Underpayments of disability element of child tax credit

01 December 2019
CTC/1422/2018 and CTC/1809/2018

CTC/1422/2018 and CTC/1809/2018

Current status: Decision awaited from Upper Tribunal. 


CPAG have brought a challenge in the Upper Tribunal to HMRC's refusal to backdate payments of the disability element of child tax credit (CTC), following underpayments of benefit prior to April 2016. A decision is currently awaited. 


Following a data match with DWP, HMRC discovered that 28 000 families, subsequently revised to 33 000, had not been receiving the disability element of CTC to which they were entitled. While this issue might have been going on since 2011, HMRC was only prepared to backdate the child element to April 2016.

HMRC relies on a data feed from DWP to identify those eligible for the higher level of CTC.


CPAG is challenging the refusal to backdate payments to earlier than April 2016 on the basis that the underpayments were caused by official error.

The case is currently awaiting a decision from the Upper Tribunal.