‘Appeal Tribunal time limits?’ (hearing out of time)

February 8, 2013

In a previous post I mentioned the process I was going through for an appeal. There are time limits for making appeals, in my experience the csa internal appeals process say no despite any valid evidence you put in front of them.

The next step is the ICE (‘independent’ case examiner), the next line of defence the csa has. In my case the ICE ignored case law and failure of csa procedure and supported the csa, this in itself has led to the ICE being investigated by the Ombudsman (currently ongoing) but at the time I had a letter from the ICE effectively telling me that while they were involved I should not get any other party involved, including solicitors etc. The ICE then ‘dragged’ matters out until I was ‘out of time’ for an Appeals Tribunal before giving its (weighted) findings.

I subsequently found a good barrister who advised me that I could have had an appeals tribunal much sooner. Luckly for me the csa had committed an ‘error in law’ which allows for appeals out of time.

My time limit was out by 1 month but I recall someone on here (Sally? Carol? Rach? Someone else?) who had a similar experience and had an appeal ‘out of time’ heard over 1 year after the time limit date. I really would like some more info on that if I could or any other info people may have.
Please can you help?


  • Sally says:

    @ j. I came across this j, is it what you are looking for?

    Title is “CSA told I was on the sick and not earning but they still want the money as though I was” posted on 6th of November 2012…

    Carol on November 8th, 2012 7:07 pm

    Alice that is brilliant piece of information.

    j – CSA tried to say my partner’s appeal was out of time as it was outwith 28 days of assessment and maximum 12 months after that. We have argued with CSA and Tribunal board have confirmed with evidence we have obtained from the CSA file that the Appeal can proceed. In my partner’s case the assessment was dated October 2008 for a period 2004-2007 and we are only appealing now. Keep trying and hopefully you can also have your appeal heard.


  • Sally says:


    chall on November 9th, 2012 2:16 pm

    For a dispute to be valid it must be received within 1 calendar month from the date of notification of the disputed decision.
    If a dispute is received beyond 13 month of notification of the decision, special circumstances (ie, client in hospitial, residence abroad, postal strike etc), for delay can no longer be considered.

    However, a time limit does not apply when the Revision is required because of an official error OR misrepresentation of or failure to disclose relevant information by a party of the MC and the new MC would be to the detriment of the party who misrepresented or failed to disclose.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  • rach says:

    hi we had an appeal heard several years out of time! the csa will try anything to stop you getting this done but it is your right to have an appeal! fill in the appeal form anyway and send it to the tribunal detailing what it is you are appealing against and make sure you tick the box for an oral hearing (so you can see the judge in person) the csa wil then reccomend to the tribunal that the appeal is out of time so the tribunal will firstly order a directions hearing to see if they will allow an actual appeal to be heard! this is your chance to submit all your evidence and state your reasons why you want an appeal, it can be done as we did it and the judge allowed our appeal (although we are still waiting for the appeal hearing as there is apparently a backlog) good luck

  • j says:

    Hi Sally

    Thanks thats exactly the post I was thinking of and I remember it now.

    Chall is quite correct on the time limit rule. (thank you chall) In my case the error in law has been identified, tribunal judge just wants to know why I’m out of time. (I have valid reasons folks)(yes its based on precedent, not a note from my mum)

    I’m trying to ascertain why people like Carol (?) and now rach were late, and what reason they gave to the tribunal that was found acceptable.
    Are you still posting Carol? Is there any further info you can give?

    Hi rach

    As above, can you give any further info? The tribunal clerk left out relevant documents from my application, including the one from the barrister stating the error in law, (all in it together???) which is now subject of a formal complaint.
    Meanwhile judge wants to know why I’m appealing out of time, were you asked this? Any advice you have would be welcome.

    Two things confuse me, if the ‘error in law’ is sufficient to have an appeal out of time then why does the tribunal judge want to know why I’m appealing a month late, also whats with the tribunal clerk ‘forgetting’ to include important info?

    Anyway, thanks both, hope I’ve made my situation clear and any further info in this regard would be welcome.

    Interesting that there is a backlog, must be a lot of mistakes the csa are making, (unless its all our fault of course) wonder how much its costing the taxpayer.

