Huge number of Child Benefit claimants can get extra cash over delayed payments

Money
-Credit: (Image: Chris Radburn/PA Wire)


A large number of Child Benefit claimants have been contacted by HMRC officials in regards to delayed payments. And the good news is people can get extra cash.

About 577,000 people were affected by a "processing error" that left them short on funds. And people can still claim back - as long as you raise a complaint directly to HMRC first.

According to MoneySavingExpert, HMRC will compensate those affected with up to £50 if they experienced distress due to the delayed payment. Once a complaint is raised, officials will first conduct checks to assess the vulnerability of the claimant, how impacted they were by the error, and how long the problem was unresolved for.

HMRC also says it will compensate any expenses that were charged as a result of the error, such as an unauthorised overdraft or failed direct debit charge. There is no deadline at the moment to file a complaint, but HMRC staff are urging those affected to do let them know as soon as possible.

The error emerged after Martin Lewis carried out a poll on social media. Users said they were contacted by HMRC for compensation where the government department asked them for evidence to receive compensation.

Around 76 per cent of the 8,000 who responded to the poll on X, formerly Twitter, said they did not receive their child benefit, although to what extent wasn't made clear. A HMRC spokesperson said:“We’re very sorry that some customers did not receive their scheduled Child Benefit payments as expected and understand the concern and difficulty caused.

"We fixed the problem and anyone who incurred a direct financial loss because of the delayed payment can apply for redress by completing our online complaints form.”

How to make a complaint over missing Child Benefit

Online

In order to file a complaint with HMRC, you can use this form on gov.uk. Yet you will need to have your Government Gateway ID login details. You can then do the following:

  1. Press 'make a new complaint'.

  2. Explain what your complaint is about

  3. Press 'yes' when asked if you know what HMRC can do to compensate you

  4. Press 'yes' where it asks if you need extra help

  5. Give your contact details

  6. Read over everything you've done then confirm it is correct by pressing 'save and continue'

Once this has been completed you should get a reply within 15 days.

Mobile phone

You can instead speak directly with HMRC officials by dialling 0300 200 3100 between 8am and 5pm on Monday to Friday. It's important to be aware that it may take longer for your problem to be resolved this way, they say.

Post

Or use the post. At the top of an envelope, include the word 'compalint' and address it to:

HM Revenue and Customs — Child Benefit Office

PO Box 1
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE88 1AA
United Kingdom

Your letter must also include the following:

  • your National Insurance number

  • your full name, address and telephone number

  • details of what happened and when

  • any reference numbers you’ve been given

  • how you’d like your complaint settled

  • the word ‘complaint’ at the top of your letter