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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:
$2600
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
17 February 2017

I have never under-declared any earnings, They've been taking money out of my fortnightly payments. I made an official complaint weeks ago and attached my pay slips for all the work I did but I've not heard a word. It is, and has been, very stressful. I will now attempt to contact the ombudsman.

Debt amount:
$3300
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process

I got the debt letter just before Christmas, my tax return which I had deliberately not had done until close to xmas was then in jeopardy of being held to help pay my debt (that I know is false.)

Debt amount:
$0
Payment Type:
Disability Support Pension
Date debt issued:
16 February 2017

My husband got a robo call this morning. There was a threatening recorded message claiming to be from the department of human services and demanding immediate action. That was as much as my husband could hear as it was in a noisy cafe. He clicked on the appropriate menue option as instructed then waited and then was disconnected.

Debt amount:
$9200
Payment Type:
Sickness Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
24 November 2016

I received a letter last year stating I owed 9200 from sickness benefits I received for 9 months during the year of 2011. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, such a large amount of money that I knew was entirely wrong. First thing that crossed my mind was how on earth was I going to pay this.

Debt amount:
$3565
Payment Type:
Parenting Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
6 December 2016

It has given me severe anxiety, which I have been suffering from night and day. It is on my mind 24-7 it affects my ability to work, raise my daughter, be a good partner and live life day to day. I'm constantly thinking about this debt and that I will be prosecuted and named a fraud when I havnt done anything wrong!

Debt amount:
$4500
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
No
Date debt issued:
1 December 2016

This all started only when I received an SMS from Probe Group debt collectors over Christmas. I didn't even know what the Probe Group was, but found out after some googling.

Debt amount:
$3361
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 January 2017

I already have high Anxiety Levels and this had just made me so much more stressed and anxious especially since i probably will lose my appeal due to lack of evidence on the fact i was getting screwed over by Centrelink at the time and couldn't pay my CIT Fees and was not able to get the textbooks needed to study.

Debt amount:
$15000
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
13 November 2015

It's destroyed my life, I have a newborn and they have already started paying themselves back without my permission

Debt amount:
$1800
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
17 October 2016

A constant stress since October, when I got the letter was confused and had a panic attack outside my house. imediately I felt suicidal thoughts I hadn't had in years - it was a lot to deal with.

Debt amount:
$1350
Payment Type:
Austudy
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
11 October 2017

I had heard nothing about the robodebt issue at this time, and once again being stuck on the casualised/underemployed/centrelink merrygoround (ie financially stressed), this caused me considerable stress & upset.

Debt amount:
$2688
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
13 January 2017

I have lost sleep.. I have been very angry. I can't get any one to listen to me when I ring Centrelink. I can prove Centrelink's assessment is wrong. I have had the embarrasment of having to ask where I work now, and where I used work, to get pay slips.

Debt amount:
$3800
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
9 February 2017

I am a single mum who works part-time. I first received the threatening letter everybody did on 13 October 2016 from 'Task force Integrity', scared my details were not up to date I logged on a daily checked, all was fine. I changed no details and just clicked save.

Debt amount:
$2800
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
18 December 2016

Anxiety and loss of resources.

Debt amount:
$1300
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won

In December 2016 I received a letter requesting I confirm my income from my casual job in 2012 due to information not correlating with data from the ATO, after many attempts and ‘service unavailable’ notifications, I submitted confirmation of my income from the period of time requested.

Debt amount:
$2600
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
1 August 2016

This debt existed from 3 years ago. I was studying at the time while also working as I lived out of home. I was not asked to report income, only was means tested when initially applying.

Debt amount:
$787
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
7 December 2016

I was unaware that I had any debt until I started receiving mysterious text messages asking me to contact 'Probe Group'. They send a message and then make you call back, leaving you on hold for upwards of an hour.

Debt amount:
$20000
Appealing Debt?:
No

Can't read the letter - can't open mail. Used to be safe and careful...the government should stop asking for money back when it was given in a time of need - they shouldn't ask for any money back ever from the welfare system - NOT EVER! Its not like we wanted to take welfare in the first place you Indian givers.

Debt amount:
$817
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
12 December 2016

I am not on Centrelink and have not been for almost two years. The first I heard of this was when I received an sms on 20/12/16 alerting me to a My Gov message.

Debt amount:
$3100
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
26 October 2016

Received a bill for $3100 in October. This is dating back to 2011 when I worked, went overseas for 6 weeks, came back to the same job, left 3 months later, on Newstart for 5 months until I got a new job that I'm still with to this day.

Debt amount:
$1320
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
19 September 2016

I was contacted by Dun & Bradstreet demanding payment for a debt and this was the first moment I had ever heard about it. Centrelink had sent all mail to a previous address I was living at so I had no idea they had raised a debt against me until I was being harassed by debt collectors for repayment.

Debt amount:
$3600
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
I don't know how to
Date debt issued:
2 February 2017

Out of the blue I had two letters saying I had been over-paid by a huge amount - I mean how does that even happen when they have all my details? absolutely no information has changed between November 2016 when I had a letter saying all is fine but then suddenly 3 months later I suddenly owe $3600?

Debt amount:
$11500
Payment Type:
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?:
Unknown
Date debt issued:
17 January 2017

A week ago, I was fine! School year started for my kids, I've started my school year, had worked out my weekly budget and have not long finished paying off my car. We live a simple life, but we're happy. I got a message from mygov telling me to check my inbox...and honestly, it felt like the bottom of my world dropped out!

Debt amount:
$536
Payment Type:
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes & I won
Date debt issued:
17 November 2016

In mid Nov 2016 was advised by letter of an overpayment made to me by Centrelink during Jan-June 2011 while I unemployed (Jan & Feb), and then working casually from March 2011. I called Centrelink immediately as I felt the dates regarding my unemployment and employment were not accurate, and that the debt raised might be incorrect.

Debt amount:
$350
Payment Type:
Carer Payment
Appealing Debt?:
Yes but I lost
Date debt issued:
15 December 2016

I work my butt off & have not received any benefit from Centrelink for over 3 years. I am living week to week & just manage. Now to have this debt suddenly appear & be told my only option is to contact my ex & see if he has pay slips for May 2013. The stress of a bill, No way do I want to contact my ex. Even more stress.

Debt amount:
$9650
Payment Type:
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?:
Yes in process
Date debt issued:
16 July 2016

My first encounter with a debt from Centrelink, came as a quick call from a so called Debt Collector asking for $9650 at the end of Dec, 2015. He quickly said I owed this money to Centrelink and hung up with out any other information. I thought it was a scam and checked out a site and that said exactly that. So I ignored the phone call.

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