My husband was out of work for 3 months and while he never received a single payment from centrelink, I was receiving parenting payment to support the 4 of us as I was on unpaid maternity leave. We told centrelink when we both got work, I had to stop breastfeeding my baby so that I could go to work and support my family, but we were living on minimum wages and still received some of the family tax benifet for a few months. Out of nowhere it was cut off and I received a letter saying that I owed $14000. I called to ask why and they told me that I was overpaid. I argued how and that I wanted something on paper to explain the debt but received nothing and no one could explain why I had this debt. They take all of my tax returns and I have no financial help, I can't even take my kids to the dentist under Medicare. I get daily calls from debt collectors, I've tried to find help but have found nothing that I can afford, plus I saw a similar case to mine where the woman won a court case but ended up bankrupt because of the legal fees. We both work full time now but I'm scared that if anything ever happened I wouldn't be able to rely on Centrelink for any financial assistance, and after they scammed me like this I'm not sure if I would want to in fear of owing more money. I can't get a loan and we need another car. I don't understand how we can owe $14000 and struggle working full time when I see people on benefits living better than us and it's totally legit
They haven't handled anything, I live with anxiety daily because of the debt hanging over my head. It's actually ruined my life financially as I can't apply for a loan and move forward no matter how hard I work. They need to reassess each individual case and be transparent with how they calculate debt.