Debt and return pursuit: Child Benefit overpayments: suspension of recovery: general
You can consider suspending recovery action after the outcome decision has been issued to the customer if it is found that the customer:
- has been imprisoned
- is already repaying another Child Benefit overpayment; the recovery of a second overpayment and any subsequent overpayment should be delayed until recovery is complete
- has left the country (address unknown) or moved without trace (DMBM557070)
- the overpayment decision is in dispute (DMBM557110)
- cannot pay and recovery would cause hardship to the customer or their family and it is expected that their circumstances will change in the near future.
Action to take
In all cases where recovery is to be suspended:
- update OPREC to show that recovery is to be delayed and the reason
- restore payment of Child Benefit where recovery from continuing entitlement was in place
- set an appropriate BF for review (DMBM557770).
Note: The OPREC system describes suspended items as ‘delayed’.
Customer in prison
If, at any stage in the recovery process, information is received that a customer is serving a prison sentence:
- issue letter CBOP160 to the prison to request the expected release date
- set OPREC BF delayed code 1, BF code 4 and BF period six weeks.
If the release date is:
- after the date the overpayment will be time barred, (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
- before the date the overpayment will be time barred (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
- suspend recovery
- set the BF for a date six months after the release date.
Customer has indicated that immediate recovery would cause undue hardship
If it is decided that recovery is to be suspended you should:
- issue letter CBOP200 to the customer
- update OPREC notepad to explain why recovery has been suspended
- BF for an appropriate review period (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .