Do We Need to Pay Back Money in Benefits if it Needs Repaying?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


As a family, we left the UK in 2005 for 11 months to live in Tunisia; my parents intended to remain there. They then changed their minds, and we returned to the UK for five months. Following this, we moved to Algeria for nine months, intending to live there permanently, but again, my parents changed their minds. Both times we moved abroad, we never informed the British Government, so we continued to receive child benefits and tax credits. My mum roughly recalls reading that if you leave the country for more than three months, you must inform the government so they can stop the benefits; my dad told her she didn’t need to, which she believed naively. Do we need to pay these back, and is my mother responsible to Allah?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question and for showing honesty as a country citizen

I would like you to read the links below on the guidelines for child and tax credits if one moves abroad. You are responsible to the government. If you need to pay back, then there are ways you may pay back in this link.  As a principle, money is always returned to its original owner.

[Taqi Usmani, Fiqh al-Buyu’]

I would like you to go through the valuable answers and links below. You will receive guidance and direction in sha Allah.

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[Mawlana]Ilyas Patel

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.