CSA has two different rules for qualifying age of children

January 2, 2013

My estranged daughter turns 19 on 07.09.2012 and have been advised that although the CSA payments should stop on that date, that I could have to pay until her 20th birthday as she is a qualifying child under child benefit rules.

Surely this can’t be right as the CSA seem to have two different rules!

One clearly states that CSA paymenst are between 16 – 19 birthday if they are in non advanced education etc but no where does it state that its up to 20 if she signs up to a minimum of 12 hours per week non advanced education course.

However they seem to move the goal posts when you call them as they state that if the other parent still claims child benefit for her then I still have to pay CSA until she is 20!!!

I am so aggreived at this as HMRC Re1198 Maintenance payments document states that “to age 19”. So all documentation and other forums i have read state to age 19 but phone call to CSA state that they use the Child Benefit rules!!

There is something clearly wrong here as they are using two separate rules even though the HMRC one is clearly stated in the finance act!

Would you please help me on this one as I want to go back to the CSA with a legitimate answer?

I have also copied this below from another website from Direct.Gov :-

“However, 16 is the minimum age where child maintenance can stop. Between the ages of 16 and 19, if the child is enrolled full-time in school (more than 12 hours per week and the course is up to and including A level), child maintenance for the child must be paid. This does not apply to advanced study, like study at a college or university, this only includes non-advanced study. Although a child may have several long breaks, the non-custodial parent still owes child maintenance during school breaks. If the child leaves full-time schooling in the summer, the non-custodial parent generally owes child support until the first week of September, of that year.”

So again no mention of Child Benefit.

Please help me!!!

Thank you



  • wilf says:

    The rule change took place on 10/12/2012 so some sites have not been updated yet. Instead of 16 to 19 it now should read 16 to 20.
    Child benefit is used by the CSA as a guide as to whether the child still qualifies.
    So if your case closed aligned to the nineteenth birthday a new claim can now be made if the child is in non advanced education up to the age of twenty and the PWC is in receipt of child benefit.

  • >