§ Malcolm Wicks
[holding answer 12 July 2002]: Child benefit is awarded to a person who is responsible for a child. When a claim is received from a member of a 1561W couple, there is no legal requirement for the consent of the partner. However, the child benefit recipient also qualifies for Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP), which helps to protect the pension position of those who are unable to contribute towards a pension while bringing up children.
In most cases it is the mother who needs this protection, so when an electronic claim is being completed by a man who is married or lives with a partner, an on-screen prompt will remind him of the importance of considering the HRP position. The system will prevent him completing his claim further without a specific response to this prompt, which asks him to read the child benefit information notes about HRP, available on screen, and to make sure the right person is making the claim.
The declaration he is required to sign at the end of the claim also requires him to positively indicate that he has read and understood the notes about the Child Benefit/HRP link.