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Does anyone know about new CSA rules?

(11 Posts)
ShyBaby Sat 13-Sep-08 12:39:28

Ive been chatting to a friend about my situation with my childcare etc and she's had some worrying news.

She has been on income support for a year or so after losing her childcare and is trying to get back into work now the kids are a bit older but no luck as yet. She has applied to the CSA for maintenance. CSA have written to her saying her ex husband has handed over all his documents and should pay X amount a week.

There used to be two choices when I had to claim income support for a while. I could either have the full amount from exp and have my income support reduced accordingly (he paid £27.00 so my IS was reduced by £17.00) or stay on income support and have the extra £10.00 through the CSA.

But my friend has now had her income support and housing benefit stopped even though her ex is yet to pay a penny and she's been told new rules mean it has to be paid directly. The maintenance he will have to pay though is an amount more than income support so hers will be stopped completely.

CSA have told her she will only get the money when he pays, so, if he decides not to pay one week...she will have nothing? Surely this cant be right? Really worried for her, she's got a lot on with family at the moment and this is added stress she doesn't need. She knows how unreliable her ex is. She doesn't have any savings at all and lives week to week.

Can anyone give me some good news for her?

Pawslikepaddington Sat 13-Sep-08 12:45:30

That shouldn't be right-the CSA calculated what xp should be paying 5 years ago, and I still haven't received a penny. They shouldn't stop it until she has hard cash, as CSA are useless!

FAQ Sat 13-Sep-08 12:47:07

I was told recently that it was changing to all of the money from maintenances would come to us, then IS would be reduced accordingly too,

ShyBaby Sat 13-Sep-08 13:38:21

So it is true then FAQ. The maintenance her ex should be paying weekly is about the same amount as full IS and the £10.00 she would be entitled to. That's why it will be stopped completely.

But if one week he doesnt pay....what is she to do then? I did say to her why dont you make it very clear to him that if one week he doesn't pay you will receive nothing and she wont tell him, because she thinks then he would do it on purpose to spite them sad.

So she will now have to worry every single week that she may not get this money at all?

How is she going to pay all her bills, rent and buy food on £100.00 a week? (child benefit and child tax credit) This cant be right, rent on its own is around £65.00.

yerblurt Sat 13-Sep-08 21:45:20

CSA is now C-MEC I thought.

I'm not sure but I know the maintenance rules have recently changed. You can keep £20 on top of any income support you may get

I'm not sure, but I think that under new C-MEC rules that if you make a private arrangement, you can keep your benefits and any monies... might need to check this one.

Tinkerbel6 Sun 14-Sep-08 09:44:07

shy baby your friend needs to get back in touch with the DWP and tell them that she isnt receiving any money yet and even send in a bank statement as proof if needs be, she would be better off claiming just income support and getting to keep £20 of maintenance, many people do claim csa for it to then turn round and bite them on the bum.

gillybean2 Sun 14-Sep-08 10:20:38

I thought it was if you came to a private arrangement you could do it that way, but not that you have to do it and that you could ask the CSA to collect the money on your behalf still. That it was a choice as to which method you used.

She needs to get in touch with CAB or gingerbread helpline to find out what the actual situation is, because it sounds to me like they have put this on her and told her that's how it is and then they can cross her off the list as a case sorted, when it's far from sorted!

CSA have always tried to tell you things are a certain way, or that it's their policy now, when in fact the reality and the rules are not that way at all.

gillybean2 Sun 14-Sep-08 10:25:44

Look here
http://www.gingerbread.org.uk/information-and-advice/documents/csa-changes-08.pdf

It clearly states you are free to choose which way to collect the maintenance (ie between yourselves or asking C-MEC to do so on your behalf). So your friend has been told incorrectly.

Getting less money by staying on income support is far preferable that getting more money that you never actually receive!

FAQ Mon 15-Sep-08 08:19:07

sorry gilly - if you're on IS you HAVE to apply through the CSA, a private arrangment isn't ok.

If you don't apply to the CSA (and don't have a "good reason" why you're not then they WILL cut your benefits - it happened to me just a few months ago).

gillybean2 Mon 15-Sep-08 08:24:40

I think the changes aren't due to start till October though. So maybe that's why your situation is different?

FAQ Mon 15-Sep-08 08:28:40

arghh - ffs I just read that link - my benefits were reduced in July - which is when I was told I HAD to apply to the CSA or they would stay reduced angry (not that I - or exH have heard anything from them since the beginning of July when I sent my form off.....although my benefits were put up again)

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