Centrelink has apologised to a Melbourne student who was left confused by a letter that includes multiple typos, misspells the agency’s own name and cites an irrelevant law.
The letter, sent to Ben Klein on April 20, advised him his Austudy payments would end in February next year.
But the document included at least a dozen errors, including asking for details about Mr Klein’s “lastest claim” and incorrectly spelling the agency’s name as “Cedntrelink”.
It is also unsigned and unevenly spaced.
Despite being about Austudy payments, the letter said the notice was given under "paid parental leave law".
Mr Klein is single with no children.
As Centrelink faces an inquiry over the recent robo-debt crisis, when debt letters were automatically generated by computers, the Department of Human Services said Mr Klein's letter was not produced by a machine.
"This particular letter was created from a manual template which is only designed to be used in situations where a system-generated letter does not appropriately reflect the recipient's circumstances," Department General Manager Hank Jongen said in a statement.
"The mistakes in this letter are the result of human error."
'Quality assurance not followed': Centrelink
Mr Klein, who is studying an Advanced Diploma of Music Industry at Tafe, was not initially convinced the letter was real.
"The only reason I realised it was legit was because all my details were on it," he said.
"It's so bad, it looks like a scam."
He took it on himself to correct the letter, giving it a tongue-in-cheek fail mark and a "very poor, see me" tag, mimicking the response from a teacher.
After receiving the letter by mail, Mr Klein received another notice dated two days later via the electronic MyGov site, saying "your Austudy has been suspended because you have not replied to a letter we sent to you."