This debt has come at a time where I'm venturing out to start my own business.
Money is tight, stress levels are high and there are so many balls in the air that I have to juggle – this debt is a source of stress, anxiety, and frustration.
It has been totally opaque in how it is handling it.
I provided all the information that was needed at the first instance to show that there was no legal basis for the debt. Despite this, the department has progressed with the claim, sending it to a debt collection agency with only a digital letter to inform me (it first came to my attention when I was called by the debt collection agency).
I want to buy a house soon with my partner but I don't know how this unlawful action will affect my chances of homeownership.
It has been 'on appeal' for four months now (I asked for a review of the decision in Feb but apparently what I should have done was 'appeal' - three months lost there).
Overall it is a deplorable and unlawful way to bully the vulnerable into paying debts that they do not owe.
I am ashamed of the actions of my government in propping up this scheme.