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so confused about CSA!

1 reply

phoebechicken · 17/07/2007 20:42

Hello.. I have been lurking here for a while but haven't posted yet. I'm Celeste, 26 and I have two daughters, aged 3 yrs and 6 months. My husband told me he wanted us to separate in Feb and he finally moved out in May.

Right back at the start we went to see a lone parent advisor to talk about what I'd be entitled to when he moved out. We own the house and I obviously want to stay here with the children so we asked if this would be possible if my husband could pay the mortgage (I don't work). We were told that yes, he could pay the mortgage directly and if I chose to opt out of the CSA I would still get benefits, albeit reduced ones (I think she said they'd take off around £23 per week).

A few weeks later I rang the lone parent advisor again to confirm, and she said that I shouldn't fill out the child maintenance form that income support had sent me.. apparently it's none of their business why I've chosen not to apply and all they will do is take the £23 away from me for opting out of the CSA. Which is OK, because it means I get to stay in this house, so I am better off as a result really.

Anyway.. today income support phoned me again. Apparently if I don't fill this form in I will have 40% of my income support taken away from me (I have done a quick calculation and I think 40% of £59 per week is around £23 per week so perhaps this is what I was expecting all along?) She said the lone parent advisor has given me bad advice, I NEED to fill the child maintenance form in as part of my income support application, even if I choose to make my own arrangements and not use the CSA. Apparently there's a big box somewhere in the form and I can explain what I intend to do on there.

Now.. is this right?

My mum is going to phone the CAB to see what I need to do (she's been a star). I just thought it would be worth asking any of you lot. I don't know whose advice to trust.

Oh, and don't even get me started on tax credits, who cancelled payments from the joint claim on 24th May (the date he moved out) but have lost my new claim form so I'm STILL waiting for them to give me some money and it's been 2 months!

Look forward to getting to know you all better


OP posts:
hoolagirl · 17/07/2007 22:37

In your big box on the form, I would just put that you do not wish to pursue your DH for maintenance as it would jepordise your current housing situation...?!

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