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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:
$6549
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 January 2019

Receiving a debt notice of 6.5k has almost destroyed me. I question if life is worth living, because I don't know how I'm ever suppose to get by and pay this off.
Countless tears, breakdowns, anxiety. I feel as though I have no support, and that the Government will win this.

Debt amount:
$6500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 August 2018

Highly stressed and suicidal can’t trust the government. The first I was aware off the debt was when I did my tax. I got a email to check my myGov account. Got a online letter from Centrelink saying I owed them money and they were going to take my tax refund.

Debt amount:
$7300
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 July 2019

Received a 7k debt letter for "underreporting" for a period from April 2017- June 2018. I suffer from anxiety and depression and am trying to manage full-time study and part-time work while dealing with this mess.

Debt amount:
$940
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
1 August 2019

I have been incurring debts for the last 3 years dating back to 2014. These debts cause me a lot of financial stress. Anxiety and I have developed depression over time due to the chronic stress. It's not only the debt but centrelink,s unrelenting pressure to look for jobs that don't exist.

Debt amount:
$1500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
4 November 2016

Massive stress and anxiety throughout this entire thing. I had no income at the time - I was tired of being unemployed, so I went back to uni & didn't have the requirements to claim AUStudy. Then robo-debt came in.

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
29 March 2019

My original debt letter was for approximately $7000. Upon receiving this letter, I felt extremely sick and stressed. Throughout this entire process I have suffered from anxiety and depression. My younger brother received a similar letter and cleared his debt over the phone, explaining to Centrelink the error they had made.

Debt amount:
$11800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
26 July 2019

I'm completely distraught, I have been organizing everything to go on a 2 year working holiday in Canada next year for the past few months,

Debt amount:
$15000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
28 February 2019

I was completely shocked to receive a phone call announcing that I have to pay back $9,600 from overpayments from 2013-2016 and was told I could only discuss this over the phone so I asked for documentation to be posted and was told yes but of course nothing came so I went to my local office waited for an hour and a half to submit my earnings an

Debt amount:
$24000
Payment Type:
Sickness Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 July 2019

I already suffer from major depression and anxiety ae have suffered a previous trauma and this situation has made me feel like harming myself

Debt amount:
$24000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
22 December 2016

Back in 2016 I was working and studying for my Real Estate Cerficate. I hadn’t receive any payments from Centrelink in a couple years so when I got the letter I was perplex as I had always been truthful with Centrelink. The letter said I owed back almost $20,000!!! How? And it was due on Christmas Eve.

Debt amount:
$48000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
16 August 2018

High anxiety family fights over this evil process

Debt amount:
$11550
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
27 June 2019

SEVERE financial difficulties, missed rent payments, overdue bills, skipping meals. Suffer from severe depression, suicidal thoughts, stress manifesting in physical symptoms. I can't afford to stay alive, let alone be hit with over $10k debt.

Debt amount:
$975
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
18 April 2018

This debt was because my group certificate had the incorrect date on it. The accountant had corrected the date with the tax debt within weeks of it being issued, but Centrelink did not have the correction.

Debt amount:
$5500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 July 2018

This is my son's notification. I have been trying to sort it since January. He has ADHD, dyslexia, aspergers, anxiety and massive depression. He has, since receiving the letters, suicidal tendencies. He was trying to fit into the workplace but failed to notify centrelink of his proper income.

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
30 July 2019

I recently was told I have debts raised one for compensation I didn't get child support that my partner was supposed to pay me plus not declared income right but I did now have $20000 to

Debt amount:
$2400
Payment Type:
Aged Pension
Date debt issued:
30 July 2018

A lot of stress
Last year I was in hospital for 3 months
6 weeks in induced coma

Debt amount:
$2240
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
23 July 2019

they dropped off when i threatened them with legal action.....but they pounced on my tax refund of $1290.00 .

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 July 2019

This has made me into a nervous wreck. This is the third time centrelink has said I owe them but I strongly believe this claim is false. I have previously paid back a centrelink loan after finally getting of youth allowance and I had to pay back some money to ato after submitting my tax return incorrectly.

Debt amount:
$19000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 December 2017

I took my debt letter, tax returns and payslips to my tax agent; they have been in the business for 40 years.
The tax agents cannot fathom how I owe this money since I was earning so little whilst at uni.

Debt amount:
$1800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 May 2018

Fuck these pricks... They are doing the wrong thing here.

Debt amount:
$24000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 October 2018

I am devastated by this debt. I have given on ever working again and the repayments from my current centrleink payment have left me homeless and unable to afford to live with any dignity. I continue to be regularly cut off from my benefit even though I am homeless and studying via distance education.

Debt amount:
$13000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
4 July 2018

This fake, false debt has resulted in me having 100’s of phone calls from debt collectors. Sometimes 15 per week at all hours including weekends. This constant harassment means that I am filled with dread every time I hear my phone ring. Multiple letters sent in the mail means I’m filled with fear every time I see a letter in my mailbox.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
23 July 2019

Received this letter the other day. High levels over anxiety coming in. I was working as a sessional teacher at the time which was only about 8-12 hours a week. Pay was fortnightly and I am sure I was reporting everything correctly. I have not worked at that school for quite some time and have no payslips as it was from 4-5 years ago.

Debt amount:
$628
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
20 October 2016

I've posted previously about my debt (http://notmydebt.com.au/stories/notmydebt-stories/robo-debt-return-beaur...). It was resolved some time ago now and I wanted to update my story.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
14 January 2018

I am currently working full time as a nurse in aged care I am also studying my bachelor's I automatically started paying my so called debt because I was hassled by a debt collector and I couldn't get any information of when I was supposed to have owed the debt and now I get a letter from centrelink wanting my wage information from all

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