Go to top of page

Leukaemia, Depression & Robodebt

Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Friday, 22 February 2019
Period debt occurred: 
January 2011 to June 2016
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
Payment Type: 
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?: 
Yes in process
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

I was first contacted by Centrelink in 2018, seeking verification of my earnings for several periods of time between 2012 - Jun 30 2016. In this tiny frame, I was predominantly working as a casual relief teacher, and doing both temporary and casual hospitality and retail jobs. I resorted to having Newstart to supplement my income when I did not have casual shifts.
During this time, I also had major depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder; characterised by suicidal behaviour and self-harming. In November 2015, I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (an incurable blood cancer).
I did not claim Newstart payments between Nov 2015 and June 2016, mostly because I had accessed Income Protection and thus, “earned” too much for Newstart.
However, I allegedly was overpaid throughout this 4.5 year period. For the past two years, I have sourced, downloaded, scanned and uploaded hundreds of items, to verify both my earnings and that I did NOT steal $13,000 .
I have also provided clinical notes, medical records, photos of my cutting, etc to demonstrate the severity of my mental illnesses.
Today, I no longer self-harm but I cannot work full-time due to my chronic cancer, anxiety and ongoing treatment. I am pessimistic about the possibility of having my Robodebt voided, but I deserve a detailed explanation. I want a reduction/some reprieve given that I was suicidal at times. This whole process is, of course, a cause of considerable distress and I refuse to just “pay up” without being given explicit justification or evidence that my personal circumstances have been considered.

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