At a press conference on Wednesday, Wilkie said the Commonwealth Ombudsman was investigating the issue after Wilkie raised it in a letter.
“I’ve had people who have approached me who have been frightened, absolutely scared, people who are paying this money because they are so frightened by this very official letter,” Wilkie said. “I’ve had four people now approach me in my office who I would describe as presenting as suicidal.”
Labor MP Linda Burney said the system should be paused until the government can fix it.
Scores of Australians have taken to social media to complain about the letters, using the hashtag #NotMyDebt.
Many of the disputed debts stem from the fortnightly income reported to Centrelink being matched against annual income information from the Australian Taxation Office.