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NotMyDebt Stories

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

Debt amount:
$22000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
29 November 2018

My sister, who is a single mother of two young boys received a bill for $20,000 and another for $1,700.
These debts have arisen from 2011 until now. No mention of how the bill got so high.

She was informed one fine related to her youth allowance, and the bigger to her parenting payments.

Debt amount:
$3500
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process

I found out I had a debt when my tax return was garnished in 2018.
My partner and I had just had our first child, I also moved house (rent more expensive than my last), and I started a new job (paying less than my previous job), suffice to say, we were under a heck of a lot of pressure, both emotionally, physically and financially.

Debt amount:
$7990
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process

Change of care percentage when I already declared it, then was accused of not declaring it when someone accessed my records. Yes I have vital proof

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
25 October 2019

In October 2019 I opened my centrelink app to update my family income as we just finished our tax return, when I notice a letter on my inbox.
When I opened I went white as a ghost. The letter said I was overpaid by $6000 as I underestimated my income.

My husband and I were devastated as this never happened to us before.

Debt amount:
$5500
Payment Type:
Sickness Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
8 May 2019

I broke both my legs and was in a wheelchair for months and I work as a chef I had to prove I wasn't working, and told me that I declared that I made $0 that year which is a lie gave me $5500 debt I asked for evidence several time with no success.

Debt amount:
$28000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
3 May 2016

I was hit with 3 debts.
Two from way back in 2011-2012, apparent over payment of newstart allowance due to my "incorrect reporting" & another debt from 2015 occuring due to me not declaring my partnership date correctly WHICH I ABSOLUTELY DID!!! Totaling $28,000!!!!

Debt amount:
$3400
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 September 2019

I lost my tax refund without due notice of the debt.
No one is giving me any reasonable response and when I have appealed under info given — so told info supplied was wrong.
Where is this ok? ARO supported decision but did not address my reasons — merely quoted Acts about overpayments.

Debt amount:
$11139
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won

I received a debt letter in 2016 and have been fighting it ever since.
When I submitted payslips in 2017 I heard nothing back until recently (2019) when I requested a review of the 9k I supposedly owed.

I lost the review and they increased the amount to 11k and took my tax return.

Debt amount:
$4300

As a single parent, I have always been grateful for the assistance given me that was not forthcoming from my child's father.
I have always worked part time and diligently declared my earnings so such a scenario never arose!!

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
10 October 2019

For most of my working life my wife was my daughters carer, in 2012 her health had deteriorated to the point that Centrelink wouldn't allow her to be carer anymore.

Debt amount:
$1524
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
17 October 2019

This is the second time I have been given a Robo Debt. The first time was for $12,000. I disputed it and have now received this.
I woke in the middle of the night to an email sent at 12:46am saying that I owe money as I was overpaid when I received Youth Allowance back in 2017.

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 October 2017

Contacted business that is supposed to keep Pay slips 7 yrs.
No, business sold.
ANZ bank account closed in 2016 and unable to get Bank statements.
Daughters health at all time low, struggling to make ends meet & Centrelink making her repay money she doesn't owe not have.

Debt amount:
$20104
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
7 October 2018

I got one debt & so far Centrelink has taken $8,257 in repayments towards the debt with an outstanding amount of $9,183 but then they hit me with another debt of $2,662.

They said both debts are because I didn’t declare my income correctly but I don’t know why this wasn’t picked up when I did my tax returns.

Debt amount:
$22000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 November 2018

This debt has been extremely hard on me mentally.

I am so stressed out all the time about paying this off and raising three children on my own without a permanent job.

Debt amount:
$6500
Payment Type:
Austudy
Date debt issued:
12 March 2019

This has been an incredibly stressful event that I have no control over. It has left me shaken and in tears multiple times.

Debt amount:
$1210
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
27 July 2018

This is very stressful, and quite embarrassing to have to tell people, especially previous employers.
I am lucky in that my alleged debt amount is fairly low, and if Centrelink can prove that I do owe the money I can actually pay it. I just don't agree with the way the Department of Human Services is going about it.

Debt amount:
$22000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
24 September 2019

I was medically retired 2009. Aged 40
Decided to retrain - had been put on disability - drs approved & supported retraining.
Took me 7 yrs to become an Registered Nurse

Debt amount:
$23000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
1 September 2017

I was getting family Tax for my 4 children. Centrelink / Child support decided that I did not care for my 4 children during the separation until divorce. I was never told how the decision came about because my ex-husband confirmed that I had care and did not claim any family tax.

Debt amount:
$28000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
9 September 2016

I was told I could work upto 25hrs per week without it affecting my carers payment. And I did so for 3 yrs while my partner was fighting for his life with kidney cancer. I had an initial debt of approx 25,000 (I threw out the letter, it stressed me too much to look at it) Ive been paying $100 a month since Sept 2016.

Debt amount:
$552
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
24 September 2019

Called by a rude Centrelink employee who I could barely understand. Told I owe money and have a month to pay it back. Anxiety, cried after the phone call, not sure how to pay it.

Debt amount:
$470
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
24 September 2019

I received my first pay check more than a week after my last centrelink payment. Now centrelink say I should have declared that but can't point to any legal reason why.

Debt amount:
$13100
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 July 2018

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.

Debt amount:
$33000
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
27 August 2019

the lack of information provided , the verbal contradictions of staff, refusal to provide requested information about the debt. I feel under a conspired attack intentionally targeted as a vulnerable in a period of great distress around domestic violence, family court and grieving the loss of a parent.

Debt amount:
$32700
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost

I actually don't know how I got the debt or when I got the debt. I logged on to mygov.com.au to check my payments and requirements and there it was.I ran away with my 2 young daughters in 2012, from a monster of 23 years.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

in many ways this has affected me.

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