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
I received this debt notice a month before signing for my first mortgage. To suggest that debt collectors would be chasing me for this money right before signing could have had disastrous long term ramifications for me.
Extremely stressed, financial disaster
The debt was raised due to a redundancy payment that was quite stressful. They basically made me relive to whole scenario and achieved the impossible of making it more stressful. I had payments deducted over the christmas period and was forced to borrow money from family and friends
I received a letter of debt on my bday which is for FTB CCB and parenting payment. I reported my income correctly as an estimate as stated and the person I spoke to at the time said I was doing it correctly. Received debt letters on 12/10/16 and then another letter on 13/10/16 saying I don't owe anything.
I raised this issue first when I ceased study in March2016 last year, according to Centrelink guidelines.
About to have my electricty cut off may loose my house and struggling to keep my familys bills paid
Debt for parenting payment, FTB and CCB totalling $4400 for one financial year. No way I can pay it back and I am a shift worker so my income varied fortnight by fortnight but they have averaged it out which looks like I earnt more than I did
I know that the debt amount is incorrect and have asked for a review. I had to find my payslips from four years ago to prove that my income was earned when I wasn't receiving Centrelink payments.
My stress levels have gone through the roof, nearly crashed my car because I got double vision after being so stressed over having to pay a debt I know I don't have to pay because I know I did the right thing when I declared and being stressed because no one can help you face to face and you have to do all online, what kind of joke is that,
It's certainly made me anxious, but mostly I've found it incredibly frustrating trying to chase up the necessary information and provide it in the way Centrelink asks (i.e. the online system which for me has been impossible to use).
I have mental health issues that include High Anxiety, High Insomonia, Decreased Comprehension all from an Acquired Brain Injury, Post Concussive Syndrome and Meniers Disease.
Yes, I had daily calls at 8.30 am every morning on my way to work from a different phone number and I would become upset and anxious.
My anxiety levels are increasing, due to the complexity of the process and non-accountability of the organisations involved.
I have gone through a part 9 debt agreement I now didn't get money for my daughter as she has turned 18 and can not get my loan for my pension
I worked my arse off. Reported my earnings. Sometimes based on estimate, as centrelink ask for. Would even over estimate at times, just for peace of mind.
I had finished up work to have a baby.
2, nearly 3 years up the track, I've been hit with 3 different apparent debts, that, together, add to a neat 5000.
It had a emotional breakdown effect on me i wasnt myself through the whole or deal..
I am dealing with a Centrelink debt like many others. A debt of $24,500. I was on Centrelink from 2011-2014 while I was a casual employee & living on my own & self sufficient.
We both work on contracts and don't get paid over the Christmas break and are under enormous financial stress. We tried calling repeatedly but with a demanding baby we had to hang up around the 30 minute point.
The first that I heard that I had a debt was when the debt collection agency contacted me in January 2016.The debt collection agency gave me 48 hours to contact Centrelink to investigate why I had a debt.
This putative debt relates to an extremely stressful period when my daughter was very unwell. Revisiting this has been extremely distressing for both of us, and this has been exacerbated by the terrible way in which the process has been handled.
This was the worst experience I have encountered in a long time. I'm pregnant with shocking morning sickness-first trimester at the time. I got this ridiculous debt that was not calculated correctly (who works consistent hours in retail!?!) amd am told to pay it back or risk having a bad credit rating or going to court.
As a single parent this is not what I needed before Christmas!
Yes! I am an underemployed masters graduate with a huge hecs debt, 3kids & no $$!
This has brought up alot of bad memories from a time that I was at a pretty big low, I had been fired from my job, therefore not earning an income which is why I was on centrelink, but the ATO says I was working until the end of the financial year even though I have provided my employment separation certificate on 3 occasions now which states th
I received a call from Dun & Bradstreet early in December. I had never received any notices from Centrelink as I have moved house several times since 2011. I was accused of being a "welfare cheat", the D&B staffer said I was falsely claiming benefits and working.