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Helpful information for persons seeking to achieve child maintenance support through the CSA

(2 Posts)
kgrable Thu 11-Aug-11 11:11:35

1. Keep an ongoing file detailing Date, Name, Role, and precise department of every CSA officer you deal with.

2. Make notes. On subsequent phone call ask the officer what were the last recorded notes on your file; do not assume that these are kept - nor referred back to by 'helpline' staff or CSA officers

3. Be aware that Assessment Officers, Debt collection team, Enforcement team et al do not liaise with, or necessarily coordinate stated outcomes

4. Do not accept a nil assessment. Keep evidence regarding the lifestyle of the person you are claiming against - holiday postcards, purchases for your child, presents, meals out, photographs of home etc. When s/he claims s/he is out of work, submit evidence as a basis for 'lifestyle' keeping copies of all original docs, plus emails /letters for your file. If necessary request an Appeal.

5. If your case is going nowhere - request a 'face to face' meeting.
Request an email address to send a dated copy of your verbal request for a F2F mtg.
Request specific timescales relative to face to face mtg. Regardless of what you are told, the CSA must provide F2F mtgs if arrears is mounting.

6. Involve your MP. Any case brought to the attention of an MP immediately takes precedence. There is an entire dept. dealing with cases brought to the attention of an MP. Copy all letters to the Complaints Resolution Team, your MP, the Minister Maria Miller and Ian Duncan Smith.

7. Do not give up - some CSA staff appear to rely on this. Fortunately there are some really helpful people too. Query everything that fails to make sense. For instance, do not assume that a written letter informing you that the case is closed - means that the case is closed!

I recently received a letter from the Assessment Team containing the phrase 'this case is now closed'. I telephoned the Assessment Team who stated "yes the case is closed". Not accepting this, I asked to be put through to someone in the Debt Collection team involved with my case - only to be infomed once again 'yes, this case is now closed'. During the next immediate telephone conversation to a complaints resolution officer I was informed:
'the phrase the case is closed doesn't necessarily mean that the case is actually closed'........ A case is only closed when we do not hear from either partner. So if we don't hear anything, then the case really is closed. In your case you were right to question the statement 'the case is closed', because it isn't - we are still chasing arrears'


Fight for your rights regarding your own child or children - and fight for what is right on behalf of all other claimants.

Good luck to us all!

crystal07 Thu 11-Aug-11 11:36:31

Great thread, thanks

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