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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Debt and return pursuit: Child Benefit Overpayments: death of one or more parties: death of child


It is essential that all overpayment cases following the death of a child are handled with sympathy and sensitivity.

The circumstances will have been examined very thoroughly to confirm that there has been an overpayment of benefit before any communication is sent to the customer.

It must be emphasised that the sensitivity of the case does not prevent referral to the DM to determine an overpayment and pursue recovery.

Recoverable overpayment

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Where a recoverable overpayment has been referred, you should:

  • register the overpayment on OPREC
  • update OPREC notepad stating clearly that it is a death of child case.


  • the customer has current Child Benefit entitlement, update OPREC set delayed code 2, BF Code 1 and set BF for six weeks.
  • no Child Benefit entitlement exists, update OPREC set delayed code 1, BF Code 1 and set BF for six weeks.

Offer to pay received

Action as in DMBM557270.

No reply or no offer to pay received

  • Issue CBOP190 using the death of child option.

  • Extend BF for six weeks but do not alter delayed or BF code.


  • the customer has current Child Benefit entitlement, start direct recovery action as per the guidance at DMBM557500
  • no Child Benefit entitlement exists:
    • issue CBOP190 with payslip & EF3 (EF4 Scotland)
    • set OPREC BF Code 15 and set BF for five years.