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Child Benefit overpayment - advice please

(14 Posts)
blueShark Wed 14-Sep-11 21:02:42

I have just had a letter demanding to pay monies back as over 2 years I was away from the country for more than 8 weeks, but DC for who I was still in receipt of benefits remained in UK with his father (my husband).

I explained that at the time and thought the matter was closed until a letter last month still demanding to pay back and on my explanation that the child was in UK they replied I should have got the claim transfered on my husband's name while I was away for 3 months.

Well, my husband is (was) on the original Child Benefit application for the child as we were married when child was born and application requests both parents name, so does it really matter in which bank account the money go and who is the named parent on the application and in receipt of the benefit?

I cant see the logic really so if anyone can share better thought please help!

scaryteacher Wed 14-Sep-11 22:41:12

Why were you away and was it for HMG?

scaryteacher Wed 14-Sep-11 22:41:41

People could go away for a 2/3 month holiday and would still get cb, so what is the problem?

EdithWeston Wed 14-Sep-11 22:52:03

As you have found out the hard way, it does matter to whom the money is actually paid for that is the person who is the official recipient. You might not see it as logical, but it is the clear rule. Unless you were posted overseas by the Government, then you have fallen foul of the rule and there really is no way round it.

Northernlurker Wed 14-Sep-11 22:57:06

Of course it matters which parent! The child benefit is paid to the parent caring for the child. That wasn't you at this point.

What did you do with the money btw?

HarrietSchulenberg Wed 14-Sep-11 23:12:55

Was the CHB paid into a joint account that your DH has access to? Are you still married? Surely all monies paid to half of a married couple legally belong to both parties?
Is your DH disputing the claim at all?

blueShark Thu 15-Sep-11 07:31:48

We are still married and although never had a joint account do transfer funds between so money has always been shared asset. And even though I was away mortgage and all bills were paid from my account.

I was away for few months as gave birth to a second child eRlier than due date while on holiday abroad with husband and first child and it took some time for the embassy to sort out uk passport so that I can come home with the new baby.

So I suppose just pay back the money? Honestly it didn't make sense to me but if that's the way it is ....

Thanks everyone for the advice, I really appreciate it.

Collaborate Thu 15-Sep-11 08:00:20

I'd challenge them if I were you. The point is you were never separated from your husband. OK, you were living elsewhere, but that was a temporary arrangement. You still retained financial responsibility for your child. Can your husband backdate a claim?

scaryteacher Thu 15-Sep-11 08:13:46

I'd appeal in writing explaining about the new baby, and get supporting evidence from the Embassy in question as to what happened.

Northernlurker Thu 15-Sep-11 08:17:38

Sorry for some reason your op suggested to me that you were divorced/seperated when this took place.
HAve you thought about contacting your MP for help - this is the sort of case they can really make a difference with.

blueShark Thu 15-Sep-11 09:00:46

The mp is a brill idea,I just wanted to confirm whether I had any grounds to appeal. As this was in 2008 it will not be easy to prove I had the baby early as hospital notes were retained abroad, as for the baby passport I have the issue date there so should be sufficient.

I explained it all in early 2009 on the phone and in writing and thought it was resolved until a letter arrived last month after 2 and a half years and no communication in between.

anklebitersmum Fri 16-Sep-11 14:17:45

You have to write an official letter of appeal, explaining the circumstances behind it. Ensure you mention that this is now a two year old issue, you don't appreciate being accused of fraud and carbon copy your MP.
Be indignant and don't take 'no' for an answer...they can be beaten..I got 3yrs child benefit backdated with interest and compensation but it took me 9 months and a dozen letters.

I'd say I'm not repaying as the money went to the family unit regardless of whose name was on the envelope and that theoretically in order for me to agree to pay it back they would have to agree in writing to backdate in hubby's name for that 3 month period otherwise they're removing your child's entitlement by default.

TBH as you're married and still together I can't see why they're getting their knickers in a twist. How odd that they come back this late confused

blueShark Fri 16-Sep-11 23:04:43

Thanks Anklebitersmum and everyone else for the ideas. I will keep you updated of the outcome.

blueShark Mon 10-Oct-11 11:38:40

Good news actually great news! Just received a letter from child benefit office following my appeal in writing I don't have to pay anything back.

Thanks to everyone for the excellent ideas and support.

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