Originally received an email saying I owed $800 from a time period where I worked casually over finishing uni and then got a full time job early in the new year (I thought that was the point?! They support you until you get a full time job after study!) so collected all relevant docs (including awkward phone calls to ex employees and searching through old pay slips) and applied for a review. Got a call from debt collection agency. Told them it's in review. 5 or 6 calls later it was then actually put in review. 3 months later I get a new letter telling me I now owe $1100 did to their incorrect calculations the first time. Was forced to set up a payment plan or they said I'd be stopped at the airport upon leaving Australia for my hard earned holiday to the US due to a debt owed to the government ☹️ which ate into my holiday funds and added stress if something still happened at the airport!!
Lazy and wrong, if there was a disclaimer back then in 2014 that all payments would be averaged once a full time job or extra Christmas hours were picked up (even though I didn't receive Centrelink payments during these times as I was earning over the limit) I would have been more careful on picking up extra hours! Although surely a full time job would be their desired outcome on supporting someone to study. Or I wouldn't have taken on the Abstudy payments knowing I may have a debt 5 years later!! They don't seem to understand they've either lied to us, or shouldn't have the right to ask for this money after not disclosing they'll want it back years later.