Centrelink sorry after apparent error leaves woman with $3,500 debt and no income – The Guardian
A Sydney woman battling mental health issues has told how she is surviving off the charity of friends and family after an apparent Centrelink bungle left her with a $3,500 welfare debt and no income for more than two months.
Charlotte Coulter, 29, told Guardian Australia she was wrongly kicked off the $276.55-a-week Austudy payment in March because Centrelink failed to process a doctors certificate.
Of the $100 a fortnight her cash-strapped mother can afford to send her, Coulter, of Parramatta, is forced to pay $20 every two weeks to Centrelink despite having no formal income. She said she entered a payment plan out of fear that her case would be referred to a debt collector and is adamant she does not owe the money.
Ive got nothing. I…