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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:
$1417
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 September 2017

A few years back I decided I was sufficiently stable to not have to rely on Centrelink anymore.

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
1 May 2017

I (husband) am a commission paid salesman. Because my commissions and, ultimately, my end-of-year total earnings is unknown to me at the beginning of any given financial year, I was advised by the Centrelink staff to give my base wage. Since that is very low in comparison to my actual earnings, I estimated my earnings.

Debt amount:
$8207
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
23 February 2017

The debt was from June 2011 to October 2012… ridiculous.

My daughter requested for more information about the debt, she call numerous times and done nothing and start draw $95.20 out of my support pension.
Must be a huge mistake, extremely stressful for my family.

Debt amount:
$6080
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 July 2017

We have been just scraping through by the month with the payments this debt will be paid by drawing back on a loan - single income two kids. They both just had their birthdays and we are leading into Christmas. Wish us luck.

Debt amount:
$14000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
3 April 2017

I suffer from schizophrenia and was hospitalised in 2014 when this debt overpayment began.
My partner is my only carer and was a temporary resident ineligible for any income payments from centrelink, None.

Debt amount:
$8750
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 August 2017

Major financial stress

Debt amount:
$77000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 August 2017

I gave Centrelink my income information three times.
Two years later they came back to me and say I owe them $77,000.

They have no record of the info I gave them.
They are calling me a liar to my face and have said I should be happy I am not being prosecuted for fraud.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
21 November 2016

Issued a few weeks before xmas, with no warning and a demand for $6000 to be repaid before Xmas, I was rendered incapacitated by re-traumatisation and a serious relapse in my health conditions.

Debt amount:
$1800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
9 October 2017

I recieved a debt of $1800 and i got the adex sent to me.

Debt amount:
$150
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
30 October 2017

Are they creating debts now? I suddenly got an extra $150 in my fortnightly payment along with a letter stating I received it. The letter had no details explaining why. Ive had no changes in circumstances for 2 years. I went to centrelink to find out it was a "glitch in the system".

Debt amount:
$17000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
25 August 2017

I too have been victimized by the automated debt recovery scheme, eventually pinned down by the Probe group.
Centrelink initially claimed an illegitimate debt of more than $17,000.

Debt amount:
$9000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
1 October 2017

I am a support person for a person who is on the disability support pension. This person has extreme anxiety associated with being on the spectrum, dyslexic and intellectual disability. Now having to deal with a complex situation such as receiving an employment confirmation letter. That is totally incorrect.

Debt amount:
$329
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
19 October 2017

I am anti-depressants, & my anxiety levels are skyrocketing because Centrelink aren't listening to me.

I think this is one of those things where you know it's wrong but you end up having to pay anyway because they have you over a barrel.

Debt amount:
$22603
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
23 October 2017

Like you have no idea how the hell am i meant to pay $22,603 thats a brand new car no one can afford that.
I just dont know what to bout this it makes my anxiety levels through the roof.

Debt amount:
$0
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
17 October 2017

Received an E-mail to my private E-mail account from myGov, to notify me that I had a new message available in my inbox. This email notification was sent to me 3 days after the message was generated in my inbox on myGov account... The moment I opened this message and read that they wanted to confirm my income details, my stomach dropped.

Debt amount:
$7500
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
23 October 2017

I am a single parent of a 4 year old.

Debt amount:
$9000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
4 October 2017

Debt collection agency is hassling me late at night and many times a day.
I’m a uni student in my final year of study and I have now been kicked off Centrelink all together!! Have had to move home and look for extra work just to survive.

Debt amount:
$3352
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
19 October 2017

I'm so stressed and scared and freaking out because I have like no money right now and I asked how to appeal this debt and the lady on the phone who told me about my debt today gave me no real information and said that my debt could increase if I appeal.

Debt amount:
$1468
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
14 October 2017

Had been told by Centrelink that I had a debt of 1400 approx from back in 2014.
I was told that I had been contacted numerous times throughout this period even though I had not once received a letter or phone call from them until September this year (3 years later) even though my contact details had not changed my entire life.

Debt amount:
$1200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
9 September 2015

I was seeing a counsellor for anxiety and stress before i got the letter ~ its why I never responded.

Debt amount:
$3700
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
24 February 2017

During the time frame they say the debt was accumulated, I was not required to report my income. This was while I was a at university.
I recieved a letter stating that I did not have to report to recieve youth allowance and I received payments without having to declare anything.

Debt amount:
$847
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 September 2017

I did some part time work during the financial year of 2011/2012 (Aug-Dec 2011 then March 2012).
They say my reported earnings are different to what they have and what the ATO have.

Debt amount:
$28950
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
15 December 2016

-I am scared that it's never going to end. I am just so sick and tired of dealing with it and not getting anywhere.
-I need to stay strong and hang in there but it is so hard.

Debt amount:
$2400
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 September 2017

I am disabled, one of the injured workers of NSW with 80% of my weekly income... pay my taxes and atill centrelink claims I have a debt...

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
17 September 2017

I was fortunate enough to be 'caught' in the 'new and improved' robo-debt dragnet, implemented in response to the scathing senate enquiry into Centrelink's implementation of a no-oversight policy of chasing ambit debts (whilst a government threatened jail terms for those who had received more than their allowance).

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