Hundreds of households face disruption to their weekly family allowance payments if they don't act soon to complete the correct paperwork to continue claiming.
From January, family allowance is being withdrawn from households with annual income above £120,000. But all other households need to declare that their annual income is less than £120,000 or face losing their family allowance payments at the end of this year.
The withdrawal of family allowance from higher earners was agreed by the previous States as a way of funding substantial reductions in the costs of health care for children - including cheaper GP appointments and free dental check-ups - and additional enrichment opportunities at States' schools.
From January, family allowance will be paid at £14.80 per child.
But more than a third of all households currently receiving family allowance have so far failed to returns forms they received in September which need to be returned so that the Committee for Employment & Social Security knows who is still claiming family allowance. Households were originally requested to return the forms by the end of October.
The Committee said "it is likely there are still many people who have not submitted their declaration who would be entitled to continue to receive family allowance".
Deputy Peter Roffey, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security, urged anyone who has not yet submitted their family allowance income declaration to do so to avoid the weekly payment being cut.
Pictured: Deputy Peter Roffey, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security, which is withdrawing family allowance from households with an income of more than £120,000 a year to fund reductions in children's healthcare costs, including cheaper GP visits and free dental check-ups.
“We’re really close to being able to deliver the redistribution of family allowance,” said Deputy Roffey.
"But it’s vital that those who are entitled to receive this benefit continue to do so. For this to happen, we need to receive islanders’ income declarations as soon as possible.”
Households which do not return their income declaration forms could lose their family allowance without warning and face difficulties arranging for it to be reinstated. Deputy Roffey is keen to avoid that happening.
“At the start of next year, we don’t want people to lose the support that they need, nor do we want to add greater administrative pressure to our teams if lots of family allowance claims have to be set up again in the new year," he said.
“If you’ve got the letter sat around somewhere, please complete it and send it back to us. If you received the letter but have misplaced it, or if you think you should have received a letter but didn’t, please get in contact as soon as possible.”
From January, as well as family allowance payments being restricted to households with an annual income below £120,000, they will be paid up to a child’s 18th birthday only.
The decision to redistribute higher earners' family allowance payments to benefit all children and their families was made in August 2020. The States agreed to use the money saved to cut the costs of children’s GP appointments, nurse consultations and emergency treatment at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital. The money saved will also fund free annual dental check-ups and dental health education in schools along with enrichment opportunities for States' primary school pupils.
Anyone currently in receipt of family allowance who did not receive the letter about these changes should contact Edward T Wheadon House by calling 222506 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
This does not apply to recipients of income support who will continue to receive family allowance in any event.
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