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Child benefit delays, 26 weeks for children from outside the UK - any ideas?

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WRAMAS Bristol City Council

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Joined: 7 September 2015

I’ve been told by CB line that the timescale for processing new CB applications for children from outside the UK is 26 weeks.

I have a client whose pregnant wife and 4 children arrived from Afghanistan at the end of September and he applied for CB on 13/10. At this rate it won’t be paid until April 2022. They have 4 children and a 5th child due on 30/12/21. They will only get 2 child elements in UC due to the 2-child limit, he’s a self-employed taxi driver with fluctuating income and UC don’t count vehicle lease costs as expenses, they only count mileage, so his actual self-employed income is much lower than UC have on his calc.

The missing CB income is really going to impact them given the above.
Is there anything I can do about this CB delay? I’m inclined to try and make a case for their severe financial hardship as a consequence of the combination of factors, perhaps via their MP, has anyone done this?

CPAG also mentions requesting an interim payment from HMRC but I’m not holding my breath - any experience of this?

Mr Jim
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Asylum & Roma Team, Social Work Services, Glasgow City Council

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Is this a reunification case? If so, I wonder if there is an English equivalent of the Scottish Scheme for refugees administered by the British Red Cross in the form of Scottish Welfare Fund Grants for refugee families until their benefits are sorted.