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
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.
So anxious because I have to pay rent!
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.
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.
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.
1 DEAD 2 DEAD 3 DEAD 4 DEAD - me INCLUDED and due medical I am still here so Centrelink has killed me TWICE now
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.
It has seriously caused me a lot of anxiety and several deeply depressive episodes
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.
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 won but not all of it.
i was suicidal too. i wanted to do it right in front of the center link office.
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 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.
They took my entire tax return no warning no nothing
I was diagnosed with bipolar during this time and have had severe anxiety and lack of sleep over this.
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
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
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.
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.
I have been very stressed and got my first anxiety episode. It was very scary, didn't know what was happening to me
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.
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.
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).