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’m having a mental breakdown, after over estimating and declaring everything I earned doing my tax every year I can not understand how I’ve accumulated a debt.
I suffer from ptsd and anxiety and depression I As been looking after my elderly mother whom had to go into constant care
I went in several times and was told my file was sorted and everything would be ok
How wrong was I
This has been on going for the last 2 or so years
Anxiety, depressed mood, angry, resentful,confused and powerless. It’s quite distressing to think I may have to use my super to pay for this debt. It feels wrong. I wish I had known this would happen and I would have simply found a full time job and made other arrangements for my child.
Financially it has ruined me, almost at the end of bankruptcy and making ends meet and this happens. I am suffering from depression and now have anxiety. My relationship has become strained.
I was totally stunned when i received it.
I had been on a Widows Pension since 2006, but I'm being paid a Newstart Allowance. I only worked part time. I have been retired since 2013. They said they had overpaid me by $4000 for 2011 to 2012!!
Unbelievable waste of time, money and not to mention that fact that I have been accused of rorting the system. Despite all of this I will fight them all the way.
Working seasonally at winery. Finished April, back on allowance. Union found underpayment, and a $600 gross payment issued in June 2014. Got a new job in Sept 16, no centrelink since. Debt account arrived december 2016.
I've been through this twice now. Both times it was obvious to me where the mistake lay in their algorithms and I was able to explain it. But I was told I had to prove it anyway.
Both debts were 100% waived but after a painstaking wait.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
I already suffer from major depression and anxiety ae have suffered a previous trauma and this situation has made me feel like harming myself
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.
High anxiety family fights over this evil process
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.
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.
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.
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
A lot of stress
Last year I was in hospital for 3 months
6 weeks in induced coma
they dropped off when i threatened them with legal action.....but they pounced on my tax refund of $1290.00 .