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Child Benefit Fraud - Help!

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Well it says fraud in the title but apparently is not so! Many years ago my ex husband claimed Child Benefit for our youngest child, primarily to protect his HRP and to avoid being pressured to get work ( he was never fond of working and would try always to "play" the system)


Long story short, he was not a good person and eventually left early in 2007. I am 99 % certain that I contacted CHB when he left to have the youngest child added to my claim ( along with 2 older children that I had always claimed for in my name) The problem is, I am sure I contacted them via email, which was work email, at a previous employer that I can no longer access.

Letters from CHB over the intervening years have arrived, always with a total amount showing, and wording to the effect of "it has not been possible to show how the total is made up" so no breakdown by child, and in my naivety I assumed this was correct amount for all 3 children.


It has come to light today that I have received no Child Benefit for youngest in all this time, but my ex has, and is still receiving it. At no time has he had contact, or any kind of shared or sole care, in fact he has served a prison sentence for offences against this child, and I have a residence order in my favour - for obvious reasons.

So of course I'm kicking myself, for a) not using personal email and b) not noticing earlier...

Speaking to Child Benefit today, all I can do is make a claim from now for youngest, and as I wasn't claiming the Child Benefit, he has not committed fraud????


After he left, I was working and in receipt of Child Tax Credit , including the youngest child, and I'm baffled that the discrepancy wasn't noticed then, but it seems as though there is no inter-agency communication, despite both being HMRC...

He has never paid any maintenance or made any financial contribution to any of the children, although the Child Benefit advisor today tried to imply that as a non resident parent he could claim CHB as the child would still benefit from his financial contributions!

Ideal world, I would get the money back, he would be prosecuted for fraud . Realistically no way that either of those things are going to happen :(

No point trying any other way to make him repay, as he doesn't, never has and never will work.

Any advice welcome, I know it stinks morally, but do I have any legal recourse at all?

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Hello and welcome to CAG.


I'm afraid I don't know the answers, but someone here will. In the meantime, I'll move your thread to the HMRC subsection of this forum which is where you should get some answers.


My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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No unfortunately there is nothing you can do,


You would have to prove that you had informed child benefit that he didnt have custody of the child and that said child was living with you.

Child benefit would argue, that every April they send out a benefit entitlement letter detailing the amount of child benefit in payment to you, to show the annual increase

this Includes how its broken down, £20.30 one child £13.40 for the rest,

I know it hasnt gone up for a few years but prior these would have gone out.

All you can do now is get the claim in and get his closed.

Child benefit will open a dispute, if he doesnt relinquish the CHB, and do a counter claim, you should get it in the end.

I am glad you have found out now though.......

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