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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:
$19000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
2 January 2015

Thought i was on top for the first time in 30 years and whammy, major depression

Debt amount:
$2900
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 July 2019

Called a month ago when I received letter. Guy a spoke to could see error. Said he was going to fix it. Month later started loosing money from payment. Called again. They said it was a tax department error. Tax department said they got the figures from Centrelink so it's there error.

Debt amount:
$800
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
12 June 2018

I was sent a letter for debts owed without any accounting as to how I was overpaid. I reported all my income that year and my partners too. If I took time off to appeal it I would lose hundreds in wages so I agreed to a payment plan.

Debt amount:
$33000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
28 February 2019

This debt has severely affected my mental health.
I suffer from terrible anxiety and I constantly fear that my life is ruined because of this. I cannot afford to pay back such a large amount of money quickly.

Debt amount:
$4500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
10 July 2018

Being unemployed at the time, finalising my fathers estate, looking after my mother and preparing to move interstate in order to find new work, it was very stressful. I will say that the coal face workers had lots of empathy but their hands were tied. I felt that they didn't want to be doing this.

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
6 February 2016

One Saturday morning in either February or March 2016 I received a phone call on my mobile from Centrelink. I thought that it was odd that they should call on a Saturday. I was told that I owed $3000 as a result of overpayment on my Newstart Allowance. I told them that I didn't have the money in my account.

Debt amount:
$1500
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
8 March 2019

I got the debt because my ex husband misrepresented his income so I supposedly got more child support than they thought however he doesn't pay child support and they aren't doing anything.

Debt amount:
$8800
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won

Couldn't sleep ,didn't know where to turn then with all the stress and expense not even a sorry or any explanation.

Debt amount:
$1200
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 May 2019

Called 3 weeks prior to gettinv married to let them know i was getting married on November 3 and would be away on homeymoon for 1 week. Was told to come to office on my return and do all paperwork. Returned and went into office and did all relevant paperwork.

Debt amount:
$1400
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
20 March 2019

I was just shocked considering it apparently happened in 2012 when i was working and probably due to payment from work not being immediately accessible, I probably didn't report accurately, hence just accepting it could be true, plus the fact..I don't have documentation that far back to prove otherwise.

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
6 August 2014

I had to report every 2 weeks , which I did with my pay slip, always, but they say there was an error

Debt amount:
$7400
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
15 March 2019

I had just lost 2 jobs when I was hit with this debt.
I'm fortunate enough that my friends were accommodating and helped me through into getting a new job, but this feels like a shackle which I'll never break free from.

Debt amount:
$7000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
17 August 2016

I suffer from severe anxiety and, as a result, have trouble completing paperwork- including taxes. I take full responsibility for not submitting my tax since 2013. However, Centrelink has somehow managed to data match my income reporting with non-existent tax returns to claim I have underreported over tthree years and owe over $7,000.

Debt amount:
$5100
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
2 August 2019

Huge blow to our family budget. Our kids are the ones that miss out with the financial strains it places on us. The way that it's managed is highly stressful for families that are already under a lot of stress.

Debt amount:
$12000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
25 July 2019

This whole system is a joke. I have always reported a higher annual earning than I actually earn per year to avoid such debts as I am a casual employee and have no idea how much I will earn on a weekly basis.

Debt amount:
$11000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Date debt issued:
2 July 2018

What I don’t understand is they have told me I have a debt once for the period of 2017-2018 of $4000. It thought that would be it but then they called again in early 2019 to tell me I had a $7000 debt for the period of 2017-2018. So effectively it’s now $11,000 for the same period.

Debt amount:
$30000
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 March 2019

I have been given a robodebt of about $30,000. I was actually in between jobs and signed up for Newstart for 2-3 weeks a few months ago and I received the notice almost straightaway. I actually remember the rules at the time when I was on the disability support pension. We could receive a full pension and work 2 days per week.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won

Centrelinks antiquated student monitoring systems were apparently incapable of authenticating my study load and as a result they kept granting then cancelling my Austudy payment (and "raising a debt" against me).

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
10 November 2015

Got two letters that totalled about $3k in debts... (I think I was pretty early in the whole process.)

I knew that I had always reported as accurately as I could so was pretty confident that I didn't owe anything (or at least not anything close to that much!)

Debt amount:
$1600
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Date debt issued:
7 August 2019

I have spent countless hours on the phone to Centrelink and it's just going around in circles. They can't even work out if it's a Newstart debt or an Austudy debt. I know that I do no owe them anything.

Debt amount:
$6500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
2 August 2019

HIGHLY ANXIOUS, NO IDEA OF THIS. I HAVE COMPLETED PAPERWORK EARLY LAST YEAR. NO MENTION OF ANY OUTSTANDING DEBT WAS ISSUED FOLLOWING THE AUDIT.

NOW THIS!

OMG

Debt amount:
$29000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
14 November 2018

I am a single mum of 3. At the end of 2018 i got a call from centrelink saying i have been over paid over 26,000.00, my head spun not understanding how the goverment could let it get so high.

Debt amount:
$10800
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
1 July 2019

Single mum of 3, marriage breakdown - went on Pensioner Education Payment to gain employment skills. Gained employment (approx. 38 weeks per year, each year), but due to low income was advised I could claim part Newstart as employment was temporary part-time, subject to funding and therefore unpredictable.

Debt amount:
$575
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
13 December 2016

I was very worried when I first got the letter as I was not expecting this. The letter says I was overpaid and at the time I didn't even think to contest it, I just assumed it was correct and paid the amount. This happened just before Christmas, so not a great time to be hit with a bill. ~$500 may not seem like a lot, but for me it is.

Debt amount:
$550
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
1 September 2018

After completing my taxes for the 2017-18 year, I recieved a devt letter for $550 in child care rebate overpayment. It took 4 months to get through on the phone and actually speak to someone.

I requested more information about how the debt had been calculated as I always overestimate my income to avoid overpayment.

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