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Repaying Child Benefit Overpayment

In most cases, you must repay overpaid money to the Child Benefit Office. Check what to do if you receive an overpayment of Child Benefit.

OVERPAID CHILD BENEFIT: Did you get paid too much Child Benefit?

There are several common reasons why you may receive a Child Benefit overpayment. It happens most often when claimants fail to report changes in their circumstances.

But, you should immediately contact the Child Benefit Office if they pay you too much. The staff can help set up the process for paying back Child Benefit overpayment.

Do not delay reporting it or wait for them to write to you. Be sure to reply promptly to any letters from them about an overpayment.

The Child Benefit Office will write to claimants who get paid too much welfare. As a rule, the debt management letter will state some standard information including:

  1. Confirmation that you have been overpaid and what caused the overpayment of Child Benefit.
  2. The dates of the benefits overpayments and whether you must repay the overpaid amount.
  3. Steps how to make an appeal if you think their findings are wrong.

Prosecutions can occur for deliberately committing benefit fraud. The same rule applies for knowing about an overpayment and not correcting it. Receiving a conviction means you can get fined or go to prison.

Note: You would still have to repay Child Benefit overpayment.

What is a Child Benefit Overpayment?

Receiving any amount of unentitled or overpaid Child Benefit is an overpayment. It means you have no right or entitlement to the money. It becomes overpaid if it goes over the total amount that you were actually entitled to receive.

Typical Examples for Being Overpaid
  • You may have given incorrect (or omitted to give) information about your claim for Child Benefit.
  • Your response could have been to slow in reporting changes in your personal circumstances.
  • You leave the United Kingdom for longer than eight weeks.
  • Your child leaves home.
  • Your child reaches 16 years and leaves education or does not continue any further academic training.
  • It is also possible that the Child Benefit Office made an administrative error.
Common Reasons Circumstances Change
  • You start work or change your job.
  • A change occurs in the amount of income you receive.
  • You move in with a partner (or a partner moves in with you).
  • You move house or take in a lodger.
  • A change in your health or wellness (e.g. illness or disability deteriorates).

Paying Back Child Benefit Overpayment

As a rule, when you are repaying overpayments because of your error, you must make a lump sum repayment. You will find their bank account details written on the payslip that you get with their letter.

Contact HMRC if you have serious financial difficulty and need some extra time to pay it back. HM Revenue and Customs can often help you find a solution to make the Child Benefit repayment.

You can use the telephone number for Child Benefit Office to make a complaint or general enquiry.

Child Benefit: General Enquiries
HMRC: 0300 322 9240
Monday to Thursday: 8:30 to 5pm
Friday: 8:30 to 4:30pm
Closed: Sundays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day

CALL CHARGES GUIDE: Check the rates for telephone call charges from a landline or mobile. The cost to make a phone call to popular numbers like 0800, 0808, 0845, 0870, 03 and others varies in the United Kingdom.


What is Child Benefit?
Child benefit is a tax-free payment aimed at assisting parents cope with the cost of raising children. One of the parents may be eligible to claim Child Benefit for their children.

How Often is Child Benefit Paid?
As a rule, Child Benefit payment dates fall every four weeks. Typically, each payment follows four weeks after the previous payment. But it may get paid early if the due date falls on one of the bank holidays in the United Kingdom.

When Does the Child Benefit Stop for High Earners?
A new system got introduced on the 7th of January in 2013 for high earners. The High Income Child Benefit Tax Charge now affects families if someone earns more that £50,000 per year.

How to Repay Child Benefit Overpayments in the United Kingdom