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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: Child Benefit overpayments: disputes: explanations

Explanation requests

Where a request for an explanation is received by DM do not suspend recovery action at this stage. If the request was made:

  • by phone:
    • give the customer the Child Benefit helpline number 0300 200 3100 to call direct
    • do not update the OPREC notepad unless you have accessed Child Benefit systems
  • in writing:
    • refer the correspondence to the relevant Child Benefit decision-making area
    • update the OPREC notepad.

The decision maker will update DM of the outcome via the DM notification form.

Outcome of explanation requests

If the customer is satisfied with the explanation:

  • update the OPREC notepad
  • leave the BF set for the remainder of the dispute period.


  • the BF expires or an offer to pay is received, continue action as in DMBM557270
  • an offer is made during the explanation process the decision maker will ask the recovery team to contact the customer to discuss the offer.