Child benefit being paid to wrong person help!

My son's ex is still claiming child benefit for the 2 children and seems to refuse to give it up.
They split December 2021, my son has applied several times since then but it goes no where, they just say it's being claimed by some one else.
The Daughter has just had to be re applied for as she reached 16. Son's done that  in June, now had letter from HMRC asking for course details but nothing about the Sons CB or previous claim,  and this says counter claim so we assume she has also reapplied.
She has very little  contact and has had her stay one night in almost 2 years.
The consequences of this is now stupid, she can't get a bank account as her NI letter is at mother's address and everything else is at her dad's. 
My son is having to leave his rented property and has to be in receipt of CB to get a property with bedrooms.
He literally  can't afford to live and it's now getting silly.
Any advice?  
Has been reported more than once to benefit fraud .
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Comments

  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,850
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    Your son needs to complain to his MP.

    Your granddaughter can apply for a Provisional Driving Licence that she can use for identification including opening a bank account. She can do this while she asks for HMRC to update her address for NI.  
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • Limara
    Limara Posts: 237
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    tacpot12 said:
    Your son needs to complain to his MP.

    Your granddaughter can apply for a Provisional Driving Licence that she can use for identification including opening a bank account. She can do this while she asks for HMRC to update her address for NI.  
    Ty for your reply, they looked into licence and have only got birth certificate, She needs proof of address for that as well I didn't know you can ask HMRC  to update  address!  Will do that.
    Fingers crossed they might have sorted a bank account my son's just tried opening account to family member, she's had a Saturday job for a few weeks now and can't be paid for it without a bank account.
    He really needs the CB payment he is entitled to.

  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,637
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    he can ask for a reconsideration of a decision but it must be done wihtin a month of the decision

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-benefit-and-guardians-allowance-appeal-form
  • It's not clear from you post - has your son actually been through the CB dispute process? If not then he needs to make it clear that he wants to dispute ex's claim. At the moment it sounds like he's just been informed there's a counter claim and then backed off? CB often try to talk parent's out of launching a CB dispute (possibly because it's more work for them). To do the process properly they should be asking both sides for evidence of who is the primary carer - things like GP and dentist registration, school/college arrangements (who the emergency parental contact is) etc, and any court order re child contact arrangements.

    It sounds likely that those things should all point to your son being the primary carer?
  • Limara
    Limara Posts: 237
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    It's not clear from you post - has your son actually been through the CB dispute process? If not then he needs to make it clear that he wants to dispute ex's claim. At the moment it sounds like he's just been informed there's a counter claim and then backed off? CB often try to talk parent's out of launching a CB dispute (possibly because it's more work for them). To do the process properly they should be asking both sides for evidence of who is the primary carer - things like GP and dentist registration, school/college arrangements (who the emergency parental contact is) etc, and any court order re child contact arrangements.

    It sounds likely that those things should all point to your son being the primary carer?

    Is there anything official he has to do to dispute, he puts in applications, and phones up being told they are investigating and they will    be contacting  her.

     Then it's same story again and again and he hears nothing. And then when he calls again  is told  its being claimed by some one else and to reapply.

    He phoned about having to apply again for daughter being over 16 as there was deadline to claim it and spoke about previous claim. On his last phone call in June was told he would be told November 19th.

    He has not had any decisions to appeal against.
    Now he has this letter asking for her course information, nothing mentioned about the previous Claim or his sons.
    This does say counter claim so  I guess she must have also reclaimed the over 16. 
    She's never had the daughter at all and has not had the son at all since May this year. 
    There is no court arrangements regarding kids.
    GP she changed son to her new GP and didn't tell any one, only found that out by chance when I had him overnight and he needed a doctor.  We haven't changed that back as I was very impressed with the surgery and it will be closer to where they are moving to. But it has been changed to my Son's address again.
    Dentist she changed them all my Son as well  to her new address then didn't tell any one about appts and they all got struck off.... Son managed to sweet-talk them taking them back. So again it's been in her address even though they weren't.
    She hasn't changed daughter's doctor. 
    This is now several thousand pounds she's pocketed not entitled to it's getting silly. 
  • ElwoodBlues
    ElwoodBlues Posts: 370
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    edited 20 October 2023 at 11:19AM
    I've been through the rival claims process a couple of times, but it was a little while ago now and I haven't kept much of the paper trail for reference. But my recollection is that when a second claim for the same child(ren) is made, that should trigger the rival claims procedure. I do remember CB people phoning me and explaining that there was rival claim and asking me if I wanted to dispute it. I then had to supply them with evidence to back up my claim. While the counter claim is open they should stop paying CB to either claimant and then pay it all off after they've made a decision.

