OLD DEBT: Beccy Burville with a letter demanding payment for a debt supposedly incurred seven years ago.
OLD DEBT: Beccy Burville with a letter demanding payment for a debt supposedly incurred seven years ago. Jonno Colfs

Centrelink letters have Warwick people owing years later

AS THE Centrelink debacle continues to cause panic among pensioners, jobseekers and parents, more horror stories are emerging from around the country and it appears that Warwick is not immune.

Many Daily News readers have shared their own stressful dealings with the debt recovery process.

Beccy Burville received a letter at the start of December telling her she had been overpaid in the period from July to October 2010, and as a result Centrelink were required to recover the money.

In this case, a total of $582 - missed by Centrelink's checks and balances for seven years.

Miss Burville said the letter was a real shock.

"It throws the budget right out, I have a young son and every cent is accounted for these days,” she said.

"It would be lovely just to win lotto and never have to deal with Centrelink again.

"Of course, I rang them up and surprisingly got straight through, they said I had been overpaid in 2010.”

Miss Burville said the customer service operator she spoke to said the discrepancy was discovered by Centrelink's new technology, which haf the ability to review previous years.

"I just hope my case isn't one of the mistakes by the new automated system that I've been reading about.

"And because it's been seven years it sounds like an automated system error but I can't prove that easily.

"Today I rang my employer from way back then and I'll try and find out if I can disprove this.”

Another Warwick woman who did not wish to be named said she had been hit with a huge debt of $18,000.

"That was about four of five years ago and I was certain I didn't owe it,” she said.

"I'd been paying it off at $150 a fortnight and the last time I looked I had around $10,000 left to pay,” she said.

"Then all of a sudden recently, there is no more debt, it has disappeared.

"Do I get back all that money I paid off over those years?”

Fello Warwick mum Sonya Gillespie also received a letter in December.

"Thanks to Centrelink's new system, I now have a bill for $1065,” she said.

"I don't believe I owe them anything.

"They are always so quick to pounce on any mistake you make when declaring income and suddenly I get an email for overpayment from over two years ago.

"It's a bit odd.”



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