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
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.
I have only received the initial letter, which states "This is not a debt letter"
I had immediate anxiety about this debt, as I was certain of my honesty in my situation, I have raised 3 boys alone and struggled for 7 years, only working permanent for 2 years
While my debt may seem small compared to many others the intial amount I was told that I owed was $2,751.42. I was informed of this via a phone call at 2pm on the day they insisted it had to be paid before being put into the hands of a debt collector. It seems the staff at C#ntrelink are as ill informed as their customers. What a joke.
Was obstructed at every turn by centrelink, refused to answer my letters or supply Debt explanation report, there officers upheld the bogus decision.
When heard by the AAT is was rejected on multiple counts
1/ Centrelink had information in onscreen doc reports debunking the claim.
2/ The length of time 6 to 7 years.
Around the back end of 2015, I started receiving letters from Dunn and Bradstreet.. very vague ones that just said "call us".. some of these letters didn't even have the D&B letterhead on it, they just said "Hi! please call this number regarding a serious issue"..
Lost, did not know how to respond, still lost.
I work in education. The casual contracts never span a full year. So every year from 2011 to 2015 I've had a period were I haven't been employed. During such times time, I claimed Newstart.
This is by far the biggest stress anxiety hole i have ever had.
Trying to appeal this debt has now consumed 45 angry hours of being on hold only to have each day at 5:30pm a dead signal sound.
I tried going directly to centerlink and they tell me they are not dealing with the debt side i have to call.
I recently got a letter saying that they miscalculated my partners earnings and now I have to pay the money back, while I rang them up to arrange for them to take some money each fortnight out I am still shaken and upset about the whole situation, I have Aspergers along with C-PTSD and anxiety and this has caused my anxiety to go through the roo
My debt, to me was obviously wrong.
I had no idea I had been overpaid at all my Centrelink. Last year I owed money to the ATO due to being overpaid- and I happily paid that back. Now I'm handed a debt starting from 7 years ago stating I owe all this money. I always was honest in my income declaration!
Massive amounts of stress, cant afford to buy food as cost of living too high for one income family and we are a very large family.
feeling no way out as im studying to work next year when my 3 yr old starts school.