    It somehow sounds as though your sons case is never getting as far as the rival claim process (otherwise his ex would have her payments paused, assuming the process is still the same as it was 4 years ago). Possibly they are misinterpreting him as backing down when they inform him of the rival claim. I remember being asked explicitly by CB people if I wanted to dispute the rival claim, so maybe they aren't openly informing your son that he has to request CB make a discretionary decision?

    If CB had gone through the rival claims process and made their discretionary decision on the matter, your son would have received a letter each time stating their decision and explaining about appeal/mandatory reconsideration process.

    Although it does sound like this time the counter claims process has been triggered. The fact that they are asking for course information sounds like they are just assessing the daughter's eligibility for CB post 16, rather than information about a counter claim. They should also be asking your son for evidence on the counter claim aspect, but maybe they want to determine any eligibility first?

    I think your son should probably write to CB office and complain that he's attempted to claim for his children several times (specify the dates/reference numbers), but never heard a decision regarding his counter claims. I would also explain that the children reside full time with him (and the date from which that commenced). Provide all the evidence he has to back that up. He should really be entitled to CB from the date of his first counter claim (minus the 3 week run on), although they will likely try to wriggle out of that.

    Bit of info in the CB technical manual, although I can't find anything on their rival claims process:

    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/child-benefit-technical-manual/cbtm08030

    (also click through to the following couple of pages).


  • This is the info leaflet CB sent to me during our counter claim. Can't be sure it's still current though.




    Also see the CB compliance manual: https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/claimant-compliance-manual/ccm18015

    It list the priorities for claimant eligibility - in particular to your case the last point: "If no agreement can be reached, HMRC will decide who has priority of entitlement based on the fact of the individual case".

    I'm not sure that HMRC have any set rules/flow chart to follow when making their discretionary decision on these type of disputes. The suggestion is that they just weigh up all the facts of the case and then someone makes the best call from that info/evidence.

    It should be clear cut in your case as the children reside full time with your son. However, how he proves this to HMRC is another matter (I would assume that his ex must also be claiming the kids are full time with her, and by default/tradition they do tend to side with the mother in these matters). With no existing court order for contact arrangements that avenue of proof is out. Since daughter is over 16, it's possible HMRC might accept a signed affidavit from her stating that she lives full time with her father.
  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,637
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    Limara said:
    It's not clear from you post - has your son actually been through the CB dispute process? If not then he needs to make it clear that he wants to dispute ex's claim. At the moment it sounds like he's just been informed there's a counter claim and then backed off? CB often try to talk parent's out of launching a CB dispute (possibly because it's more work for them). To do the process properly they should be asking both sides for evidence of who is the primary carer - things like GP and dentist registration, school/college arrangements (who the emergency parental contact is) etc, and any court order re child contact arrangements.

    It sounds likely that those things should all point to your son being the primary carer?

    Is there anything official he has to do to dispute, he puts in applications, and phones up being told they are investigating and they will    be contacting  her.

    The link in my post above takes you to a form to complete to make  complaint
  • Limara
    Limara Posts: 237
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    This is the info leaflet CB sent to me during our counter claim. Can't be sure it's still current though
    Thank You for your detailed info,  I'm sure what he has now is just for her post 16 claim.
    I have seen previously they should write and ask him for info and he has never had that.  
  • Limara
    Limara Posts: 237
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    sheramber said:
    Limara said:
    It's not clear from you post - has your son actually been through the CB dispute process? If not then he needs to make it clear that he wants to dispute ex's claim. At the moment it sounds like he's just been informed there's a counter claim and then backed off? CB often try to talk parent's out of launching a CB dispute (possibly because it's more work for them). To do the process properly they should be asking both sides for evidence of who is the primary carer - things like GP and dentist registration, school/college arrangements (who the emergency parental contact is) etc, and any court order re child contact arrangements.

    It sounds likely that those things should all point to your son being the primary carer?

    Is there anything official he has to do to dispute, he puts in applications, and phones up being told they are investigating and they will    be contacting  her.

    The link in my post above takes you to a form to complete to make  complaint
    Sorry is that to reconsider a decision it says must be done in one month of decision  which he's never had. 
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