I was first contacted by Centrelink in 2018, seeking verification of my earnings for several periods of time between 2012 - Jun 30 2016. In this tiny frame, I was predominantly working as a casual relief teacher, and doing both temporary and casual hospitality and retail jobs. I resorted to having Newstart to supplement my income when I did not have casual shifts.
During this time, I also had major depression and Generalised Anxiety Disorder; characterised by suicidal behaviour and self-harming. In November 2015, I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (an incurable blood cancer).
I did not claim Newstart payments between Nov 2015 and June 2016, mostly because I had accessed Income Protection and thus, “earned” too much for Newstart.
However, I allegedly was overpaid throughout this 4.5 year period. For the past two years, I have sourced, downloaded, scanned and uploaded hundreds of items, to verify both my earnings and that I did NOT steal $13,000 .
I have also provided clinical notes, medical records, photos of my cutting, etc to demonstrate the severity of my mental illnesses.
Today, I no longer self-harm but I cannot work full-time due to my chronic cancer, anxiety and ongoing treatment. I am pessimistic about the possibility of having my Robodebt voided, but I deserve a detailed explanation. I want a reduction/some reprieve given that I was suicidal at times. This whole process is, of course, a cause of considerable distress and I refuse to just “pay up” without being given explicit justification or evidence that my personal circumstances have been considered.