We are collecting stories on the site because we think it's important to have a way to people to add their voice to this issue by sharing their story. It's puts a human voice to the issues with using technology and automating systems and providing a blanket solution without providing staff and people that can right wrongs and help people when there is an error.
Please share your story with us if you have a Centrelink debt story that you believe has been issued in error or due to a fault in the system.
As frustrating as it is, persist with the appeals process, and know others are behind you.
Stories are 100% anonymous
4. when I proved with back statements I wasn't working, the fine amended to " voluntarily left work" 20.04.15, 12.05.15, 17.06.15 I suffered injuries at work following notification to employer 29.07.15 the fine, 02.09.2015 breaching Social Security Administrative Act section 42s sec reasonable excuse 42UA not a fine
I am already a sufferer of Panic Disorder.
I received a Robodebt for when I was looking after my now deceased father fighting stage 4 Sarcoma.
They have advised me if they debt was generated 10 days laters I wouldn’t have been assessed as it was past 7 years.
I have been under enormous stress from this debt
I tried to settle for a much lower amount and after making me wait hours for a response we’re only willing to cut off a few thousand
Now I’ve just received a call that they want to review my financial situation because the amount of paying each week should be more.
i won but not all of it.
i was suicidal too. i wanted to do it right in front of the center link office.
I have always done my tax on time have always been honest with Centrelink. i have several debts spanning from 2011 until 2018 according to there records. 2018 debt is a FTB debt and they reconciled my FTB and then sent me a debt go figure!!!!!!
I was shocked to get a phone call and find out I had this much debt from 2 years ago. Centrelink never told me I had to upload payslips every 2 weeks so they based the payments off an average amount. As if I have this much money lying around if I'm already on Centrelink payments and a uni student on limited hours at work.
Unjustified debt, unrealistic expectations of working more than 110 hours a week.
Just want it to stop
I am a University Student who also work part-time.
As part of the student loan program i was entitled to a $1050 payment at the start of year and half way through the year to help with student costs etc. I pay this back through the student loan help program through the government when I am earning more money..
I am 61 and have had nothing to do with Centrelink for over 15 years. They were not on my radar. I have been working full-time for many years and am still working 4 days a week. I've always submitted my tax return when I needed to. Today I received a letter from Centrelink saying I owed $8700 - a Non-Lodger Debt from 2001/02 (what???).
I'm 20 and Autistic.
I was on youth allowance from July 2017 to March 2019(but Centrelink says it's November 2018) and I received the book loan for the 4 semesters I was on it.
I switched over to the Disability Support Pension when I found out I was eligible for it.
I’m so stressed out a) I can’t afford to pay it and b) u understand how they think I was over allowed by so much when I was barley receiving the equivalent of minimum wage, while also doing 30 hours or university a week.
I work seven days a week. I simply do not have the time to forfiet income and deal with this. I am doing this so that I actually make a high enough income to contribute to my HECS debt, which gives me a sizeable chunk of tax repayments and will likely take me 10+ years to be clear of.
tax check taken no warning,my dog saved me
I received my letter claiming of overpayments between 11/2014 & 07/2016. I was not on any assistance or received a single payment for an entire 12 months in between these dates of when they are claiming I was over paid.
in 2017 I was sent a letter wanting to confirm my employment dates between the years of 2011-2017. During this period I had worked for three different employees, all on a casual basis, I never worked permanent hours, my earnings always fluctuated.
My story in a nutshell...
Since January 2019, I've been dealing with going through divorce, I was coward punched which landed me in hospital and had me recovering for the best past of 3 months, I've developed anxiety and severe depression and recently found out I have ADHD as well.
June 2019 i received a letter with 3 debts for different years 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 total amount of 14000
I worked three casual jobs during this time and reported my income on a fortnightly basis. I received a phone call claiming I owed $2400.
Im a single mum of 3, my eldest is 5 and twins 3yrs.. i had all my children in my care until my twins were 4 months old due to false allegations they still showed on records of being in my care 100%.
I appealed at a Centrelink office but they fobbed me off a few times until I insisted. I then appealed the decision which is pointless as it's still just you vs Centrelink but once that is complete you are elligble for AAT and AAT2.
A debt raised by Centrelink can be waived if it can be established that
I have sat on the phone line for over 2 hours, transferred 4-5 times between Child Support & Family Tax only to be given conflicting advice and reduced to tears. I am an educated, 45yr old women with finance/legal background and I felt like I was going mad... I fought the law and I won !
i was working as a Housemaid in hotel/motels, i declared my income every fortnight as required to report.
It's not just Centrelink. I had $3090 taken from my tax refund. I phoned the ATO and they said I had a tax debt. Some years ago my only income was an Australian Postgraduate Award which was not taxable. So I thought I didn't have to lodge returns for that period.
I am receiving threatening phone calls from ARL collection agency, with summons, legal action etc.
I am also in middle of a high risk pregnancy, which means expansive obstetrics appointments every fortnight. For first 3 and a half months, I was attending hospital for fluids every 2 days.