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Am I being unreasoanble to find this loophole in the benefit system unbelievable?

(79 Posts)
AllDirections Tue 23-Jul-13 20:37:26

I've just been told that if a person on Jobseekers looks after a friend's child (for no money, just expenses) a couple of days a week, then if they could have that child's child benefit transferred into their name this means that they can come off Jobseekers and claim income support instead, therefore taking away any requirement to work.

I can't believe that this is that case, otherwise lots of people would be doing it, wouldn't they? Apparently the job centre gave the person looking after the child this information.

MammaTJ Tue 23-Jul-13 22:19:28

Once upon a time................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................then they all lived happily ever after.

That is how I see the OP. grin

AllDirections Tue 23-Jul-13 22:22:47

Child is under 5 and 'minder' is a lone parent.

MammaTJ I think the parent and 'minder' are hoping you're right grin

But I just have a bad feeling about the whole thing sad

ebwy Wed 24-Jul-13 01:05:19

it's not true, but looking after someone else's kids counts as work and you have to declare it and it can cause you to lose some of your JSA

Xihha Wed 24-Jul-13 03:18:53

I've just been through this with a friend of mine because she's taken on her godson because the parents couldn't cope but has not yet got a court order for residency.

You don't need to have a residency order or parental responsibility or any court order to get the child benefit (although it would make it easier) but the child has to be living with you full-time, 2 days a week is not enough to be able to claim anything and as looking after a child prevents the minder from actively seeking work whilst the child is there and limits what work she can take on it will affect her benefits, possibly even stop them, even if she's not getting paid for looking after the child.

You can not get income support for looking after someone elses child unless the child lives with you full time and you are the one responsible for the childs care, she would basically have to say the mother wasnt around any more or wasn't a fit mother.

CB will check with social services, doctors, playschool/nursery/school, health visitor and any other benefits agencies, so all of that would have to be using the minders name and address, if theres any doubt they can even arrange to do a home visit to check the child is living there. Basically they run a high risk of getting prosecuted for benefits fraud if they do this.

AllDirections Wed 24-Jul-13 07:43:29

You've mostly all said what I think and I managed to talk my friend out of doing this a few months ago but now it's all back on sad

Maybe the job centre has given the wrong advice but I doubt it. I think probably the 'minder' has said that the child is living with her full time. Last time it was going through she planned to move to a 3 bed house which fell through when my friend pulled out of the arrangement hmm. She has 2 DC of the same gender and my friend's child is the other gender so at the moment she would have to pay a bedroom tax but with my friend's child benefit she wouldn't.

The whole thing just stinks! Can my friend get into any trouble legally over this, e.g. committing fraud? Or just the 'minder'? Even if there are no repercussions I'm still disappointed that my friend is happy for the benefit system to pay childcare, which is what would be happening and why my friend is so keen to do this. My friend is on a good salary, hence only getting a very small amount of tax credits.

ArabellaBeaumaris Wed 24-Jul-13 07:52:29

Is your friend nuts? Why does she want to do this?

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 07:52:53

There is no loophole.
Only the main carer of the child can claim CB.
You can't get it for looking after a child a couple of days a week!

They can both into trouble for committing fraud.
I cannot see this getting off the ground.

If friend B wants to claim for friend A's child she will have to apply.
DWP are likely to ask why someone with no PR is claiming for a non related child who has no SS involvement.

We had to get a letter from a SS confirming we were our DGN's carers.

AllDirections Wed 24-Jul-13 07:59:02

Is your friend nuts? Why does she want to do this?

Saving £100 a week on childcare as well as 2 nights off being a parent???

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 08:09:23

If she is saying the child is living with her full time she will have to contact SS to inform them that the child is being privately fostered.

That is the law.