  • rach says:

    i wont go into too much detail on here cus of prying eyes . ours was basically sending assessments to wrong address that the csa said in their eyes was “confident” even though oh proved he didnt live there and csa admitting that he didnt live there. Always take copies of evidence with you to tribunal as thats what we did then if anything is lost the judge can still see it . Yes we were asked why we were appealing out of time but with a letter from csa admitting he wasnt living at address as part of our evidence plus landlord letters and various other pieces the judge allowed our appeal

  • rach says:

    its not just error in law if a judge decides it would be unjust to not allow appeal then it wil be allowed!

  • j says:

    Thanks rach, so like in my case when the csa new I’d stopped work, failed to act on info gained from another government department, (which is legal precedent) claimed I had not informed them, failed to follow procedure when dealing with my former employer but carried on assesment as though I was still working?!
    All supported in my data prints.
    In addition the prevarication of the csa, wrong information given to magistrates and procrastination of ICE which all resulted in my case being out of time!
    I do have case law which gives precedent to support my position.
    I’m not trying to get out of anything, the money they want is already earmarked for the sec of state but I wasnt working and they new I wasnt working and didnt follow the correct procedures.
    I simply dont owe the money.
    Thanks again. just finished my rum and coke and off to bed.
    Glad you still look in on this site. One day we will all celebrate.

  • karen bedford says:

    I had my appeals saying out of time, and I kept appealing against that, dont give up, I got my appeal in the end and won, even though I didnt get the money owed because thats the problem, even when you win like I have many times, you still cant get the money owed! It should be then taken from the person out of their account asap.

  • rach says:

    yes definitely dont give up!! it took us 2 years to get to the first tribunal and everyone even Nacsa didnt rate our chances but i always believe that is something is morally wrong then justice will prevail!! try again the csa will try to stop you but dont let them make sure you take copies of evidence with you to the tribunal and believe me the judges know how the csa operates unhandedly as they had twisted all our conversations on the telephone logs etc so we even rewrote all the logs again explaining exactly what we did say in telephone conversations and the judge looked at the csa officer who was present and said this happens everytime in telephone calls doesnt it??? I think it helped that we had a very sympathetic judge also . I wish you the best of luck and dont ever give up xx

  • rach says:

    now didnt alice quote in one post that the csa now when informed by benefits agency that an NRP is unemployed that they have to base a new assessment on that information???

  • j says:

    Hi rach

    Thanks again. I’m not giving up, the only thing that holds people like us back is a lack of funding to take on the csa, they rely on that which is why the whole system is designed to be as difficult for us as possible.

    The csa are NOT ‘invincible’, they are NOT a law unto themsleves as has been shown, (Karoonian) they can be beaten very soundly if you have either the money or the willpower (or both), which is why I don’t believe they have anything to do with child welfare, they are there to give jobs to low grade civil servants with the added benefit of being able to collect ‘stealth taxes’ as well.

    I will keep fighting and will win in the end – “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    Hi Karen

    If the csa just made accurate assesments and stopped being so greedy more people would be inclined to pay. (there are always those who try to shirk their responsibilty)

    I was a PWC and got nothing from my ex. When I became an NRP (two kids) they came after me, at first I didnt mind so much but when they took 8o% of my net pay I gave up my job as I was better off unemployed.

    In other words the csa put me out of work and my ex got nothing!

    The current situation is that even though they knew I was out of work (evidence in my data prints) they carried on charging. When I initially signed on the jobcentre told the csa (in my data prints) within a week, the csa did nothing, they carried on charging as though I was still working.

    Makes me wonder, it really does. Thanks to all for your various advice. If anyone can provide a ‘specific’ reason why an application for tribunal was made late (ie the dog died, my gran had fleas, little johnny needed a haircut, I missed the bus etc etc) I would be grateful.

    Meantime I’ll keep plugging on and will post any results as I get them.

    (ps think I’ve ‘met’ more decent well meaning down to earth people on this site than I have in ‘real life’, hi gonk. Thanks csahell.com)

  • brett says:

    Thanks to all of you who have posted the sound advice.

  • rach says:

    when you appeal say you have not long been made aware of these continuing “wrong” assessments and that you have spent the gods knows how many years trying to reason with the csa and collecting your dataprints etc, this is the reason we gave for taking so long and it was accepted

  • rach says:

    also it would help if you have a letter from the csa dated within a year of when you get to tribunal as then the judge (if they are as good as ours was) wil use the date from the last csa letter to get around the time limit of one year for the appeal!

  • j says:

    Hi all
    Back again. Once again thanks to all of you for the advice. No wonder the csa keep trying to shut sites like this down, they won’t succeed.

