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Stressed

Debt amount: 
$2800
Date debt issued: 
Saturday, 4 February 2017
Period debt occurred: 
March 2016 to February 2017
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
No
Payment Type: 
Family Tax Benefit
Appealing Debt?: 
No
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

This debt has been randomly placed on me, through a "duplicate system error".
I had updated my rental details through MyGov in Oct 2016. Centrelink requested a copy of rental agreement or my rental assistance would be cut off.

My rental assessment was backdated from Mar 2016 to Nov 2016, the time I went into a service centre.
I was taken aback when advised by customer service officer, I would be back paid and the amount being paid.
I asked cso to double check. Which she did"twice".
I was still in doubt at the time, but thought Centrelinks system would have updated my details.

Feb 2017, I received an electronic email via MyGov, stating I owed money.
My stress levels rose and I started to feel anxious and apprehensive knowing I owed money which I really could not afford to pay back, but had to pay out of no fault of mine.
I was told "if a bank deposited million dollars into my account I would have to pay it back".
Well, they're not a bank and I would most certainly know it's not mine.
Centrelink has given me no choice, no explanation except "it was a duplicate system error" whatever that means?

So in fact, Centrelink was not updating customer financial details, and left that to a flawed system.

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

Very upset with the way the Government has handled the situation.
They made me feel like it was my fault their system failed.