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Centrelink preying on the vulnerable... Disgusting!

Debt amount: 
$9600
Date debt issued: 
Wednesday, 16 March 2016
Period debt occurred: 
June 2010 to June 2012
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
Yes
Payment Type: 
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?: 
Yes & I won
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

My daughter allegedly incurred a debt during a period she suffered a major physical injury after which she battled suicidal depression for 2 yrs, and could only work for short periods. She then lost her brother to suicide in 2014.

We were first advised of the debt by a collection agency!
When we contacted centrelink and told them of the history and requested evidence of the debt and a review, they told us that “that doesn’t matter because he didn’t die when the debt was incurred”! We were shattered by their heartlessness!!

They then failed to provide adequate evidence of the alleged debt and told us “you are guilty until YOU prove you are innocent”!

2 1/2 yrs of centrelink inactions, inability to explain, ignored multiple requests to review the debt etc

After a covert ‘recovery’ of over $4000 via ATO which pushed my daughter back in to a state of suicidaliy, she was hospitalised.

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

They failed to provide evidence, failed to review the debt in a timely manner, forced us to obtain information thru FOI (as opposed to providing the evidence), failed to advise us of our rights to appeal!
It took 2 1/2 yrs to finally be resolved through the AAT!

A demeaning, soul destroying experience!

Centrelink preying on the vulnerable...
Disgusting!