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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:
$8000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 August 2019

I called Centrelink to and got transferred 4 times with no assistance or compassion.
Had to explain my story 4 times and by this point I was very distressed and angry.

Debt amount:
$860
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
10 September 2019

So anxious because I have to pay rent!

Debt amount:
$5900
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 September 2019

I had no units to study from August 2018 to Nov 2019 but I had one to study in Jan 2019. Still had above 75% full time study load.
I called up Centrelink and asked if there was anything I could to to continue payments. They said yes and nothing happened for a year.

Debt amount:
$1052
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
22 June 2018

When I first received the letter informing me of my debt, I knew there must have been some kind of mistake. I had been on Youth Allowance as a high school and undergrad student, and was always diligent in recording my fortnightly income.

Debt amount:
$6201
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 October 2018

This debt has come at a time where I'm venturing out to start my own business.

Money is tight, stress levels are high and there are so many balls in the air that I have to juggle – this debt is a source of stress, anxiety, and frustration.

Debt amount:
$12000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Date debt issued:
1 March 2016

1 DEAD 2 DEAD 3 DEAD 4 DEAD - me INCLUDED and due medical I am still here so Centrelink has killed me TWICE now

Debt amount:
$30000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
1 May 2019

This debt caused me months of stress and anxiety, months of not sleeping or eating properly, severe suicidal ideations, feeling of complete hopelessness.
I felt like I had done something wrong when I hadn't.

Debt amount:
$4123
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
15 August 2018

It has seriously caused me a lot of anxiety and several deeply depressive episodes

Debt amount:
$864
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
23 August 2019

I spoke to Human Services late March 2019 and Probe Group, debt amount $800 plus $100. I discussed with the collection agency and filed an appeal which I have not received a response until I received a centre-link letter dated before my call payment of debt amount.

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
14 August 2019

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.

Debt amount:
$11500
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 June 2019

They have advised me if they debt was generated 10 days laters I wouldn’t have been assessed as it was past 7 years.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
2 September 2016

i won but not all of it.
i was suicidal too. i wanted to do it right in front of the center link office.

Debt amount:
$11747
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
5 July 2019

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.

Debt amount:
$14000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
3 June 2019

June 2019 i received a letter with 3 debts for different years 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 total amount of 14000

Debt amount:
$4600
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
21 May 2019

I have always done what asked, reported when needed. I was told the computer never received my tax income for each year 2015-2018.Which I was diligent to let them know, even going into Centrelink with physical paperwork because it wouldn’t upload on their website.

Debt amount:
$1460
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 August 2019

They took my entire tax return no warning no nothing

Debt amount:
$6200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
25 July 2019

I was diagnosed with bipolar during this time and have had severe anxiety and lack of sleep over this.

Debt amount:
$5500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
14 October 2015

Im currently on compensation for a bad work accident witch im still dealing with with im really struggling with iv had the money already taken from me out of my tax with was 5500 maybe more in interest im struggling with debt an bank loans i dont have any family that helps im struggling with stress iv had a bad up bringing so iv been in jail an

Debt amount:
$6500
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
8 August 2019

So this year I decide to do my tax on the 6th of August 2019 with out any knowledge or prior information on even know that I had a debt with centerlink
so nothing in the mail, no phone calls, no any form of contact. Until. So I'm happerly waiting on my tax return to come through. Until

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 August 2019

For three periods (beginning 2018 to mid 2019), I was receiving YA benefits and applied for a Student Start-up Loan at the start of each semester since I didn't have a job at the time.

Debt amount:
$2200
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
14 January 2017

The stress and anxiety (which I already suffered from) was extreme. My counselling sessions needed to be doubled. I was already skipping meals to pay rent and power.
I appealed TWICE. Twice they upped the debt.

Debt amount:
$1300
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 July 2017

I have been very stressed and got my first anxiety episode. It was very scary, didn't know what was happening to me

Debt amount:
$1600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
16 August 2019

Stress anguish. My son was told he had incurred a debt when he wasn't even registered to receive payments. Centrelink told him that the money must have gone into our (parents) bank account. He paid the bill as he doesn't need the stress.

Debt amount:
$12000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 August 2019

My husband didn't work for about 3 year and didn't receive any payments from Centrelink. Now he owes money back that was apparently paid to him????

Major stress and can't sleep at night over how to sort this out. We have appleled and haven't heard anything back.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
24 August 2017

Received a debt in 2017 of over $5000, from 2011-2013! And even though they had my reporting data they still averaged my income out from ATO over the years. (I worked uni holidays on a station and didn’t even get Centrelink payments during holidays).

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