Rachel Norma Turner, 29, faced the Launceston Magistrates Court on Tuesday accused of four counts of having obtained a financial advantage.
Defence solicitor Evan Hughes said his client pleaded guilty to all charges.
Commonwealth prosecutor Anna Norton told the court Turner significantly under declared her income to Centrelink between September 2011 and February 2014.
This resulted in Turner receiving Newstart overpayments amounting to $31,242.27 and an Austudy overpayment of $1061.
Miss Norton said Turner started to work for Goodstart Early Learning in May 2006, a position which she held throughout the charge period, and would have been aware of her obligations to properly declare her income.
The prosecutor said the total debt raised by Centrelink was $38,706.86, which was being paid off by direct debt at the rate of $50 a week.
She sought a reparation order in favour of the Commonwealth for $31,242.27.
In his plea in mitigation, Mr Hughes told the court his client had been the victim of domestic abuse in a past relationship, which included physical, emotional and financial abuse.
He said this drove Turner into financial ruin and she has been compelled to take out various loans at the behest of her former abusive partner, a relationship she eventually got out of.
Mr Hughes said the man ended up in jail but his client was still fearful for her safety.
He said Turner had done a lot of paid and volunteer work and was held in high regard in her current childcare job, which would remain open for her even if she went to jail.
Magistrate Simon Brown said Centrelink fraud was a common but serious offence and general deterrence was important.
He jailed Turner for six months and ordered that she be released on a $1000 Commonwealth recognizance order after serving four months, to be of good behaviour for two years.
Mr Brown also made a reparation order in favour of the Commonwealth for the amount sought.
examiner.com.au 9 Jun 2015
There's plenty more people out there committing 'Centrelink fraud'.
Lets see how the authorities deal with some of those cases as an example.
We will use the example of a fraudster from Melborune's north-western suburbs who works 'on the side', and follow how the authorities pursue her.