Please don't flame me for posting this.. It's taken me a lot to even write it and am so stressed I have no one I can talk to about this... Has anyone been in a situation where they have dobbed them self into Centrelink for fraud?
I'm a single mum after an awful separation, and recently started working in September 2015. After my separation I took on a lot of our joint debt, and also just finished a custody battle (which left me with a significant solicitors debt as I was not eligible at the time for legal aid)
I have been struggling pretty hardcore to get on my feet and am so absolutely incredibly ashamed to admit I have underestimated my income for a while now, about the last 5 months.
(EDIT: by this I mean I have declared I earned less than I did on a fortnightly basis which impacts the single parenting payment)
The guilt has eaten away at me every time I do it, but the thought of paying rent/bills/food for my child/everything else... Really just comes first..
I have under estimated my income by around $9,000, meaning I have been overpaid by about $4,500 (I think)...
I told my one friend and she said don't worry about it, leave it and Centrelink will eventually catch up with you, just start doing it all correctly from now... You can worry about it when it happens......
However today I phoned up and dobbed myself in. I am so ashamed and embarrassed and just want to make it right. I was/am legitimately struggling but don't want this hanging over my head anymore.
The lady on the phone was understandably rude.. I don't blame her, and my only response was that I know I have stuffed up and I just want to fix it. I just want to do the right thing.
This afternoon I have been googling what has happened to Centrelink cheats, and see that some get charged and go to court and possibly even JAIL!
I am now stressing so bad that I will have to go to court and end up in jail. :'(
Does anyone know anyone who has been in a similar situation? Or anyone dobbed themselves into Centrelink..? What was the outcome?
I'm fully prepared to pay the amount I owe back through reduction of payments or make payments off my own back. I just want this all to go away and not be this person. I despise people like myself. I'm just so mad at myself and embarrassed things have gotten so bad.
I want to call them up and ask if it's likely I will be charged formally for this, or if I will just be required to pay it back all the lady said today was I will receive a letter in a few weeks detailing the amount I owe and will give me some options. Has anyone been in a similar situation??
I'm so scared. I need to sort my life out but have no idea where to even start. :'(