“Not my debt” victim Lee Roxborough has a message to other people who are fighting Centrelink after being accused of over payments.
“Do not be ashamed. You have done nothing wrong. This is not your debt.”
Miss Roxborough is urging people not to pay the Centrelink claim – at least until they have sought advice.
She said she gave up far too early and agreed to pay her alleged debt because she didn’t seek help.
“Go to the hashtag notmydebt on social media and start there,’’ she said.
“”Get in touch with whoever you trust, be it legal aid, a solicitor, politicians such as Linda Burney, Andrew Wilkie, Rob Oakeshott or Tony Windsor.
“It seems the lndependents and Labor are the ones to go to to get the support that is needed – that’s my experience, anyway,’ she said. For months, Miss Roxborough kept her debt to herself, mortified at how such a thing had happened after Centrelink contacted her and said she owed almost $6,500 from alleged over payments in 2011.
“I was able to go back and get the paperwork but it was an enormous amount of work and some people might find it much harder to track the paperwork you need to prove what you got paid,’’ she said. Miss Roxborough sent a letter to opposition spokesperson for Human Services Linda Burney and she said she had not felt alone since that contact.
All her paperwork has been collated by Ms Burney’s office with other examples and sent to the Minister for Human Services, MP Alan Tudge.
“I hope he accepts the evidence. I hope he admits the system is broken,’’ Miss Roxborough said.
“There can not be 20,000 Australians a week committing “fraud” which is what a Centrelink person told me I had done when I phoned about it.
”I needed a little bit of help in 2011 and they have made me feel like a criminal.’’
She was working two part-time jobs and a Centrelink algorithm appears to have averaged out pay earned over a two year period.