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Insane amount of debt

Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Friday, 6 July 2018
Period debt occurred: 
September 2019
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
Payment Type: 
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?: 
Yes in process
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

In 2018 we received 4 letters asking us to repay debt. 2 letters we received in July 2018 and anther 2 in November 2018. The amount of debt we had to repay was over $13,000.

In 2016 I gave birth to my first daughter in March 2013. I finished work early in December as I was working as a contractor and the company I worked for was not liable to pay me any maternity leave cover. In January 2016 my husband lost his job when the company he worked for declared bankruptcy which was a huge blow to us as he worked as a House & Land sales agent and all his income was commission only. We lost $180,000 and the amount of stress and angst it caused us before giving birth (and after), I cannot start to explain. We luckily had some saving but a lot of these savings were for the outstanding tax and we had to use every single cent until I applied for centrelink support. We didn't receive much support in terms of monthly payments but anything helped and we really needed the money. My husband started a new job straight away, but as in any sales environment, it that is commission only based, it takes at least 7 months to earn the first $$. We were struggling and I was not able to find any part-time work anywhere. Somehow we made it through and then I had my second daughter in November 2016. Still in recovery mode for years to get back on our feet, we got slammed with 4 bills in 2018 - to repay over $13,100 in centrelink debt! We still owed over $12,000 on the credit card and $10,000 to a family member who lended us money. It has been a terrible year with us being stuck paying back such a huge amount of debt. I have not had a proper night's sleep in months and the fact that the government will only give us 12 months to pay back such an insane amount, is completely mind-blowing.

How do you feel about the way the Government has handled this process?: 

Terrible. Let's not talk about the hours I spent on hold or in line at Centrelink. I don't know how they can legally give you 12 months to repay the debt. There is obviously a reason why you need support and in most cases, you won't have an extra $1,000 after extreme financial struggles. it takes years to come right, especially after having kids and the economy sitting at an all time low. Inhumane and there are no statements with itemised amounts... nobody else can get away with this.