Child tax credits overpayment and UC claim and backdating advice needed please? — Scope | Disability forum
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Child tax credits overpayment and UC claim and backdating advice needed please?

Reddragon69 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
Hi everyone, Five years ago I took on the care of a young relative. I didn’t realise that social care called it a private fostering arrangement and shirked their responsibility to pay a Kinship payment. His birth mother kept his child tax credit for the first 11 weeks and refused to pay any towards his care. The social worker told her this was fraud and I had to get my MP involved. I eventually got a payment for the full amount of Child tax credits owed. Shortly afterwards, I received a letter to say that I had an overpayment. I telephoned and was told that the first 11 weeks had been paid out twice and I had to pay the overpayment back. They took it out of the monthly payment. 

In September 2022 I telephoned Child tax credits to ask a general enquiry about my partner moving in. When I mentioned I had a foster child, the person on the phone told me that I should not be claiming Child tax credits if I have a foster child and if I did this would be fraud. This frightened the life out of me and the next day I sent a letter saying I wanted to close my claim down from that date. Daft looking back but it scared me that I had committed fraud. I didn’t put in the letter that the child had moved out as he hadn’t and has lived here every day for five years and is still here to present day. What I did not realise at the time but have since learnt is that he wasn’t my foster child as I have never received a foster allowance. Apparently I have been looking after him on a private arrangement. This was never explained to me properly. He is on a Child in Need plan and has a social worker but is not classed as a Looked After Child. So I shouldn’t have closed my case down. However, since that time my partner moved in. Later, I received a notice of overpayment from CTC for a payment in September and October totalling just over £800 saying I notified them that child didn’t live with me anymore ( I didn’t write that) They say that one of the overpayments was their fault but I am out of time. I also thought I had a four week run on payment that I had read about online. I also thought the overpayment in the tax credit award was the previous one that I had been paying back. I sent an appeal in to argue that I shouldn’t have to pay it back because the child would have had underlying entitlement as he was indeed still living with me and I spent this money on him. They have refused this and said that I still have to pay it back. 

Is there anything I can do. I know I probably shouldn’t have closed down the claim but I was so scared as the woman told me that I had comities fraud and I wasn’t aware of the child’s status. I always called him my foster child as that was what school and the social workers referred to him as in Child in need meetings. 

It seems unfair that they are making me pay back £800+ when in the beginning they awarded and took back the first 11 weeks payment from when he moved in. His birth mother should not have been entitled to it. She spent it on cannabis and alcohol. I should have received it as the Child was in my care.

 I also have been without any child income since the child tax credit claim stopped as I haven’t been able to re claim as 1) it stopped and 2) my partner moved in. We are on income ESA and previously when I tried to claim child tax credits I couldn’t as people on ESA SDP weren’t allowed to so we haven’t moved over yet. Can I apply for UC now as we are struggling with no child income. Thank you if you can advise on whether I can challenge the overpayment- I would like to suggest that they take it out of the money they should owe me for the first 11 weeks and whether I can claim UC and backdate it to September 22? I really don’t know how I can manage to keep caring for this child with no income. 

Thank you if you can help. 


  • Jimm_Scope
    Jimm_Scope Posts: 1,483 Scope online community team
    Hi @Reddragon69, welcome to the Scope community! I hope you're doing okay, that sounds like a pretty long and stressful journey. Has your MP been of any help with this? You mention you contacted them regarding it. Have you also talked to a benefits adviser?  I would highly recommend finding one local to you, they will be able to inform you about the needlessly complex system you and the rest of us find ourselves in! You can search for one using this advice finder Turn2Us - AdviceFinder

    Let us know if there's any other additional info. I will, in the meantime, try to find more information that I can.
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  • Reddragon69
    Reddragon69 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi, thank you for your reply. I contacted my MP when I couldn’t claim tax credits  as I was on SDP. They had closed it down. I kept telephoning TC and UC and no one could help me. I was told to telephone the other by each one. My MP did help me and they paid back a years worth of tax credits but then said I had an overpayment which was for the first 11 weeks. 

    I have made an appointment with an advice place for next Wednesday but they have said that I might just have to make a payment plan so I am not overly confident in them. I had used them before to appeal a housing benefit backdated thing and they wouldn’t help as they said that it was over the 13 month time. I had to do it myself and I won and had it paid all back. I don’t know if they are just so overwhelmed they can’t help everyone. 

    I am trying to research myself. Thank you for trying to find further information. I appreciate it. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 49,618 Disability Gamechanger
    It will be a Tax credits dispute you will need to request. However, you usually have 3 months from the date of the ovepayment letter to request this. More information here.

    Tax credits would have stopped anyway when your partner moved in because it wouldn't have been possible to start a new claim as a couple.

    You also mention claiming SDP and not being able to claim Universal Credit because of this. However, those rules ended on 26th January 2021. See link for full details. This means that there were no restrictions to claiming UC if you had a change of circumstances after that date.

    When your partner moved in with you were they claiming a qualifying disability theirself, such as PIP daily living or DLA mid/high rate care or were they registered blind? If none of those applied at that time then the SDP should have ended for you.

     and whether I can claim UC and backdate it to September 22?

    Unfortunately, that won't be possible. The maximum time that UC can be backdated is one month but only in extreme circumstances.

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.


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