MP probes child benefit payments delayed by coronavirus

Some new mums in the Borders have missed out on Child Benefit payments due to delays in receiving birth certificates.

Usually, new parents can back claim Child Benefit to the birthdate of their new baby for a maximum of three months. Child benefit is worth £21.05 per week for the eldest child with any additional children receiving £13.95.

However, some claims were not made due to parents not receiving birth certificates in time due to coronavirus.

The Department for Work and Pensions changed the rules during the pandemic to allow parents to claim child benefit without a birth certificate. However, some new parents have said that this was not advertised meaning they thought they were not able to claim.

Borders MP, John Lamont, has written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to see what can be done to assist families out of pocket.

John Lamont MP said: “Coronavirus has been a tough time for everyone. However, new mothers have really missed out by not being able to see family and friends during lockdown. Similarly, they have had fewer opportunities to spend time with health visitors and other health professionals.

“I think it is unfair that those who waited on their child’s birth certificate to claim for child benefit are not receiving the money they would otherwise have received. They believed that they were acting in good faith.

“Although it is great that the DWP allowed claims without birth certificates during lockdown, I feel there should have been more advertising of this policy to make people aware of this.

“I have raised this with the minister, and I am pursuing it in Parliament as well.”