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Beyond a joke

Debt amount: 
$3165
Date debt issued: 
Tuesday, 2 May 2017
Period debt occurred: 
December 2016 to April 2017
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
No
Payment Type: 
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?: 
Yes in process
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

I left my fulltime job in October last year, and whilst searching for new work I started receiving Newstart payments in Dec2016. (Previously hadn't been on centrelink for over 18 years) I did happen to find casual work and began around the same time. (and have been declaring all income)

Approximately 2 weeks ago I received an email stating that they were reviewing my declared income and to contact them immediately, so I did and during the review I provided them with the entirety of my payslips since commencing work. I was then told that everything was fine, but because the dates of my pay periods (Wed - Tues) don't match the dates of my declaration periods (Mon - Sun), I may have a small amount owing. Then after declaring my current income I received a payment of $1.

Then yesterday I receive another email stating that my newstart payments have been suspended, so again I call to resolve whatever issue there may be, only to be informed I have a centrelink debt of $3165. Which was quite a shock because I have only been receiving payments since dec and they have always been quite low. So I decide to go back and calculate how much my payments totalled.

So since 12th Dec 2016 I have received Newstart payments to a total of $3114.66, yet I have apparently been over paid $3165. Can someone please help me understand how this can even be possible. I owe more than I have received?

#what a joke

How do you feel about the way the Government has handled this process?: 

Very disappointed, Have always done the right thing and now while im struggling financially trying to better my situation, feels like they are laying the boot in.