LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

VIC Centrelink Family Allowance - Debt Collectors

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by PaulAM, 12 April 2015.

  1. PaulAM

    PaulAM Active Member

    Joined:
    12 April 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife was the main income earner, and I was the stay-at-home parent raising our three children.
    When my wife left, returning to Japan and kidnapping our three children in the process. I was later contacted by Centrelink (Family Allowance), stating that I personally owed them $10,000 in overpayments. I have asked them in writing (emailed their Centrelink site) for an independent assessment on several occasions which is apparently my legal right, but they have never allowed this to progress. I was only contacted by one of their staff, who stated that if I stopped paying regularly, they would place my debt in the hands of a debt collectors. I have been paying the debt off regularly every week ($50). and have reduced the debt to approximately $7,000. I now have been contacted again by Centrelink, stating that since I do not have a written agreement of repayments, and that they will be looking to take any future tax refunds. I have been paying regularly, yet they threaten me this way?

    They also threatened, that if I stop regular payments, they will put it into the hands of a debt-collecting agency which will charge me interest? Bully boy tactics at best, I say. Since the family allowance was based on my wife's income, and I was the stay-at-home parent, why is this debt solely mine? Initially, when we first asked for family allowance on our return to Australia, i believe that I used my medicare number as my wife dod not have one yet. I have never had this debt fully explained to me, or any copies of paperwork relating to this debt, so I cannot challenge anything.
    How do I obtain an independent and fair assessment of my apparent debt, without Centrelink stopping this, as they have done before?
     
  2. Bellissimo

    Bellissimo Active Member

    Joined:
    12 April 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's not solely your debt but your wife isn't contactable and you are. Sadly because of this, Centrelink are going after you for the money. You and your children benefitted from the money and therefore, you have to pay it back.

    It is also true they can recover your tax refunds. The ATO send it straight to them with no consultation from you.

    I would suggest going to your local MP and explaining the situation. Once a minister is involved you get answers pretty swiftly in my experience.
    The other thing you can do is go through Centrelink's complaints procedure where they will make a judgement on your decision.
    You can reduce your payments to $20 a week if the $50 is too much for you and that way, it will become less of a nuisance for you.

    Complaints and feedback - tell us what you think
     
  3. PaulAM

    PaulAM Active Member

    Joined:
    12 April 2015
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I appreciate a third party independent point of view. Thank you for taking the time to reply. I appreciate that. best regards. paul
     

Share This Page

Loading...