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Saturday Morning Call

Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Saturday, 6 February 2016
Period debt occurred: 
February 2016 to March 2016
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
Payment Type: 
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?: 
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

One Saturday morning in either February or March 2016 I received a phone call on my mobile from Centrelink. I thought that it was odd that they should call on a Saturday. I was told that I owed $3000 as a result of overpayment on my Newstart Allowance. I told them that I didn't have the money in my account. They suggested that I use my credit card but I couldn't pay the full amount by credit. They suggested that I pay half on the day and the other half on my credit card in a fortnight. I gave them my credit card details and the money was taken out. At the time I was living with my mother because I was unemployed and had nowhere else to stay. I received no letter or email about the debt, or how I had accrued the debt.

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

The way that it was handled was unfair. I did not have that kind of money in the bank and couldn't pay the debt in full on my credit card either. So, then I was left with a large credit card debt which I still have not paid off. No written notice was given. I haven't been able to get my credit card amount down since then. The government have no right to demand money without written proof from Newstart recipients who have no way of paying a so-called debt.