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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! Been an active member before but totally forgot my username and password so I just created a new one!
I really need some advice please. I didn't know that I can't claim Child benefits so I applied for it. receiving it for nearly 7 months now.
I am on spouse visa and no recourse to public funds. My husband and child are british. Now, I called HMRC child benefit about my situation and she said that she is going to pass my information to the head office and they will contact Me. I am really worried and stressed as I just found out I am breaching the rules. What shall I do? It's a genuine mistake on our end.
Thanks!
 

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If you are claiming for a British citizen child, I don't see what the problem is, so long as the claim was made jointly i.e. in your and your husband's name and you declared to HMRC that you are subject to immigration control.

Did you do that, or did you not mention your husband? - that could be the issue.

I know that parents with no stay, cannot claim for children who are British even though the children are legal residents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's the thing, child benefit is under my name only as we thought it's okay as my child is british. On the form we submitted to HMRC, we ticked the wrong box as we don't know that subject to immigration control is no recourse to public funds. Am i in big trouble? We can refund the money they sent if they want to as long as they take my name off the system.
 

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Why would you only apply in your name, it doesn't make sense? People tend to do that when they want to hide something from the authorities. I am not saying this is what you did, but that's what it looks like to the authorities.

I would wait to see what HMRC say, they will most likely ask for you to pay back the money in full, which you have said you can do, so that's good. Most likely they will demand payment, and will only take further action if it is not re-paid quite quickly. There may also be a fine.

When benefit fraud is suspected you can be 'interviewed under caution' which is a possibility. An IUC can take place at a police station and can have officers present. If you get called before you receive a letter, it might be worth telling the person on the phone the error and that you are willing to pay back the money asap, and see what they say, they may accept and then not take any further action.

They can't take your name off the system it's already logged. However, I understand that after a number of years (don't remember how long), you are automatically taken off the system (once the claim has ended and another hasn't been put in to re-activate it).

Really it was silly what you both did, because if you both put your name down there wouldn't be any issues, and you would still be able to claim for your child until such time as you don't qualify any longer.

I don't know how this will impact any future claims, ask HMRC when you speak to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I mean on the form, yes we stated both of our names. My husband and mine. there is a section where they ask for partners details. It's just that the actual child benefit is under my name Which I am really so stressed about. I know it's silly, we should have applied it under my husband's name. I am now waiting for the head office to contact me. Do you think, I give them a call myself rather than wait?
 

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I mean on the form, yes we stated both of our names. My husband and mine. there is a section where they ask for partners details. It's just that the actual child benefit is under my name Which I am really so stressed about. I know it's silly, we should have applied it under my husband's name. I am now waiting for the head office to contact me. Do you think, I give them a call myself rather than wait?
So is it just that you didn't mention you are subject to immigration control? Child benefit is only paid to one parent, so it makes sense that it would only be going into your bank account and you are the main claimant. However, I am not sure if, because you have no recourse to public funds, this is allowed. Maybe someone else can clarify?

I don't think it makes a difference if you wait or call first, maybe wait a day or two and if you are not contacted, you can call. It's up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes we didn't tick the right box for immigration control. The bank the benefit is paid for is under both of me and my husband. It's a joint account as I am not allowed to have bank account here. I think I am going to wait for them to contact me, will call them on monday if there is no update yet
 

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https://www.gov.uk/tax-credits-if-moving-country-or-travelling/immigration-control Check out this link. I've been looking into it lately. There's also a section about people not realising the rules about immigration control. But you can claim if your husband is British. But to be honest, even if you have made a mistake, you contacted HMRC, they will be fine. It's an honest mistake, and IF you aren't entitled then all they will want is their money back. I've messed up with them in the past, but if you work with them they are reasonable.

I know that's for child tax credit, but I'm Assuming child benefit will be much the same
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you waysey! I've been reading stuff as well on gov uk website, it's a bit confusing actually. I didn't sleep well since I found out about child benefit. It stressed me out!
The thing as well is that they granted you child benefit after providing all the info they need (except me not checking immigration control) , they should on their end check for all the details if you can really claim.
so, i just have to wait for the head office to contact me or vice versa.
I don't really want this to affect my next visa application.
 

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Tax Credits work differently. If you have a partner/spouse, you must apply jointly even if your partner is non-EEA citizen subject to immigration control.
Child Benefit can only be claimed for a child by a parent/guardian who isn't subject to immigration control. Claiming by a parent with no access to public funds is benefit fraud and can lead to prosecution.
 

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They do random checks and when someone is reported as committing benefit fraud.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Even though it's a genuine mistake Joppa? It's only been 7 months since I am claiming for child benefit and I called them immediately after I found out about it. If they want a refund for all of it, I can return it back. I know I have to if they ask for it. I just want this sort out and done with really as it's getting in my head in a bad way. Thanks anyway.. :)
 

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Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, as they say. They can take a hard line on it and interview you under caution or even take you to court, though that's unlikely. You are likely to be asked to repay the full amount claimed, plus possible penalty.

Yes, benefit fraud can affect your future visa or leave application. In fact one of the first things Home Office do is to ask DWP if you have claimed benefits to which you weren't entitled.
 

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Please tell me the outcome of this

Hi zwi_1021,

I've found myself in the exact same situation as you. Only ive been claiming it longer without realising this. Could you tell me what happened with HMRC? Did they ask you to pay back the full amount or not?

Please reply ASAP. Im extremely worried :(
 
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