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Julie Murchie


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My latest experience with Centrelink.

I am a very disgruntled, frustrated & now becoming angry - "recipient" of Centrelink. I am currently on hold AGAIN for who knows how many times? I rang Centrelink at 9.23am this morning.

I was informed way back in September 2016, that I had a Centrelink "debt" - re through the ATO. I was informed I needed to take my payslips (which dated back to 2011) to Centrelink & have them scanned into their system. I no longer had the payslips, that ended in 2012. So, I was informed I must ring my former employer & request the said payslips to be posted to me. That occurred, but I was unwell at that time, and could not attend in person at Centrelink, so I started to repay the so-called DEBT, which is completely incorrect. Then, whilst doing that, I received approximately 8 more letters, requesting me to repay the debt in full, which I cannot do - I am living on a Disability Pension.

In the intervening months, I was suffering from panic disorder, fractured my L1 vertebrae (LI anterior compression fracture - highly unstable, near spinal cord) - & had also suffered 3 seizures. The, shockingly & unexpectedly, my youngest son, 36 years old, suicided - no illicit drugs, he was suffering from panic disorder. He HUNG HIMSELF! He left behind his wife & 2 young children, who were, at that time only 5 & 8 years old.

I am still grieving of course, which is absolutely confronting. I have lost my son.

Centrelink informed me I had to bring all documents personally to their office. I did so & was confronted by a recipient in front of me. He verbally abused me several times. The security man saw what was occurring & just stood there. By the time I left that Centrelink office, he had disappeared & was on his "coffee break". No other security man had replaced him in that time.

Also, Centrelink does have a facility in place for when a person walks through the double glass doors - to scan for metals: firearms, knives, etc - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL!! In the past, I worked for Melbourne solicitors as a P.A. for some years. The security scanning at all courts in the William Street, Melbourne, Victoria law precinct would detect any metals. I was "pulled up" a couple of times for simply having a staple or paperclip. Centrelink HAS NOTHING AT ALL, and many people attending have emotional, financial & many other issues. It is a highly volatile & emotional environment. I have lodged a complaint re the incident involving a male recipient in front of me. He was much younger than me & quite strong. I am a 64 year old female.

They have continued to deduct money from my Disability Pension, even though I received a telephone call, informing me, that since I have lodged my payslips with them, they would cease deducting money whilst the investigation is in process.

I AM NOW STILL WAITING ON HOLD. I ORIGINALLY RANG THEM AT 9.23am this morning & could not get through at all. I rang back at 9.49am and the lady who answered, when I explained my reason for contacting Centrelink said something like "I can't listen to all of this", started CRYING! & put me back on hold. Now, finally I have Stephanie, as I'm typing this, she is trying to help me, BUT ONCE AGAIN I AM BACK ON HOLD. It's now 10.25am, & I have not been able to even leave my house at yet. Continuing . . . .!!!!????

A frustrated, angry 64 female recipient.

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