Monday, 6 February 2017

Too many Liberal and Nationals MPs keep quiet while this sort of stress is happening to people in their electorates

Yet more examples of the Turnbull Government’s Centrelink automated ‘debt’ recovery debacle made it into the media………

Penrith City Gazette, 27 January 2017:

A Glenmore Park woman has described being sick with stress after Centrelink slapped her with a $35,000 debt bill, only to have it reduced to $173 a week later.

The woman, who is known to the Gazette but wishes to remain anonymous, was caught up in the controversial Centrelink crackdown on alleged overpayments earlier this month after being informed she owed the government agency $2,795.87, but was not told why.

After providing further financial information, she then received a Centrelink letter claiming she owed a whopping $35,147.16 just one week later.

The woman described being in tears and shaking as she repeatedly called both Centrelink and the Commonwealth Ombudsman about the debt.

On January 17 the woman was contacted by Centrelink and told she had in fact only been overpaid on three days six years ago, and the new debt was just $173.51.

Lindsay Labor MP Emma Husar said her office had been contacted several times after receiving similar notices from the automated system, which compares Centrelink and Tax Office records, many around Christmas time.

“This particular case highlights the incompetence of the system – a $35,000 debt notice reduced to $170 after two weeks on the phone, worrying and stressing,” she said.

My daughter has been fighting #centrelink incorrect debt since Nov. Since that time her debt has changed from 4k to 6k & today it dropped to
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      leisa @thisleisa  
         2k on completion of appeal. Guy she spoke to said 'he' dropped it significantly as it was 'obvious'   she had genuinely tried to report
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      leisa @thisleisa  
         correctly. So this amount is not based on any disparate figures. It's been at his discretion. I'm          trying to encourage her to keep fighting
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      leisa @thisleisa  
 but as she was already advised to start paying back debt ($10pf) before completion of appeal, she  just feels like this is the easy option.
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      leisa @thisleisa  
 She's been fighting it for months. Goes to work in tears everyday. The whole thing has been  designed to grind her down & I'm afraid its
1 reply 5 retweets 6 likes
      leisa @thisleisa  
 succeeded. And I can understand. An incorrect debt of 2k is better than 6k. But on the same hand  it's not her debt. It's a dismal cockup.
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      leisa @thisleisa  
 And I've been gently encouraging her to keep fighting today. Got some good advice but it's not me  fighting. Hate seeing her in this position
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      leisa @thisleisa  
 She's a good girl, good mother who works hard. She also votes. And so does every member of her  family & we wont forget her pain.
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 @janecat60 it's been a horrible shit show Jane. This kid has been back at work since O was not  even 1yo. So unfair.

And yes, Nationals Kevin Hogan MP I’m looking straight at you because these so-called payment discrepancy notices are also turning up in letter boxes across the Northern Rivers region and specifically in your electorate.


Centrelink direct freecall numbers:

Debt recovery - 1800 076 072
Payment Integrity - 1800 194 053
Customer Compliance - 1800 086 400

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