CSA considers my train fair to work as disposable income

January 31, 2013

My wife ditched me last April for another man.

I have three kids, aged between eight and twelve, who I love dearly and will gladly pay child maintenance for.

But I live in Kent and hold down a job in London. My train fare of £4,000 a year is considered to be disposeable income and has not been taken into account in my payment assessment thingy.

This means that I have no disposeable income at all. Everything is going on bills and my CSA maintenance payments of nearly £500 per month. I can’t actually afford to buy food and am having to go to a food bank, even though I’m on a pretty good salary.

CSA are refusing to acknowledge cost of my season ticket as an overhead. I work in customer services, so am not in a position to work from home. They’re refusing to look into my case and keep saying ‘travel to work costs’ are part of my disposeable income, even though I work 45 miles away, don’t drive, have no other form of transport at my disposal.

Have been to citizen’s advice and they couldn’t advise me on what to do.

Please help.

Comments

52 Responses to “CSA considers my train fair to work as disposable income”

  1. topper on February 6th, 2013 11:10 pm

    There are many issues which the CSA will tell you that they are correct, but, if in the real world, many of these issues are overcome, practicality with a little knowledge is the answer!! Would also be interested in knowing how Leigh got on and what decision did he come up with??

  2. Perry Smith on August 20th, 2013 8:58 am

    No wonder the CSA is so hated.

    I get that they don’t make the rules, but surely “Alice” could at least have some compassion and sympathy for OP’s plight and admit that the system is flawed and unjust rather than BLAME op for taking a job where he has to travel a considerable distance.

    Is she really so brain-washed and dehumanised by working at the CSA that she can no longer comprehend that nobody would commit to the hell of commuting into London if an alternative job were available nearby.

    I’m sure he did consider his travel to work costs when he took the job – presumably whilst he was still with his wife. When they sat down and worked out their family budget I’m pretty sure they would have deducted his travel to work costs before working out how much they had to spend each month.

    London jobs often pay London weighting – a now tokenistic nod to the fact that living or commuting to London is expensive – it seems the CSA are quite happy to take this extra pay into consideration when assessing how much NRP has to pay, but does not deduct his travel costs which is why these jobs pay slightly extra.

    Whilst his travel to work costs may be higher than the NATIONAL average, surely even Alice must admit that it’s not unusual for someone who lives in the South East outside of London to have high travel to work costs because the jobs are in the capital and it can be very hard to find anything locally.

    Is Alice seriously suggesting that OP should have had the foresight to realise that his wife was going to leave him and should have realised that the CSA are unfair and would not take his travel costs into account and therefore should have taken benefits if no jobs were available in reasonably travelling distance?

    As for the government – they screw up the transport infrastructure meaning hellish conditions and sky high train fares to get to work – not content with making you pay tax on the money that you earn to pay these private train operatiors for an abysmil service the CSA take a chunk too!

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