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Cross border workers and Child Benefit

The issue of competent State for social security purposes causes difficulties for many cross border workers.

On referral from Newry Citizens Advice, Law Centre (NI) helped a lady whose Child Benefit had been stopped for this reason.

The problem

Born and raised in Newry, she holds an Irish passport and has an online business, which is registered in NI. She moved four miles over the border and was receiving Child Benefit under EU rules as her business was registered in Northern Ireland and she paid tax in the UK. 

When her third child was born she received Maternity Allowance from the UK but her Child Benefit was stopped on the basis that the UK was no longer her competent state.

When Maternity Allowance ended and she returned to self-employment she made a fresh claim for Child Benefit which was not processed pending the outcome of the appeal.

When she was referred to the Law Centre she had not received Child Benefit for more than a year

How we helped

We lodged written submissions on the EU law issue of competent state.  The decision was revised and arrears paid.

We sent a pre action letter about the failure to process the recent claim and the claim was processed and payment made.

The outcome

The client received arrears of £3,110 and weekly payments of £46.

"When my caseworker contacted me to say she could help, I was overwhelmed with relief. Just over two months later, HMRC changed their decision and said all arrears would be paid. The Law Centre allowed me to be heard and I cannot thank them enough."

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