Tax credits overpayment following death of spouse
Can anyone remember what the procedure for claiming tax credits was in 2012?
This relates to a couple who separated but remained married. Husband moved out, wife claimed child tax credit which was awarded as a joint claim, paid to her. TC sent renewal pack to wife’s house in 2013 which she did not complete as she was receiving palliative care and she died shortly afterwards in Sept 2013.
TC has tracked down husband and asking for £2.5k overpayment as they did not complete renewal pack meaning whole year treated as overpaid.
He says he had no knowledge she was claiming TCs. I am aware of the marriage aspect of this but want to know whether he would have had to sign something when she first put in claim or could it have been done without any involvement from him?
The notes for the 2012 claim form are on our Revenuebenefits site https://revenuebenefits.org.uk/pdf/TC600_notes.pdf but they don’t include a copy of the declaration page.
There was legislation introduced https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2002/2014/regulation/13 to allow one member of a couple to make a claim on behalf of both. That was possible under paragraph 2 for renewals. Para 3 potentially allowed it for new claims as well but the claim form still required two signatures on the declaration. See this version from 2017 https://cpag.org.uk/file/4815/download?token=unLQB19j
Do you know if a joint claim was right? If they were only separated temporarily, then they would still have been a couple. If they weren’t then he would need to argue he wasn’t a party to the claim.
I’m not sure how he would challenge it if that is the case - perhaps by way of a complaint? You might be able to do a subject access request to get a copy of the original claim form, although it may no longer be available.
One other point, failure to complete a renewal form shouldn’t lead to an overpayment for the previous period (12/13) only for the period from 6 April to the date it was terminated for non-renewal.
That is really helpful, thank you