Woman ordered to pay back social security money
A woman who received almost $20,000 in Commonwealth social security payments for which she was ineligible has been ordered to pay back the money and to serve an intensive supervision order.
The 37-year-old woman received more than $19,000 in Centrelink single parent payments over an almost two-year period until October, 2015 while working full-time on a $76,000-a-year income, in excess of the payment threshold.
Appearing before Karratha Magistrate’s Court for sentencing last week, having previously pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining a financial advantage, she was given a 12-month intensive supervision order and restitution order for the outstanding $16,261.99.
Her defence lawyer, Phillip Kelly, told the court the woman had been experiencing personal and financial hardship at the time.
Magistrate Robert Young said the amount of money involved was “substantial” and stressed the importance of deterrence in this type of case, but said the woman’s initial “self-declaration” to authorities, early guilty pleas and personal circumstances at the time were in her favour.