Parents complain of ‘stressful’ error by HMRC after delayed child benefit payments left them ‘unable to put food on the table’ and caused bank overdrafts

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Furious parents say they can’t put food on the table after a blunder by HMRC meant some child benefit payments didn’t arrive as scheduled on Monday.

HMRC apologized after around 30 per cent of child benefit payments due on June 3 failed to reach claimants’ final accounts – the equivalent of around 500,000 parents.

The IRS said they would have to wait until Wednesday for the money to reach their accounts.

Child benefit is usually paid every four weeks on a Monday or Tuesday. The supplement is generally £25.60 for the eldest or only child and £16.95 per child for additional children.

‘Disgusted’ parents accused HMRC of ‘leaving families with nothing’, while others said they were left with bank charges as they went into overdraft.

Crystal Kelly, who desperately needed the payment on Monday to buy food and other essentials for her three-year-old son, told MailOnline: ‘This situation is a joke, I need that money.

Furious parents reacted angrily to having to wait for child benefit payments on Wednesday

‘I can’t borrow anything to help me, and that money helps me every Monday.’

She said HMRC had not dealt with the situation well, adding: ‘I have to wait until I’m sick tomorrow to get it. [the money] which is not right for a single parent like me».

Ms Kelly said it was a ‘big difference’ to wait until Wednesday.

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After HMRC apologized and said they were ‘working urgently to resolve the issue’, parents reacted angrily on social media.

Natalie Pratt said she was afraid she would have to wait until Wednesday for the money, writing: ‘We had baked beans on toast for dinner (no complaints, it was pretty good) but what am I supposed to do tomorrow for the kids who have packed lunches? Really infuriating and extremely stressful.’

Ashleigh Jade Kutryk said it was ‘totally unacceptable’, adding: ‘This was a mistake on your part so you should pay up faster because now vulnerable families have to fight another day.

‘Don’t you think that today is already enough stress for all of us. I like that all tomorrow’s payments are issued as usual, but we have to fight and wait. It’s not on!’

A third mother, Chantelle Whitehead, wrote: ‘This is shocking, how can you leave families with nothing?’

And another, Sinead-Cassidy Phelan, said: ‘An absolute joke! Today I relied on it to get what my son needed! Hardly anything in the closet for him, you expect me and everyone else who relied on it today to wait until Wednesday!

‘Absolutely furious!’

Nick Cough added: ‘People’s child benefit still hasn’t come in, it’s disgusting.’

Jane Fairclough Greenwood wrote: ‘Not good enough HMRC. No one should apply – you know who you didn’t pay – so just send them a late payment credit and then pay any loss the individual suffered on top.

Half a million parents were left without vital Child Benefit payments yesterday due to a technical problem at HMRC (photo)
The parents described the situation as a ‘complete joke’ and were angry about the overdraft

‘This could have led people to go over their overdraft agreements, leaving them in dire straits with their bank. This is again disgusting behavior.

In August 2023, 6.91 million families received child benefit payments.

People may be entitled to Child Benefit if they are responsible for a child under the age of 16 and live in the UK.

There was a problem with the payment due to a processing error.

An HMRC spokesman said: ‘We are sorry that some beneficiaries’ Child Benefit payments have not arrived as planned and we are working urgently to resolve the issue.

‘The issues that caused payment problems today will not affect payments scheduled for tomorrow.’

HMRC also released a statement on X, formerly Twitter, saying: ‘We regret that Child Benefit payments to some beneficiaries have not arrived as planned and we are urgently working to resolve the issue.

‘There is no need for clients to call us and we will provide updates here as soon as they are available.’

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