my debt stemmed from my first and only job. when i got the job i tried to end my relationship with centrelink, but they insisted i had to continue to report my income and attend job services for an undisclosed amount of time
I was told the debt was incurred because i reported my income by inputting what was exactly on my payslip, i was reporting my employers fortnight, not centrelinks fortnight.
I was supposed to calculate how much i had been paid during the Centrelink fortnight.
Nobody told me this at the time, and there was no mention of this on the reporting page.
i was eventually 'cut off' from centrelink for not reporting enough times because i just forgot do the pointless task as usually i would receive no payment for it.
i was working at a school in a support position and the payment that led to this debt was issued because i did not get a wage during school holidays.
by the time i received the debt notice, i was two years out of the job. the job had already exacerbated my mental illness and i was very depressed and agoraphobic, as well as stressed by the thousands i owed my previous employer (there was even a warrant issued) & in credit card debt from when i was trying to get a job without being reabsorbed by the inhumane centrelink system (ultimately pointless because here i am, jumping through their hoops)
the combination of fighting the debt & the disability application process has seen my mental and physical health decline rapidly, leading to a cycle of violent self harm that has left my mental faculties permanently damaged, and increased my physical limitations ten fold.
this process was and is cruel and inhumane.
where clients and employees of centrelink have had to go through horrifying and painful processes.
for so many to be slapped with these debts while the human services minister went on holiday is disgraceful.
the debt along with my experience of the disability process, all i see is a cruel system run by rich men who know they will never have to engage with such a system or be held accountable for their actions.
they don't think of us or the centrelink employees as human beings, just bugs to be used and discarded.