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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Income support, JSA and tax credits  →  Thread

Disability premium within child tax credi

raissa
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Newcastle Law centre

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Total Posts: 13

Joined: 4 March 2020

Happy New year everyone.
Please I have a client who had 2 disable children and is caring for them full time.
She is in receipt of child tax credit. She said her payment does not include the disable element. She wasn’t aware of this till recently when a benefit calculation was done by CAB and they noticed she had been underpaid.
She then ask for an MR.
Five months in, no response yet.
What can she do to push the decision maker to make a response. The wait is not helping her mental health.
She will also like to know if the payment could be backdated and for how long.
Any ideas.
Thanks

Daphne
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rightsnet writer / editor

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Joined: 14 March 2014

Maybe try and speak to a supervisor/complain - if still no progress get the MP involved?

There can be full backdating so long as she told them about the awards of DLA within one month of it being awarded - see https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/new-draft-legislation-extends-rights-to-review-finalised-tax-credit-decisions-to-enable-further-backdating-of-disability-element-awards

If she didn’t tell them then I think backdating will be limited to from when she told them - but I’m not a tax credits expert so happy to be corrected if wrong.

Mark Willis
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Welfare rights worker - CPAG in Scotland

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Joined: 17 June 2010

Hi Raissa

Not much more to add to Daphne’s post on the legal position but there is a strong moral argument for further backdating at HMRC’s discretion, as they have confirmed that the child’s DLA award shows up on their computer system and the disabled child element should be awarded automatically.

If she has been missing out since 2016/17 tax year or earlier, she should have been covered by the correction exercise announced in the autumn statement 2016 (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/571402/Policy_Costings_AS_2016_web_final.pdf ) :

“It is the customer’s responsibility to inform HMRC that they receive DLA for their child. However it is HMRC’s practice to take data from Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about such children and update the customer’s CTC awards automatically. There was a gap in the data-feed between DWP and HMRC during 2011-14 and because of this around 28,000 families in 2016-17 are not receiving the higher level of CTC which reflects their receipt of DLA. This measure will be an in-year adjustment to pay the higher level of Child Tax Credit (CTC) to these families for this financial year, from 6 April 2016. Payments will continue in future yearsfor as long as the families remain eligible.”

HMRC has since said “The other route is provided as a back-up to claimant notification. Under this process DWP inform HMRC of the start and end dates of the disability benefit award. HMRC then uses this information to check claimants are receiving the correct entitlement and adjust the tax credits award, where appropriate. Crucially as the information is not based on claimant notification the tax credits award can only be adjusted from as far back as the start of the tax year in which the DWP notification is received.”

HMRC don’t accept the failure to pay the disabled child element is an official error, but I would argue they can backdate further by opening an enquiry into 2020/21 and using a discovery power up to five years, or making an ex-gratia payment. In practice this will take a lot of persistence to pursue, complain, involve MP etc.

Mark