CSA takes more than I can afford

November 30, 2010

On a constructive note, I understand the need to support your children, but a lot of the comments here are on the nose. The CSA does treat you like shit. They really dont care what damage they do. I know this first hand. They also make mistakes, and then make the estranged parent pay for them.

So, My ex looks after my child now we are not together. After suffering redundency, I was put to the mercy of the CSA after the payments i was making to her personaly, obviously had to stop. Now I am on a relatively low wage, and need to also spend aprox £160 mnth on fuel alone, just to get to work and back. But the CSA dont take this into concideration. This is not their problem, as people have already mentioned. The top and bottom of my case is, the amount they are taking from me, is more than I can afford. Im not trying to make out I dont want to pay, just that the amount is too much. The ex now lives with another partner to whom she has a second child to. This child has a minor, and corrected disabilty. This means they claim in benifits the equivilent of double what I earn getting up at 6am every day to travel to work, and earn my living. She claims to have a bad back, and he claims attendance allowance to look after her and his son, and my daughter. But can I stress, that they own and regularly ride a sports style motorbike around for fun, not for necessity. (can ride a motorbike with a bad back, you can get a job!) I know, I also ride a motorbike.

I earn approx 16k. By the time my tax is taken out and ni…i am left with aprox £1000mth that I actualy get in cash. Out of that, iI pay the usual bills, rent, council tax etc.

They recieve at the least, council tax benifit, £100 mnth, full rent £500mnth, basic income support, which, im lead to believe is around £400 a mnth for a joint claim. This is without any other incapcity benifit they are falsely claiming, and to top it all off, they have a relation who works for the benifits agency, who feeds them the info they need to keep the money flowing, and the worst part….BOAST about how they know exactly how to get the money they need from the benifits agency.

You do the maths people. If any of you look at this and cant see anything wrong with it, you really are blind!

Any advice on dealing with this issue would be very usefull, but I dont want it to affect my relationship with my daughter, as I see her regularly. (She also moved to a different town, so I pick up the travel costs to collect her for the weekends she comes to stay with me. Not a fortune granted, but this all adds up.)

Good luck to all the genuine people having similar or equaly frustrating dealings with the CSA.


  • John says:

    Join the club. Write to Duncan Smith, Cameron and liar Clegg!

  • Rach says:

    hi im sure that you can apply to the csa for a departure(if csa1) or variation (if csa2) for travelling to work costs, you probably wont get the full amount that it costs you but even if they knock some off it would help!. If i were you i would be straight on the phone to the benefit fraud hotline or even do it on online!

  • Rach says:

    john i reckon we should now all be targetting ian duncan smith as he was the one who decided to keep the csa and bring it back into his department instead of just axing it

  • Monkey says:

    To be fair John..it was labour that changed the rules with CSA. But I know whatr you mean.

    @Rach Thanks for the reply, I dont see how dropping them in the do do would benifit my daughter at all, or I would have.

    More phone calls, still no further forward. The want even more money now, and they wonmt even explain why! I am getting frustrated with them. They make it as difficult as they can for you to talk to the people you need to. Apparrently they are allowed to go home early in Edingburgh when it snows. 5pm instead of 8pm. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

  • kimberly says:

    my husband was ordered 1020.00 a month spousal support, 881.00 child support on one case and 446.00 a month on another case and that was based on 16.50 an hr. you think you got it bad the more he fights with the agency the higher his arrearage goes. and they was taking all his money but 40.00 and i have all the paperwork and they do nothing but say pay it! his ex is employed and has been through the marraige.she also is married .so you tell me what equal rights exist in this case?i wrote to the govoner the state reps. no one listens they pass the buck. any help would be appre.

  • Veronica Rodriguez says:

    I sympathise with you. I'm in a similar situation with my ex and his new family. All I can say is maybe one day things will change but probably not soon enough for us. One day she'll be older and she'll notice that you are an honorable man who works hard for her needs and that her mother/stepfather doesn't. Children notice these things eventually.It's obvious you're the one who is going to be the best role model for her – so do everything you can to encourage her to work hard in school and life, to do the right thing even when it seems unfair and set a great example. It's what I'm trying to do for my son who is now 15yrs old, I don't want him to be like his father – who thinks he deserves to stay home and live off others. I try to teach him that with goals and determination he can have what ever life he wants and that I expect great things from him and myself.Good luck hun, you can do it! It's worth it 🙂

  • Juliet-Amber Jolliffe says:

    Just reading through your post and could point out a couple of things that might help you:* Have you told the CSA that you have your daughter overnight? This will give you a slight reduction (as long as ex doesn't dispute it).* You can ask the CSA for a variation for travel to collect your child.* You can try reporting your ex and partner for benefit fraud – nobody likes lazy people who are milking the system when so many of us are struggling to work on low wages.There's nothing you can do about your ex's income/lifestyle. Unfair I know, but she could be a millionaire and it wouldn't make a difference to the CSA. They will take 15% from you (if you are on CSA2) whether you like it or not and will totally disregard your living expenses or her income.As Veronica says above – enjoy your daughter and you are setting her a great role model to look up to – someone responsible and hardworking.Good luck.

