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Zero Dollar Debt becomes a Time Sink

Debt amount: 
Date debt issued: 
Thursday, 28 September 2017
Period debt occurred: 
July 2012 to June 2013
Has your case been referred to a collection agency?: 
Payment Type: 
Youth Allowance
Appealing Debt?: 
Tell us about your debt and how has this affected you? e.g. anxiety levels, financial and accommodation stress: 

I worked for a company for a few weeks doing vacation work while I was at uni. Some of this time occured in July of the 12-13 financial year. I ended up getting a graduate job at the same company in December. I cancelled my Youth Allowance in the month prior to starting work.

DHS only gets a single statement from the ATO saying I worked for this company from July 2012 to June 2013 and earned $xx,xxx. So because they think I worked for this company for the entire financial year, they think I was working while receiving YA and not reporting. I've provided bank records which show the months paid which totals the amount ATO gave them, proving I didn't work those months. Filling in the bank records online said I had a $0 debt owing. After submitting, it again told me I needed to contact them on the phone to resolve.

So because of this "unique" situation that doesn't fit their computer process, it's being done manually. I actually don't know what they are doing to be honest. I still continue to get the usual letters reminding me to "sort it out with them on the phone". At this point I have wasted 5+ hours of personal time chasing down bank records and old pay slips, filling out the online forms, and sitting on the phone with DHS multiple times.

All to recover $0 of debt. How efficient...

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

The whole thing is a joke.

It might work for very simple cases, but anything out of the ordinary and DHS staff have no way of handling it.