    Anyway, thanks for the recent post rach. Yes well I have been ‘appealing’ throughout but the internal csa process have simply ignored me, despite the facts and case law being on my side.

    However, and interestingly, County Court have significantly failed to enforce the charge the csa have against my home and have given me repeated adjournments to allow for the tribunal to do its stuff. They don’t have to do that if they don’t have any confidence in my case, or at least some doubt about the csa case.

    The law is WHOLLY on my side (case law) and the facts speak for themselves. I sometimes wonder if the csa are a. staffed by a bunch of low life ‘criminals’ paid by the ‘corrupt’ dictatorship (our government) to operate a ‘fraudulent ponzi scheme’ to collect stealth tax, OR are they just dull as dishwater?

    Either way I don’t care. Get this csa, I wasn’t working, ergo I’m not paying you a penny, get it? Meantime YOU (csa employee) are paying higher and higher taxes because you are keeping me out of work.

    Anyway, back in hospital tomorrow, (whats worse than waiting for a transplant? Waiting for a double organ transplant!) (isnt life fun) but once I get that out of the way its back to bringing this organisation to its knees!

    Chase the ‘scumbags’ who don’t want to pay and every decent person on here will support you. Harrass the decent Dad’s (and Mum’s) who do care for their kids and we will fight you to the very ends of the earth and back!

    Funny how people like ‘alice’ don’t come onto posts like this with positive ‘advice’ on how to proceed, after all they know the regulations, they often ’empathise’ with posts and explain why it is the csa can ‘get away with it’, but dont seem to give any ‘advice’ as such, hmmm, ruin lives in the day job and demorailise them at night.

    Doesn’t work with me dearie, if it don’t kill you it makes you stronger and I’m still breathing!

    Thanks rach, sally, Karen et al. I get lots of strength from all your support and SO looking forward to the next round.

  • Kev says:

    Refusal to revise a child support decision on the ground of official error does not trigger a new period for appealing against the decision

    Link to UT Decision on this matter CCS 0186 2012-00.doc

  • j says:

    “chall on November 9th, 2012 2:16 pm

    For a dispute to be valid it must be received within 1 calendar month from the date of notification of the disputed decision.
    If a dispute is received beyond 13 month of notification of the decision, special circumstances (ie, client in hospitial, residence abroad, postal strike etc), for delay can no longer be considered.

    However, a time limit does not apply when the Revision is required because of an official error OR misrepresentation of or failure to disclose relevant information by a party of the MC and the new MC would be to the detriment of the party who misrepresented or failed to disclose.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall”

    So far I’ve not found the ‘advice’ from chall to be lacking in any way, would be surprised if this was wrong.

    From the various websites I’ve looked at chall appears prima facie to be correct, but I will keep looking. Cant access the link you have given (Kev) can you paste a better link?

    Currently my barrister seems confident in our application and Tribunal have not refused, simply want more info.

    In the meantime if anyone is having similar problems or needs a bit more info on other problems you can try a website called – ChildSupportLaws, or even Fanily Law website.

    I got this from Direct Gov –

    If you’re using the CSA
    You must appeal within a month of the date of your decision letter. The Child Support Agency (CSA) will only accept late appeals if:
    • you’ve been seriously ill
    • a close relative or dependent has died
    • you live outside the UK
    • the postal services were disrupted

    Happy hunting

  • j says:

    Oops, did I just say – ‘Fanily Law’???

    Surely I meant to say FAMILY LAW?!

    Sorry about that. I must get my spollchacker working again.

  • j says:

    Apologies again everyone. I must need another glass of vino or something. What I meant to say was the website is called – Family Law Week!!!

    A couple of cases that may help others in similar circumstances are –

    PJG v Child Support Agency [2006] EWHC 423 (Fam) – this one was interesting as it was about an ‘Appeal against a CSA liability order on the grounds that the amount of the liability was incorrect.’

    Don’t the csa (and Court documents) say that you can’t appeal the amount of an order?

    Another good case for appeals is –

    Howes (R on the application of) v Child Support Commissioners [2007] EWHC 559 (Admin)

    Which was about an ‘Appeal by father against Child Support Commissioner’s refusal to hear an appeal as it was considered out of time. Appeal allowed.’

    Remember – white wine is for lazy afternoons with friends and red wine is for evenings with chocolate!

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