stemmed from my first and only job. when i got the job i tried to end my relationship with centrelink, but they insisted i had to continue to report my income and attend job services for an undisclosed amount of time

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
2 January 2018

A couple of weeks before the end of financial year I got an angry call from Centrelink telling me i was avoiding them. Turns out they sent me a letter to an old address and when the due date arrived, they called and threatened me.

Debt amount:
$13641
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
5 January 2018

Was at work today and opened the electronic letter... WTF!!
Caused disruption to my work all day, having to make phone calls to centrelink and previous employers.
Absolutely ridiculous

Debt amount:
$4000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process

Whilst routinely reporting income online, I noticed I had a new notification to update some details.... After updating those details, I randomly continued to scroll down the page. At the bottom of the page I noticed it said I owed $4000!!!! I HAVE NEVER BEEN NOTIFIED ABOUT THIS 'DEBT' IN ANY WAY!!!!!

Debt amount:
$8400
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 October 2015

My DEBT has put a huge financial stress over my head. Money is tight as it is.
barely being able to pay my bills and they keep withdrawing $100 per fortnight from my bank account. I've tried negotiating cheaper repayments as i've still got about $5600 left to pay but they won't lower repayments.

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
26 November 2016

When I received my debt back in November of 2016, I had knots in my stomach and cried and just couldn't believe I had received a letter of this nature, it wasn't until not long after that I realised that so many other individuals would be targeted too.

Debt amount:
$5714
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
9 November 2017

They raised my debt in my opinion because I told them I was lodging a complaint about Centrelink & the Early Release of Super section of Dept Human Services over their treatment of me while in hospital having a leg amputated with the Ombudsman (I did that).

Debt amount:
$14600
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
8 September 2017

Very stressed both mentally, emotionally & financially & got very sick .

Debt amount:
$775
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
24 October 2016

This debt has been a nightmare for me, due to the debt being from 2012 it was very hard for me to get and provide the required information by the extended due date so Centrelink started forcefully collecting the debt from my fortnightly payment at $60 each payment, this has made it extremely hard to live and has now got me in debt with other com

Debt amount:
$6586
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 July 2015

This debt has far reaching effects, I suffer from severe depression bordering on suicide, I am living with my parents as I can't afford to live anywhere else, I am also concerned that my taxation refund will be taken to part pay the debt.

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
12 September 2017

EVERYONE should appeal! The centrelink office even gave me the form, it's also online.

Debt amount:
$1600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
22 November 2014

It's left me not being able to pay for food or a full fortnight's rent.
I'm always scrapping by and still trying to pay it.
Would have been easier to have nothing from them at all.

Debt amount:
$9600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
5 October 2017

I had to research all the facts and read the appropriately named SSAct, you should too, no case is the same.

Initial review officer (i requested after calling centrelink debt recovery) called once and left no message so concluded that i owed over 9k for moving from a share house to a home with a parent and not telling them.

Debt amount:
$8200
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
31 October 2017

This is ridiculous!!!! I received a letter from Centrelink via registered post which told me to confirm my employment income.
I went through the entire process to gather all my payslips and enter in all the payments online. After I submitted all the information, Centrelink told me it turns out they overpaid me $8200+ !!!!!!

Debt amount:
$3500
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
15 November 2017

After failing to do my tax for a few years (my fault). I have now been issued with a demand letter from centrelink for $3,500 of the $4,400 I received on Ausstudy while retraining as a teacher.

Debt amount:
$4300
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
13 November 2017

I am on a lower income and I've done my best to get back into the work force.
I understand that my partner is on a higher income but I don't understand that we are in debt as we never received any FTB for the past 24 months. ?

Debt amount:
$1053
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 October 2017

In brief this has worried me greatly. It has caused great stress.
I dont have the kind of money they're saying I owe them lying around. I'm a very low income earner.

Debt amount:
$3408
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
8 November 2017

First correspondence about any potential debt was from a collection agency, obviously I was concerned and confused so I logged into my mygov account and there I also found an owing balance but no further details of how this debt was obtained or over what period.

Debt amount:
$0
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
28 September 2017

I worked for a company for a few weeks doing vacation work while I was at uni. Some of this time occured in July of the 12-13 financial year. I ended up getting a graduate job at the same company in December. I cancelled my Youth Allowance in the month prior to starting work.

Debt amount:
$4904
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 August 2017

I know there are few weeks where I miss-reported or did not report, but these were due to Centrelink's confusing interface and the change over to the MyGov website. I was also told many times by Centrelink that I did not have to report my income during certain periods.

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