CSA has withheld money they say I am entitled to

October 19, 2012

I am not sure if you able to help me again but I have an issue with the CSA payments that are due to me. My payments are supposed to be £296.00 per month paid every four weekly however this month the CSA has decided without letting me know until I rang them today to chase payment that they are not paying me my £296 that is due as there are arrears on the account and the money has gone to the secretary of state. The arrears owed to the secretary of state are between them and Dave Smith (my ex husband) as these arrears were due to him not paying me and arrears being accured ont he account. You managed to help me get those arrears paid to me in a lump sum by the secretary of state and Dave was to pay them back.

This has obviously not happened this month and as I requested a new payment schedule the CSA have decided to make my payment of £296 direct to the state and not to my children. I cannot understand how this is allowed to happen as legally I am entitled to CSA money each week.

The last time I received CSDA was roughtly 13th September and as October hasnt been made I now will nto received anything until middle to the end of November. I cannot understand how they can just stop my payment completely to pay arrears for something I do not owe. Surely this money should be taken from Dave.

To make matters worse they have recently writteb to me to tell me an overpayment of £744.00 is owed by me to Dave for this account and are now reducing my payment from £296.00 to 254.00 per week every four weeks from November. Dave makes his CSA payment by deduction of earnings based on the CSA assessment which is then given to me (minus his arrears payment to the secretary of state). Surely any overpayment made is their error and nothing to do with me. I only receive what they say I am entitled to and I certainly do not owe the secretary of state anything.

Please can you look into this for me or point me in the right direction of someone who can help me. Currently I have child care fee’s I cannot pay as the CSA have withheld money which they state legally I am entitled to.

Kind regards



  • Alice says:

    Child Support is not a legal right, it is not a benefit and is only paid if the Non-resident parent pays it. If a parent with care has been on a benefit at some point then there will be money owed to the Secretary of State – the parent with care is given a certain amount over and above her benefit and the other money – collected by the CSA from the non-resident parent is used to pay back the secretary of state .. in simple terms if you were allowed £10 over and above your benefit but your ex partner’s assessment was £15 per week then your ‘csa account’ will charge at £15 per week and you will receive £10, if your ex partner only paid £10 a week then that would be paid out to you and the £5 per week due to the Secretary of State will build up arrears.
    If a csa account has arrears due to both the secretary of state and the parent with care and money is paid by the non-resident parent then the parent with care will get paid first and the secretary of state will either get the balance or nothing, depending on the money collected – again in simple terms if the PWC is due £100 and the SoS is due £50 and the NRP pays £100 the PWC will receive the full £100, if however the same debt is on the account and the NRP pays £120 the PWC will get £100 and the SoS will get £20 leaving £30 owed to the SoS.

    If you have recently received a lump sum payment it is most likely that you have been paid the full arrears owed to you and the money being collected from your ex partner is now able to be paid to the SoS debt outstanding.

    If you think you still have arrears then you can ask for a client statement back to the start of the case and this will show all money due to you on the assessments over the years and all money paid out from payments made by your ex partner.

    If you have received an overpayment – this can happen if your ex continued to pay and there has been a re-assessment which lowered his liability this will be effective back to when the agency was informed of the change in his circumstance (as would also be the case if his assessment went up) – then your payments will stop or be reduced until the overpayment is settled.

  • Alice says:

    Further to the above the CSA arrears owed to you would not be paid by the secretary of state and paid back by your ex – as I said the CSA only pay out to the parent with care when they collect the money from the non-resident parent. If you have received a lump sum for arrears then your ex husband must have made a lump sum payment

  • Claire says:

    I’m in a similar situation, the money my ex paid via deduction of earnings that was due to me on 1st December, has been sent to the Secretary of State, they told me told that it won’t be refunded, won’t say why at all. When I was on benefits my income support was deducted by the amount over £10 that the CSA paid even went my way x didn’t pay for 2 years when I was on benefit it was still deducted from me after the change I declared it any time I was on benefits but told that it was no longer counted. So I’m completely left puzzled and been told I won’t receive anything from now on as it’s going to the Secretary of State, I’ve got my MP involved and they won’t even discuss it with them.

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