I was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer at 24 years old. I was without work for 6 months and already have the stress of cancer without the stress of having to pay back money
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#NotMyDebt Shared Stories
Received the 'debt' letter just yesterday. I'm assuming the initial 'explain yourself' letter was sent to my previous address, because I never got it.
I was being paid Youth Allowance for 5 months of the 2013-14 financial year when I started my masters degree.
The first half of the financial year I was working more hours and didn't get anything from Centerlink.
I received notice in August 2017 that I needed to confirm my income from 2010/2012.
They say something payslips not matching and i owe this huge debt.
Financially, mentally and physically exhausted.
Currently i have no stable accommodation and looking for a breath of air where ever and when ever i can.
I have been very anxious about this experience.
When I called and spoke to the people who are supposed to help you put in your payslips, I cried for 20 minutes on the phone to her about the amount I apparently owe.
I could tell she wanted to help, but it wasn’t in her power and I appreciate that she listened to how much this will affect my future.
Causing grief where it is not due, bringing back anxiety attacks whilst at work.
I'm lucky that the claimed debt amount would not be an issue to pay.
Luckily I was taught by my parents to keep all payslips and documents from a young age so I can easily prove this debt is wrong.
I was on Austudy between late September to mid December of 2014 because I was a full-time student (over 25), with a crappy retail job and on-top of that I was supporting my divorced, PTSD/Depressed Mother which was why I needed the centrelink payments in the first place to help cover expenses like rent, food, electricity, internet etc.
I had to change my living situation from student to job seeker in office.
Told me it would happen automatically and to just start looking for work. 9 months down the track i get a letter telling me there are inconsistencies with my current situation and i panic, thinking maybe i should just pull out of centerlink completely because at the time my situation would have been okay without.
Cue a week later i'm slapped with a debt.
Left me in a state of dread and crushing depression.
I already suffer with anxiety and this has really taken its toll on me.
Mentally it has depressed me as I’ve had to go on medication as this issue has just tipped me over the edge.
Physically my body had broken out in a stress psoriasis, which I am now having to get treatment for x3 times a week.
Financially it has destroyed me. I’m responsible for two children and everyone knows how expensive everyday life is! This debt on top of that kills me.
Severe anxiety, chest pains, inability to sleep, focus very difficult.
Financial impact is debilitating.
Work has become extremely hard to focus on and I work in Mental Health !!
My debt was given to me in a letter saying I owe $20,000. They say I failed to update my study details.
I was studying fulltime, in a domestic violence situation, struggling already to cope with everyday life.
I wasn't aware I had to update my details as I dropped one subject.
I wasn't aware I had done anything wrong, to my knowledge I was stil entitled to a payment.
I had no income for that whole year, and I would have been entitled to more than what they were giving me if I wasn't considered a student with them which is what they are saying.
This is my second debt. No one can explain to me how it has happened except my pay slips dont match up with my reporting.
I asked them were they aware that they wont match up because my center link fortnight and my work fortnight were different. The person I spoke to said that is how they do it.
I did ask if common sense would ever prevail.
I simply do not have it in me anymore to fight.
Right before exam period approaches I get a letter to say I owe a mass amount of debt, absolute panic attack as I've never owed in my life and all of a sudden they want money in 14 days!
Requested a hold and a copy of DATA BREAKDOWN which allows you to verify what you reported so you can cross reference your pay.
Centrelink performed a data matching with the ATO.
The ATO had my earning $X for a particular period but centrelink had recorded $Y for the same period being less than the ATO.
They then decided this meant I had underdeclared my income.
Very stressful as I am already struggling on my current income.
There’s not a chance this debt could be accurate.
I received notice in August 2017 that I needed to confirm my income from 2012.
Panicking and unsure what to do, I spent hours going over old bank statements calculating the fortnightly net payments from my employer.
I then had to enter each fortnight's data into the online portal that is absolutely atrocious. This system is not easy to use!
I am about to undertake my final exams for my degree (ever) and I feel very overwhelmed that they have just contacted me.
Very anxious and uneasy and have two exams this week. Can't stop thinking about it.
I was on Youth Allowance for a brief period whilst I completed my last year at University.
During the time I was working part-time and Centrelink are now claiming that I did not declare correctly and that I owe $3,547.00.
Two other people in my work place are having the EXACT same issue.
I have been on the phone countless times, uploaded my bank statements and pay slips, and now currently going through my first appeal.
Last year (2017) I received a phone call to verify my earnings from the period of 2013-2015!
Are you kidding me? In those years I was studying, in 2015 all year, so would have been on Austudy and was working here and there over those years too.
At the beginning of 2015 I received a letter staying that I owed around $150, which I paid naively through MyGov. I am shocked to discover that I apparently owe $6048.13 now!
Back in 2016 I started studying my Masters degree and signed up for Austudy, I also dropped my hours back at work to focus on my studies.
I made sure I kept copies of my payslips, and took care to not earn too much money whilst claiming the allowance.
In March this year I received an email prompting me to check my mygov account as I had a letter from Centrelink.
When I eventually logged in to check it, it asked me to confirm my earnings for both the tax periods.
Thankfully I clicked on a wrong button and I got a notification to call a number.