AllDirections Wed 24-Jul-13 08:16:48

I don't know that the 'minder' has said that the child is living with her full time. She told my friend that she was truthful with the job centre about looking after the child 3 days and 2 nights and that they said she could do this. I can't imagine the job centre making a big mistake like that so I can only presume that she's lied to them. In fact I would imagine that the job centre would tell her that;
1) she has to be available for work (which she's not if she's looking after this child)
2) she has to be registered to be a childminder

Nottalotta Wed 24-Jul-13 08:42:59

When your friend comes to renew her tax credits she'll be upset!

Nottalotta Wed 24-Jul-13 08:43:48

And the minder will also be upset if she blabs this about town and someone reports them.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 24-Jul-13 08:50:51

I can imagine the staff at the Job centre saying something like this because I've lost count of the amount of times I've had to send a member of staff down with a client taking with them a print out of the various pages of the dwp staff manual with highlighter on the relivant bits that they have previously given incorrect information about.

But even if a member of staff gives incorrect info when you claim you still have to sign the declaration so its still fraud.

It would be fraud for both parties involved, the one who receives TC can also get a % of her childcare paid by TC so its also insane.

Mrsdv is right, it's against the law to take a child in without informing social services. This is a total minefield and will involve lying all over the place. Your friend will also be complicit in the fraud if this goes ahead.

jacks365 France Wed 24-Jul-13 09:01:33

The social services issue is worse than you realise. If they deem that the 'minder' is not fit then they can take the child into care and the parents would have to fight to get the child back. That is a risk not worth taking.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 09:55:26

OP the only way you can claim CB for a child is if you are the main carer for the child.
If you are the main carer for a child and you are not an immediate relative e.g. grandparent or aunt, you have to register the arrangement as a private foster care placement.

She cannot have it both ways.

LithaR Wed 24-Jul-13 11:51:02

Oh great, another benefit bashing thread.

I get £175 a fortnight since the DLA have decided my chronic pain and difficulty walking isn't disabled enough. Want to swap with me and I have no pain and job, you are more than welcome to it.

It'll take me 18 months to appeal it, which I'll be lucky to live through.

ArabellaBeaumaris Wed 24-Jul-13 11:56:45

litha sorry to hear you are struggling. I don't think this is a benefit bashing thread - I don't partake in those! But people are pointing out the pitfalls in what sounds like a silly plan.

Xihha Wed 24-Jul-13 12:19:29

LithaR, sorry to hear that, DLA seem to be doing that to a lot of people lately. I don't think people were benefit bashing so much as pointing out the problems with a bad plan though, plus the OP was talking about a woman trying to con the system, which are the kind of people who cause problems for people who actually need the help.

NicknameTaken Wed 24-Jul-13 12:57:36

I agree it's not benefit-bashing - I think the OP means "unbelievable" as in "someone I know has a mistaken belief about it" not "OMG! It's crazy the way the benefits system just throws money at people!"

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 13:45:36

Its not that sort of thread litha
These women have hatched a ridiculous plan and are either lying or have been massively misinformed.

AllDirections Wed 24-Jul-13 19:13:07

Thanks everyone for the information, I'll be passing it on to my friend. I was right to find it unbelievable that this was allowed but the 'minder' is adamant that it's fine to do this and my friend has been totally taken in by it. I might suggest a trip to the CAB to get it confirmed.

To make matters worse SS were involved when this child was born due to risks from the other parent so I'm sure that any change to the child benefit would trigger SS involvement automatically.

MrsDeVere Wed 24-Jul-13 19:15:29

No it wouldn't.
SS and DWP are not that joined up.

I would pass on the info though.
It all sounds totally crackers.

Babycino81 Wed 24-Jul-13 19:24:09

This is not correct and is rather dangerous for JC staff to be advising! Other MN'ers are correct in the sense that this isn't a childcare arrangement but a private fostering arrangement a would involve (should involve!) notification and certain checks to be undertaken by Children's Services. HTH

Babycino81 Wed 24-Jul-13 19:35:03

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130401151715/https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/Family%20and%20Friends%20Care.pdf

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