Some frontline Centrelink staff receiving complaints regarding the federal government's robodebt program are ill-equipped to deal with them, Clark independent MHR Andrew Wilkie says.
Mr Wilkie said he had written to Commonwealth Ombudsman a third time to flag that people were still receiving incorrect debt notices and raise problems with staff training to deal with complaints.
This included staff not being ill-equipped to deal with complainants with mental health issues and having inconsistent advice and assessments given to them on debt notices by more senior staff, Mr Wilkie said.
He said the program needed to be redesigned to make sure only genuine debt notices were sent out.
"Nobody is saying that overpayments should not be clawed back," he said.
"All we are saying is come up with a system which is accurate, timely and fair."
Debt notice recipient Kate Beard had put in an application for paid parental leave from Centrelink only to receive information back which said she owed the government $8000.
She said she tended to overestimate her income to avoid debt, and after contacting Centrelink to appeal the debt, and waited two months to find out the appeal was unsuccessful.
Ms Beard later found out she had clicked the wrong year in which her and her partner came to be in a defacto relationship and had to go to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and then court to successfully prove her case.
She said now back at work, it would take her the rest of the year to financially recover.
Another debt notice recipient Jye Riseley said he had to source pay receipts from 2015 and 2016 to resolve a debt notice of $6500.
He obtained a pay roll report and notification by phone the debt had been cleared only to receive a debt collection notice six months later.
Mr Riseley said he had to again contact his former employer to obtain the same information to once again have the debt waived.
Human Services general manager Hank Jongen said the Commonwealth Ombudsman had reviewed the system and confirmed calculation and recovery methods used accurately captured the legal and policy requirements.
He said Centrelink's compliance work team received appropriate training including that which dealt with when a person was experiencing distress so they could provide tailored support.
"We use safeguards to help ensure the review decision is correct based on the information available," Mr Jongen said.
"People can provide more information or request the review of a debt decision at any time, even after a debt has been raised.
"If a person does not request the review of a debt decision or engage with our multiple attempts to contact them, we are legally obliged to pursue recovery of the debt on behalf of taxpayers."