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My Wife and I suddenly owe Centrelink money, despite neither of us having worked for years!

Debt amount: 
$8753
Date debt issued: 
Wednesday, 24 January 2018
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
No
Payment Type: 
Newstart Allowance
Appealing Debt?: 
Yes but I lost
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

Financial Stress
Financial Hardship
Stress

My Wife has a Disability and hasn't worked in years. I am suffering from Disability and Injury and haven't worked in years. They claim that I owe them over $4,000 from not declaring work I did in 2012. They say my wife was overpaid the exact same amount, for the same period.

Due to this, my health has deteriorated to the point where I use a cane daily and suffer often from Respiratory infections. I recently contracted Pnemonia and my memory and Cognitive abilities have suffered greatly. I have spent time in the hospital and can barely function some days. My speech is slurred, my coordination is way off and I have been accused of being drunk or affected by drugs. I have a pain problem, due to an old leg injury which is now a disability.

A far cry from the national level athlete I was in 2011.

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

I am appauled and outraged. I feel like I have been branded a thief and a liar.