Child Benefit: Half a million waiting on delayed payment


Elaine Doran,Business reporter, BBC News

Getty Mother with her childGetty

About half a million people have been left without their Child Benefit payment, after a technical issue at HMRC.

The tax authority said a batch processing issue meant around 30% of Monday’s scheduled payments did not go through and would not be made until Wednesday.

Many parents took to social media to complain about the missing money with some saying they had been left unable to buy food or pay for their child’s bus fare.

HMRC, which administers Child Benefit payments, has asked customers not to contact them, adding that more information will be provided via social media as soon as it is available.

‘Guessing game’

Since April, parents have been able to claim £25.60 a week for one child and £16.95 for each subsequent child.

People who earn up to £60,000 a year can claim the benefit in full. It is taken away entirely when an individual earns £80,000.

The payments, which are usually made every four weeks, arrive on a Monday or Tuesday.

However, they sometimes show in people’s accounts over the weekend.

Laura, a mum of one from Sussex, told the BBC she had noticed the payment wasn’t there and had been worrying all weekend.

She needs it to pay direct debits for her TV licence and daughters’ school clubs and has had to borrow money from her dad to get to the end of the week.

“I was up at 2:30am this morning checking my bank account – there was no comms from HMRC to warn us or tell us what to do next, it’s been a guessing game.”

Keep receipts

Anyone impacted by the technical problems can submit a complaint online.

Those affected are advised to keep any evidence such as receipts or screenshots to add to their complaint if they want to claim redress.

People can claim Child Benefit if they are responsible for bringing up a child under 16, or under 20 if they are in approved education or training.

Only one parent receives the payment per child, but there is no limit to how many children you can claim for.

Danielle, a mum from London, tweeted: “In 14 years, I’ve never had a problem getting my CB on time. I was very surprised by this issue. Hopefully, it’ll be rectified quickly. I feel for anyone who was relying on this money this morning.”

HMRC said it was “sorry that some customers’ Child Benefit payments have not arrived as scheduled”.

It said that payments that are due on Tuesday would be made on time.

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