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Damn the application process - child benefit letter rant

(9 Posts)
WildebeestH Sat 15-Mar-14 22:22:53

During the application process for our child's primary school place we discovered that we required a 'letter from the Child Benefit Office dated within the last 12 months and showing your child's name'. This was not made at all clear until you'd submitted the online form and the only way to get this letter was to request it from the Child Benefit Office and wait 2-3 weeks. Thankfully we were organised and sorted it early, however I've just received a letter to say that we didn't submit the required letter and must send it in urgently. It turns out that the vital name had been printed on the reverse of the letter. Obviously this was entirely our fault and we'll put a copy of both sides of the letter in the post on Monday but I just wondered...am I the only one who's found the whole process unnecessarily bureaucratic and archaic? Fingers crossed it doesn't affect our application.

mumsneedwine Sat 15-Mar-14 23:15:37

As some people are no longer entitled to child benefit I wouldn't worry. How can this still be used as evidence when it's not a universal benefit anymore ?

RustyBear Sat 15-Mar-14 23:37:24

It isn't the entitlement to child benefit that's changed because of high income, it's that there may be a tax charge to pay, so you can opt not to receive it. You're still entitled to it and can get a letter to say so - in any case, you should still claim it because if you are entitled to receive Child Benefit, you can still qualify for credits to protect your State Pension.

tiggytape Sat 15-Mar-14 23:37:59

Even people who earn over the limit still have a form of some kind to fill in related to CB. This means they get no payments but still protect their state pension.

I am sure you will be fine with the letter as it will be very obvious what has happened. These checks are just to make sure nobody is cheating the system not to catch you out in red tape. As long as it all matches up with the address you gave on the application form, there shouldn't be any problems.
It is a pain to have to supply extra things but it is good councils are getting a bit wiser and more careful on this issue. It would be much more annoying not to get a place in a month's time if people had used Grandma's address or rented a flat for 2 months to take the place that should have been yours and the council did nothing to stop them.

mumsneedwine Sun 16-Mar-14 08:40:23

I haven't received any letter from the tax office. I stopped claiming it as my husband would have to do a tax return and I've had nothing to say my pension is protected. I've asked 8 times for a letter !! For school admissions I've had to give them last years. Someone didn't think this through !

prh47bridge Sun 16-Mar-14 08:51:41

Did you withdraw your claim or fill in the form to request that it is not paid? The two are different.

Claiming child benefit protects your entitlement to other benefits such as Guardians Allowance, helps you qualify for NI credits that protect your state pension and ensures your child gets an NI number when they reach 16. You should therefore continue to claim child benefit but complete the separate form saying you don't want it paid. For more information see the relevant pages on the HMRC website.

BambooBear13 Sun 16-Mar-14 09:59:54

We didn't get asked for that. Thankful as its in our old address!

mumsneedwine Sun 16-Mar-14 20:52:16

Thank you for the help. I did fill in the correct form but still no joy. My tax office say it's down to my husbands tax office, who say his tax affairs are none of my business !!! Welcome to the twilight zone of child benefit.

QuiteQuietly Sun 16-Mar-14 22:12:38

I've completed school applications in two counties and have never had to produce a child benefit letter. Just as well as I have never claimed it, even before the higher income changes. I know plenty of people who have made an ethical decision not to claim it for various reasons.

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