Can the CSA touch money earned from equity release?

September 12, 2011

One of the most common questions that crops up with regards to the Child Support Agency for absent parents is exactly what the CSA can and cannot touch. Some people don’t realise that the CSA can touch payments such as benefits – including Jobseeker’s Allowance and Disability Benefit – and they can count money you receive for Tax Credits, such as Working Families Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. However, there are some payments that the CSA cannot get their hands on, such as loans you may take out, or winnings you may receive (such as from a scratch card, lottery or casino).

Another type of payment that the CSA cannot touch is money received from equity release. Equity release is becoming very popular at the moment because it allows people who own their own homes to ‘release equity’ from the property to be spent on other things, such as home improvements, holidays, a new car or just to improve their standard of living. The advantages with equity release are that you don’t lose the home you’re in, and you still own it – as opposed to the ‘sell and rent back’ schemes you may have seen advertised.

Additionally, because the money received through an equity release isn’t classed as earnings, the CSA cannot touch it. Therefore you could release tens of thousands of pounds via equity release, remain in your own home and not have to pay any of it to the Child Support Agency.

There are some qualifying factors of course, such as your ownership of the property and your age – but if you do qualify, and you’re worried about the CSA, equity release is a good option to consider.