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Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Thursday, 8 December 2016
Period debt occurred: 
December 2010 to June 2011
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
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 have not relied on Centrelink for a long time but am still a financially struggling student with both anxiety and depression. Christmas time is already very hard for me and before I saw that it was a widespread issue I felt so alone I was contemplating suicide. My mental health has spiralled since and I feel like this is hanging over me like a cloud. I'd managed to claw myself out of debt in the last 3years and to cop such a large fine from over 5years ago when I've only ever been honest with Centrelink? Appalling and devastating. When I spoke to a lady from Centrelink on the phone (I was lucky to receive a phone call after sending some upset emails) she looked at my file and said she could see where the error was occurring, but that I must have had to submit a separation certificate to be on benefits in the first place, I agreed as I had had to provide that. She then proceeded to tell me there wasn't anything on file anymore probably because it was from over 5years ago. Unbelievably upsetting to say the least, that Centrelink does not even keep these documents that long but I am expected to provide them AGAIN? I've been told best course of action is to obtain both payslips from two seperate jobs and a separation certificate, two things I am unable to obtain as I left my place of employment on bad terms and also documents that have already been submitted to Centrelink at one time or another to assess what payments I'd be receiving. I have never been untruthful with Centrelink and I am being treated like a thief.

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

Horrible. They don't care about us at all, they view us as untrustworthy common thieves who they need to "claw money back from" while their own take lavish trips on our dollar.