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Pay periods don't match with reporting period

Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Sunday, 10 September 2017
Period debt occurred: 
July 2014 to June 2015
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: 

A few years back I decided I was sufficiently stable to not have to rely on Centrelink anymore.
I got on my own feet, managed to find a permanent-part time contract in my chosen field of study, and just last month, got to the point where I have started actually, good lord, saving money for a future house, seeing rent and associated bills have always been about 70% of my income.

Funny, that; I've always assumed having trouble with rent was normal for a low income but it turns out I've been experiencing 'rental stress'. How modern.

I received a letter informing me of a $1700 debt. I had always been careful to over-estimate my income for the reporting dates. For example, if I worked 9 hours at normal rates of say $27/hr, I would estimate $28/hr and go from there as a safety margin. Hence my shock in receiving a penalty notice as a reward for cautious economy.

Working for Woolworths, I am lucky enough to be able to source a pay report for the specified period.
The problem is, payslips rarely specify the actual date worked for the pay periods, just an umbrella period (Mon-Fri, paid out Tuesday evening). Mine is no exception.
Centrelink's own website states, word for word;
"Report your and your partner’s income for the whole reporting period, including the first and last days. Report it even if your employer hasn’t paid you yet"

I reported to the decimal my estimated income, based on the days I had worked. The process of confirmation on the Centrelink website involves using the payslips to enter income for Tuesday-Tuesday fortnight, without consideration of the fact that the payslips run from Mon-Sun Weekly.
There is no way to accurately estimate a Tuesday fortnight of earnings, and thus I believe I am being penalised for pay which does not, in fact, fall within the dates indicated. Similarly, amounts received in the bank account on a Tuesday should not count as income for that Tuesday, but the previous week.

There is very little transparency from the Centrelink side of the deal either; I requested to receive a report of what I had indicated my earnings to be, however all I wound up with was a verbal statement of
"You said you have earned X amount for the year".

Exceedingly helpful. Had I a listed report I would be able to at least show the hours and amounts averaged out to the indicated gross, and stand a reasonable chance of taking it further.

Frankly, I'm stressed, angry, upset and furious about this retrospective stupidity, and just a little further away, once again, from approaching a financial situation where I feel secure.
I will fight this like hell.

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

Insisting that everything is fine is not handling matters.

It feels like another case of kicking the lowest denominator, similar to the removal of Penalty rates.