March 09, 2015
A MUM who claimed she was “single” has had her solo-parenting payments revoked after she announced she was pregnant on Facebook.
In January, Tania Sharp announced she was having a baby with her “house-mate”, declaring to her friends “we are expecting a little girl in August…it’s been a long road… we had two miscarriages last year so this is the best news for us”.
Four months later Centrelink cancelled her single parenting payments because it believed she was in a relationship with her long-term house-mate Darren O’Brien, who was also the father of her son born in 2009.
Ms Sharp tried to argue that she should still receive the higher single parents’ pension because the baby was the result of a “one night sexual encounter” with O”Brien.
She went to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in a bid to be paid the higher pension.
The Tribunal found that she was a “member of a couple” in May last year when the pension was cancelled.
Tribunal member Regina Perton found Sharp’s use of phrases like “We are expecting, and “the exciting news” and “long road” pointed to the fact that the baby was not an accident and both parents ere excited about it.
Mr O’Brien also attended the birth in August. The pair live in a home purchased in both their names.
Ms Perton found Ms Sharp “did not deliberately set out to create a false impression of being single” but Ms Sharp was mistaken if she believed she was completely financially independent from Mr O’Brien.
“Ms Sharp would not have been living in that property had Mr O’Brien not paid the deposit,” Ms Perton found.