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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:
$16500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
31 October 2016

i took my payslips in and they reduced the debt from $20000 to $16500 but i know i still dont owe that much money to them

Debt amount:
$750
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
13 September 2019

Was issued a recovery notice in November 2017 for Austudy payments in 2011-2012.

After I lodge my tax for that year, I discarded documents older than 5 years (2011-2012). Issued recovery notice a few months later.

Debt amount:
$7900
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
24 November 2013

I have been dealing with this debt for years, I originally apparently owed over $4500 from Single Parenting Payment, which I tried to fight but with my anxiety and depression and what not, I gave up and agreed to pay a certain amount fortnightly. I finally paid ALL of this off, just before the final payment.

Debt amount:
$1565
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
29 May 2019

I received this debt out of the blue, 2 years after I am supposed to have incurred it. I am now no longer on a family tax benefit as my son has finished high school. I am actually now on a Neis payment while I try to start my own business.

Debt amount:
$4170
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
10 September 2019

I was receiving parenting payment at the start of 2016, by the start of 2017 i started working a different shift which meant i could work more and stopped recieving parenting payments.

Debt amount:
$21000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

I used to contract for work and would have spates of work then not. I then went to uni In between and was eligible for Austudy and took a causal job to pay bills.

Debt amount:
$3500
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
17 July 2019

They called me saying that there is income discrepancy from ATO and my centrelink, however I was 120% sure I've updated my income statement with centrelink, but when I check with them after receiving the letter they said the amount for $0.

Debt amount:
$3470
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
13 August 2018

I have been on a disability pensions for over 20 years due to a mining injury at work. This injury has left me with chronic pain and depression, so how could I possibly deal with a debt from 8 years ago, and because of a supposed income of an ex-partner. Every fortnight she contacted Centrelink to declare casual earnings.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 March 2018

Going through divorce, lost my father, lost my job, all in last month.. do my tax hoping to use that money to help me until I get new job... Waiting for my tax return to find out they have taken my whole $5800 return!!

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 July 2019

Sent me letter without calling or pre letter to allow my evidence. Quit caring in 9/2018 but said i was not caring in period from 1/2018. Have all evidence friends, court, police, 000 call etc but not interested in my evidence that the person i was caring for was in fact living at my address.

Debt amount:
$10700
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
2 September 2019

I am a single mother with 2 young children aged 4 and 2. I am recieving single parenting payments (reduced because i will not seek child support) and familly tax benefits. I have a very tight budget but i manage to get by. I dont recieve any other income but centrelink i have chosen to be a stay at home mum for my childrens benifit.

Debt amount:
$8600
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 August 2019

Initially in June 2019 on my gov it showed I had an overpayment of $23000, which I rang centrelink about at which time I asked that they provide me with detailed and fortnightly information of how this debt was calculated. They did not provide this.

Debt amount:
$9100
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
4 September 2018

I initially got the debt at $9100 and when I called, admittedly a little hysterical, I was told that I lied to Centrelink about how much I earned in the 2016/17 financial year.
I remember clearly spending hours on the phone to Centrelink when my wage went up (I went up one day to working 4 days per week).

Debt amount:
$8000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 August 2019

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.

Debt amount:
$8000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 August 2019

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.

Debt amount:
$860
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
10 September 2019

So anxious because I have to pay rent!

Debt amount:
$5900
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 September 2019

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.

Debt amount:
$1052
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
22 June 2018

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.

Debt amount:
$6201
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 October 2018

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.

Debt amount:
$12000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Date debt issued:
1 March 2016

1 DEAD 2 DEAD 3 DEAD 4 DEAD - me INCLUDED and due medical I am still here so Centrelink has killed me TWICE now

Debt amount:
$30000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
1 May 2019

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.

Debt amount:
$56000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
20 November 2018

In November of 2018 I received a call alerting me to my massive debt. They told me it was 67 thousand but were doing me a favour by reducing it.. don't see how. I have 4 kids, 3 with disabilities and mental challenges and 1 with severe allergies. I am their main carer.

Debt amount:
$4123
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
15 August 2018

It has seriously caused me a lot of anxiety and several deeply depressive episodes

Debt amount:
$3100
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 May 2019

This amount was incorrectly raised and i am in the process of being reviewed i spoke with around 8 employees and they said it was being reviewed after i gave my pay slips. dispite it being reviewed i am getting constant calls from debt collectors even though the dep hum serv said they recalled the amount.

Debt amount:
$864
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
23 August 2019

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.

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