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Working Family Tax Credit - claiming for someone else's son

(19 Posts)
GillH1966 Wed 31-Aug-11 10:50:13

Hi, I new to all this, and was hoping that someone could give me some advice. My 17 year old son recently left home and is staying with a friend, his friends Mum wants to claim working family tax credit/child tax credits for him (from what I have seen she can't as she is not legally responsible for him) but I would appreciate any advice on the legalities of this. Thanks Gill

belledechocchipcookie Wed 31-Aug-11 10:53:53

I don't think she can, she'll need to claim child benefit for him. If he's working/not studying then both of these benefits run out at 16. Have you tried calling the tax credit helpline and asking them?

GillH1966 Wed 31-Aug-11 11:04:50

My son is starting a new full time college course. I have tried to contact the CAB but as yet I haven't been able to talk to anyone in Devon and I am awaiting a call back, All the research we have done suggests she can't claim, but she has sent off the application anyway.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 31-Aug-11 11:06:20

You can see the rules about who can claim CTC etc. via the DirectGov Website

If you’re not the child’s parent

You can claim Child Tax Credit if you have responsibility for a child. This could be for example if:
•the child usually lives with you
•the child keeps their toys, clothes and so on at your home
•you pay for their meals and give them pocket money

If you're not sure whether you count as being responsible for a child you can call the Tax Credit Helpline for advice.

Contact the Tax Credit Helpline

GillH1966 Wed 31-Aug-11 11:44:41

I have just contacted the working family tax credit helpline, and I have been told that I am still legally responsible for him, and therefore although they will investigate her claim she will not be able to claim for him whilst he is currently staying with her.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 31-Aug-11 11:49:41

Do you think she'll send him back now that he's not an income source?

loveme2 Wed 31-Aug-11 12:42:58

Gill she would be able to claim for him, if she was recieving Child Benefit for him.She can claim Child Benefit for him if he is living with her, and still in full time education.
If you are still claiming for your son,and he isn't living with you,you need to imform Child Benefit and Tax Credits.You will have to repay and over payment.

Peachy Wed 31-Aug-11 12:48:19

If he's still in educationhave you considered claiming if you can and handing over the money, or signing the CB over? If she is feeding him and clothing him (again not clear from posts) then surely she should be able to claim or at least have some help?

GillH1966 Wed 31-Aug-11 13:35:09

This is a very difficult situation for me, firstly I put this ladies son up for a week after he left home and no one else would put him up, the following week my son left to stay with them. (I would add that I received no help from his mother whilst her son was staying with me). I continue to see my son and have been providing him with food and money (with the child benefit & tax credits I receive for him). I was, and still am under the impression that my son was staying with her (sleeping on the coach) to be close to his mates during the holiday. But by her actions I feel she is emplying something different.

belledechocchipcookie Wed 31-Aug-11 13:41:58

I think you need to tell your son to come home. This sounds like a permanent thing rather then something for the holiday. I'd be very, very uneasy. I hope you're OK.

GillH1966 Wed 31-Aug-11 13:53:30

This is a horrid situation, this lady is now accusing me of having animosity towards her, I've only met her the once when I bought her coffee, I rang my son last night to find out what I needed to still sort out for his college course (which he was only was officially notified that he got in yesturday) to be put on the phone to his friends Mum to be informed that she had applied for tax credits, a grant for him and that I needed to pay for his bus fare & some money upfront for trips - I always intended to pay for these but I a now very concerned that she is only trying to gain money.

belledechocchipcookie Wed 31-Aug-11 13:55:33

Goodness, she sounds bonkers. You really do need to get your son out of there, the quicker the better.

GillH1966 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:01:26

I did'nt like to say before because it seemed insensitive, but I do know that she has only just started a part-time job after being ill for some period with mental issues. - I feel sick, with worry, i thought it was me maybe over reacting. I need to talk to my son. Thankyou for your support.

belledechocchipcookie Wed 31-Aug-11 14:04:12

That's OK, please come back and let me know how things go. I don't think you're being insensitive at all, even though your son's 17 he's still your child. I would be far from happy with this situation, not because of the mental health issues but because this appears to be a permanent arrangement.

GillH1966 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:08:49

He is my son and I love him to bits, as I do my other two children. I also don't feel that her mental issues are really the problem. I will be intouch to let you know how things progress - Thanks again.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 31-Aug-11 14:59:44

Either she's thinking of your son as a lodger and expecting to get CTC and CB etc in lieu of rent. Or she's thinking of him as an extension to her family on a more permanent basis. I'd think the former is more likely.... you can't just stay with someone rent-free.

noddyholder Wed 31-Aug-11 15:05:29

Why can't he live with you while he goes to college?

GillH1966 Wed 31-Aug-11 16:57:01

She lives in a council house, and I do not think that she can take rent from him without having problems from the council, and it was never a permenent arrangement. My son can stay with me when he goes to college and that was what I thought would happen but now she has made me question this.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 31-Aug-11 18:23:49

Then it all depends on how you & your son want to play it. I think her actions are saying that he can't stay at her house and not contribute to bills. If he can't pay rent because he's not working and she can't claim benefits for him because you will not hand over responsibility then it's down to you whether you want to pay for him to stay there. And if you're not willing for him to live there that presents him with a dilemma. Maybe he doesn't fully understand the implications?

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