Basically, we found out a couple of weeks ago that I, as a UK born citizen, will receive child tax credits for my USC step daughter (here on dependent visa with hermother n a spouse visa). However, I have also found out, a coupe of days ago, that we shall also be entitled to child benefits. I am not sure if this is common knowledge here so forgive me if it is.
Now, today I have found out that my working tax credit award has been quite seriously delayed as the inland revenue try to match up my daughter with the child benefits department. This they cannot do of course as we haven't claimed yet due to the assumption that child benefit would be classed as 'public funds'. So, the upshot is, I will have to send the childs birth certificate and passport to the inland revenue - which I cannot do until they send me a letter requesting it, even though I know and they know that this info is all that is delaying my tax credit award. Crazy eh?
Bear in mind that the child benefit can take up to 26 weeks for a foreign born child to process and that they will need the same original documents as the inland revenue. So, if you find yourselves in this situation - i.e. USC married to a UKC with a USC child in the mix, make sure you apply for child benefit as soon as possible. Call them first and find out exactly what you need to do, send them to correct documents via secure and recorded delivery, and then prepare to do the same for your working tax credits.
I hope all of this makes sense. If not feel free to PM me. It should be known that child benefit will only be backdated for three months, regardless of how long it takes to process the claim. We are just glad to be entitled though to be honest. Every little helps. Please note - ALWAYS check all details yourself with the relevent body/office/department. I am not an expert in these matters, just an everyday joe passing on my own experience to date.
Have a good christmas one and all.
Don't forget that this post is very old and things have changed. Some things changed a while ago but the Welfare Reform Act that started on it's way in about 2008, is coming into force from this year to "make work pay".
i.e. The income based welfare payments Jobseeker's Allowance, Child Tax Credits, Income Support, Working Tax Credits. ESA and Housing Benefit are all being relaced by the one welfare payment, Universal Credit. UC is much stricter for claimants.
both parents have a set amount to earn each week or face UC Conditions.
Tax Credits allowed a spouse to claim this benefit via a British spouse, even though they had 'no recourse to public funds'. Then the UK stopped this claiming via a British spouse, unless they have a child. UC seems to read like it will mean that 'no access to public funds' will mean this for everyone.
Those who are on Tax Credits at the moment, will be moved onto UC from this year. Some will trigger a change and get moved onto UC and they will not get any transitional protection (drop in benefits). The rest will be moved over later and will get transtional protection, but that won't last long if they don't meet their MIT (minimum income threshold).
Those with 16k or over will not get Universal Credit. That 16k now includes the capital in properties they don't live in, in any country.
However on UC
those who do work more hours to support their own children, won't get the cliff edge drop in benefits like they do under the present system and they will better off on UC .
those who only claim UC for a few months, won't be hit with a bill to pay it all back at the end of the tax year as happened under Tax Credits, as UC claimants will be have to claim every month (instead of once a year).
If you have been claimaing any of the above benefits longterm, then you need to look at how the Welfare Reform Act will affect you and read up on Universal credit. This Act also affects other benefits too.
Child Benefit isn't changing as that has changed already and is now an income based benefit (instead of everyone getting it as it used to be).
Universal Credit will come under the DWP as do all other benefits except -
HMRC will still deal with Child Benefit as they have their Real Time system to check salaries and impose a fine if an SA is not sent in on time. Tax credits will end and be replaced by UC and the DWP will manage UC. HMRC will still do sweeps of their system for the DWP and councils as will UKVI.
Councils will only deal with Council Tax Allowance (was Council Tax Benefit) as each council sets their own CT and decides how much benefit claimaints in their area must now pay: they choose this percentage. Housing Benefit is being replaced by UC.
Basically every benefit soon to be managed by the DWP, except Child Benefit and Council Tax Allowance.