I’ve been dating someone for a while now while on single parent payments for my three kids (to ex husband). There was no joint finances or assets, not living together, but out and about as a couple, with the kids, family and friends aware, spending most nights together etc.
I advised Centrelink that I moved in with him on 24/04 but as I am 6 months pregnant they have asked for a stat dec that we weren’t in a de facto relationship prior to this. Now I initially thought we weren’t because not living together and not dating for more than 2yrs but after lots of online reading I’ve realised that you don’t have to be living together OR together for a certain period of time to be de facto (only in family courts) so I’ve been wrongly receiving payments for just under 12 months!!
I know I need advise Centrelink but I’m scared of the repercussions. Happy to pay back the substantial overpayments (probably about $12k so will need payment plan) BUT if I dob myself in will I get a criminal conviction? My area of work means that if I do I’ll loose my job and any future job prospects for something that was honestly an oversight/ lack of knowledge and understanding. I’m also studying Law so will this prevent me being admitted?!?! Also with my area of work I don’t feel comfortable going to a local law firm for advice. I’m so anxious. Please any advice on what to do next? I have not and will not do the stat dec now I realise I was in the wrong but how do I move forward?