A woman who was overpaid tens of thousands of dollars by Centrelink has revealed how she escaped repaying the money to the government.
Single mother Carly Hockey was told she owed about $45,000 to Centrelink after a computer error led to her being overpaid on the Family Tax Benefit.
She claims she reported the error, but the increased payments continued until the government noticed and asked for the money back in a series of bills two years ago, A Current Affair reported.
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Queensland mother Carly Hockey (pictured) was told two years ago she owed about $45,000 to Centrelink, but she successfully fought the case at an appeals tribunal
Ms Hockey claims she reported the error, but the increased payments continued until the government noticed and asked for the money back in a series of bills two years ago
Ms Hockey initially refused to pay a cent, but later repaid $5,000.
She insisted the government was to blame and it wasn’t her ‘responsibility’ to pay the full sum back.
She added: ‘I felt bullied … I found it very challenging and Centrelink certainly didn’t care about me.
‘I rang Centrelink straight away [about the error] … we were very concerned and thinking: “What has gone on here?”
‘We haven’t changed any of our information, so why has this jumped up so much?’
Faced with bills for about $45,000, Ms Hockey refused to pay the entire sum and took her case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
The Queensland mother won her case, although not before she repaid the government $5,000, according to the program.
Ms Hockey (pictured) refused to pay a cent, insisting the government was to blame and it wasn’t her ‘responsibility’ to pay it back
The Queensland mother won her case at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, although not before she repaid Centrelink (file image) $5,000, according to A Current Affair