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Robo-debts: stealing from the highly vulnerable

Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Friday, 29 March 2019
Period debt occurred: 
October 2012 to May 2015
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: 

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 sent in hundreds of payslips and bank statements and about a year later they sent another letter claiming that I now only owe them $2500.
They take no responsibility for the anxiety and distress they cause, and offer no apologies for errors or explanations for how they reach their figures.
The phone numbers listed on the debt letters nearly always lead nowhere (unless you are wanting to set-up a payment plan, then you'll get straight through!)
To request a review of a debt or make a complaint on the Centrelink website is very confusing. They really don't make it easy!

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

The reversal onus of proof, with the ability to raise false debts is incredibly unfair, especially to those that are vulnerable - financially and/or emotionally.
This is a disgusting abuse of Government power which has, and continues to cause harm.