Child benefit backdated for refugees

Two of our clients have had their asylum appeals allowed recently, and I’m trying to figure out how quickly I need to act to make the three-month timeframe for claiming backdated child benefit.

One already has leave to remain as a survivor of trafficking, and has recently been awarded child benefit back to October 2021. Her asylum appeal hearing was in late February, the decision promulgated by the first tier tribunal first week of March, after which the Home Office had 14 days to appeal, which they did not do. She has not received a new BRP confirming she has refugee status instead of limited leave to remain, nor the standard ‘determination of asylum claim’ letter. I had intended to wait for this latter letter to arrive, or her BRP, whichever arrives first, as this seems like the official proof that she has been recorded as a refugee, and it’s otherwise trying to explain to child benefit that the Home Office not appealing within 14 days after the tribunal decision was promulgated (which would be 29th March) means in effect that she will be granted refugee status. When should the clock start on the three months you have to request backdated child benefit within?

Another client does not already have leave to remain but is in a similar situation otherwise; her asylum refusal appeal hearing was in early January this year, with a decision promulgated first week of February. The Home Office again did not appeal, and she received a letter mid-Feb inviting her to enrol her and her son’s biometrics, which also said ‘your appeal has been allowed’. Again, this doesn’t officially say she has been granted refugee status as a result, and she doesn’t have the formal letter notifying her of this, nor her BRP (and therefore NINo either, even if that’s not strictly necessary to receive CB). If the letter of mid-Feb could be construed as her being informed that she has been recorded as a refugee, then I’d like to help her claim backdated child benefit ASAP, so it’s requested within 3 months, but if that’s going to complicate things further and isn’t necessary, I will wait until she has definitive proof of being granted refugee status!

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