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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:
$24000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
22 December 2016

Back in 2016 I was working and studying for my Real Estate Cerficate. I hadn’t receive any payments from Centrelink in a couple years so when I got the letter I was perplex as I had always been truthful with Centrelink. The letter said I owed back almost $20,000!!! How? And it was due on Christmas Eve.

Debt amount:
$48000
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
16 August 2018

High anxiety family fights over this evil process

Debt amount:
$11550
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
27 June 2019

SEVERE financial difficulties, missed rent payments, overdue bills, skipping meals. Suffer from severe depression, suicidal thoughts, stress manifesting in physical symptoms. I can't afford to stay alive, let alone be hit with over $10k debt.

Debt amount:
$975
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
18 April 2018

This debt was because my group certificate had the incorrect date on it. The accountant had corrected the date with the tax debt within weeks of it being issued, but Centrelink did not have the correction.

Debt amount:
$5500
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
1 July 2018

This is my son's notification. I have been trying to sort it since January. He has ADHD, dyslexia, aspergers, anxiety and massive depression. He has, since receiving the letters, suicidal tendencies. He was trying to fit into the workplace but failed to notify centrelink of his proper income.

Debt amount:
$20000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
30 July 2019

I recently was told I have debts raised one for compensation I didn't get child support that my partner was supposed to pay me plus not declared income right but I did now have $20000 to

Debt amount:
$2400
Payment Type:
Aged Pension
Date debt issued:
30 July 2018

A lot of stress
Last year I was in hospital for 3 months
6 weeks in induced coma

Debt amount:
$2240
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
23 July 2019

they dropped off when i threatened them with legal action.....but they pounced on my tax refund of $1290.00 .

Debt amount:
$2500
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
10 July 2019

This has made me into a nervous wreck. This is the third time centrelink has said I owe them but I strongly believe this claim is false. I have previously paid back a centrelink loan after finally getting of youth allowance and I had to pay back some money to ato after submitting my tax return incorrectly.

Debt amount:
$19000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 December 2017

I took my debt letter, tax returns and payslips to my tax agent; they have been in the business for 40 years.
The tax agents cannot fathom how I owe this money since I was earning so little whilst at uni.

Debt amount:
$1800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 May 2018

Fuck these pricks... They are doing the wrong thing here.

Debt amount:
$24000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 October 2018

I am devastated by this debt. I have given on ever working again and the repayments from my current centrleink payment have left me homeless and unable to afford to live with any dignity. I continue to be regularly cut off from my benefit even though I am homeless and studying via distance education.

Debt amount:
$13000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
4 July 2018

This fake, false debt has resulted in me having 100’s of phone calls from debt collectors. Sometimes 15 per week at all hours including weekends. This constant harassment means that I am filled with dread every time I hear my phone ring. Multiple letters sent in the mail means I’m filled with fear every time I see a letter in my mailbox.

Debt amount:
$5000
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
23 July 2019

Received this letter the other day. High levels over anxiety coming in. I was working as a sessional teacher at the time which was only about 8-12 hours a week. Pay was fortnightly and I am sure I was reporting everything correctly. I have not worked at that school for quite some time and have no payslips as it was from 4-5 years ago.

Debt amount:
$628
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
20 October 2016

I've posted previously about my debt (http://notmydebt.com.au/stories/notmydebt-stories/robo-debt-return-beaur...). It was resolved some time ago now and I wanted to update my story.

Debt amount:
$6000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
14 January 2018

I am currently working full time as a nurse in aged care I am also studying my bachelor's I automatically started paying my so called debt because I was hassled by a debt collector and I couldn't get any information of when I was supposed to have owed the debt and now I get a letter from centrelink wanting my wage information from all

Debt amount:
$1010
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost

This has been going on so long, and I'm at the end of my tether with it. There was overpayment debt from 2015-2016 that went to the AAT, I lost and I cannot believe that they did not even take into consideration the underpayment of $1200 from 2016-2017.

Debt amount:
$540
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process

I had a debt for failure to report, even though I was locked out for reporting. It was raised a year later without my knowledge. The first I knew was when debt collectors were calling me. This was quite disturbing and also time consuming to retract the debt. The debt however was completely covered by income credits.

Debt amount:
$1400
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
23 May 2018

They say this debt occurred when I was working casually as a teacher. There are periods where I worked and earned good income, but then school holiday periods where I didn’t work and so had no income and got Newstart.

Debt amount:
$2000
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
10 March 2015

It was when I was in a women's shelter for two weeks and was told I wouldn't have to worry about anything money wise as I used that one fortnight payment to escape, years later they alleged I incorrectly claimed whilst 'still with a partner' when it was supposed to be waived due to circumstances, and then as I was assumed par

Debt amount:
$16000
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
17 July 2019

I was working casually >20hrs &>200 weekly wage - in that time Frame they told me I wasn’t earning much and so I didn’t have to report for this and now they say I didn’t report so I have to pay back.

Debt amount:
$15500
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
1 March 2019

Centerlink claims I owe 15,000 dollars from an over payment they claim they paid me. I am currently bankrupt due to my son needing money as he was ill when he was in Sydney and I helped him out financially.

Debt amount:
$1300
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
1 July 2019

This has meant that I can't move out, I can't save money, and all because I was given the wrong information by centrelink when applying.

Debt amount:
$1800
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to

I thought it was a scam; i had completely phoned it in and payed half while i was trying to organise the information but in the end they just changed my tax return to the exact amount owed. trying to fight it now but what the government did is sickening.

Debt amount:
$3000
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
17 July 2019

I got a letter in my mygov just over a month ago saying that there were inaccuracies between my reports to centrelink vs ATO & I would need to provide payslips from every week worked for that entire financial year.

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