  • Jason Wallace says:

    I have to agree with what @Juliet says. You are entitled to some (small) reductions – if you have your child for >= 52 nights of the year then your payment goes down by 15%. You say that you are making £1000 per month nett, so by my reckoning you should be paying £127.50 (that's 15% – 15%). You could as Juliet says make a claim to reduce what you pay, but since you earn over £200 per week, this will be capped at not a lot :(Look for some of thc CSA organisations on the web and ask for your figures to be calculated independantly. It might save you a little bit.Keep appealling – as long as you are appealling they cannot put a liability order on you (so I hear).Write to your MP and ask for a meeting. Explain the situation and say that these are your expenses. It won't do much good, but these morons voted IN the CSA legislation. The ONLY way that this will change is when they are fed up with having to deal with CSA parents.Speak to your employer and see if there is anything that (s)he can do to help your situation – if they have a benefits package then you might be able to receive some of your salary as, say a car allowance or season ticket loan, each of which are outside of CSA legislation.In short, treat your CSA payments as a tax – do the right thing, but take all reasonable steps to reduce your liability.I hate to say this, but you might just find that it is impossible for you to afford to work and you might be better off claiming benefits.Oh, and report your ex if she is abusing the benefits system.

  • Stephen Boyce says:

    I am in similar situation but have my other daughter stay with me and they are taking money one one to give to another .. Very bad set up .We would be better off on benefits and ive worked all my life . Money making outfit ..Csa

  • John says:

    Rach. I have done exactly what you have said. I have again written to Duncan Smith and asked him to intervene in my case. I want to pay for my children, but not to an incompetent government agency. I do not recieve any information from them regarding the mothers benefit claims and yet I am picking up her bill.

    I have paid £25,000 since 2000. I know it’s only £2500 a year, but some are let off and never pay. Why are we different. It is for me to provide for my children not a politician. not an executive or a grade 2 office clerk. By 2014 I will have paid £34,000 when some have never paid. I have paid taxes for 37 years. What more do these oafs want from me?

    I have raised a son on my own since he was aged 12. He is coming upto 24. He has an excellent education and honours degree. He has a fantastic job and as a parent I do get satisfaction from seeing my efforts in bringing him up, coming to fruition. If my two other children were with me they would be treated exactly the same. Sadly, their mother is a ‘ control freak’ and wants everything her own way.

    I have also written to the European Court of Human Rights, David Cameron etc etc. I am not going to allow these pen-pushers to treat me (a decent, honest person who has never had a parking ticket in my life) like scum! Why is that some people do not pay and will never pay and we are repeatedly targeted?

    I believe the reasons that the CSA were brought back under ministerial control was that it had lost direction and it was failing. it was costing more to run than it recovered in maintenance. It is not fit for purpose and the government should go back to the drawing board.

    My idea is to get the parents into a DSS office and draw up affordable contracts, in order that the NRP is not financially persecuted and that they have full disclosure of the PWC’s financial status. This would be a balanced and affordable system, without interference from the CSA. I cannot use the CSA agreement with the ex because she is a liar and a money grabber!

    It would be better if we protested as a group. We want to be listened to and have a say on this ridiculous system that affects PWC’s as well as NRP’s!

  • Allan Morrell says:

    CSA are wanting illegally assessed and calculated arrears built on their actions of attempted theft and Fraud!!!!!!

  • Rach says:

    I would definitely be up for a protest the students arent taking it lying down so why are all of us? this needs to be bought back into the public domain again what better way than a mass protest to downing street

  • robh says:

    the csa are screwing me over bigtime too. i have a new missus and 4 year old to support on the £136 of £210 after tax that the csa leave me with (and they’re taking that down to £115 as of next week), they dont consider that i have to clothe and feed my 3rd daughter or the fact that my ex has now married a guy that works away earning £500 a week. i’m not objecting to making a contribution but they really are taking the piss….i wont even talk to them on the phone anymore because within 5 mins i end up so pissed off that i’m yelling down the phone at them.
    i agree with both john and rach that a group protest would work miles better than individual protest.

  • John says:

    We don’t even have to meet up and walk the streets. We can target Cameron and Duncan-Smith with letters. each individual circumstance s are different, but the basic principle should be, that CSA, as it stands, is not fit for purpose. £3.77 billion pounds uncollected and we are repeatedly targeted.

    We, as ‘payees’ should be consulted. Not have some ridiculous calculating formula thrown at us. it’s like a two Ronnie’s comedy sketch. If you have them so many nights? if you travel to work? What is all this rubbish about? We are UK citizens and have Human rights and Civil Liberties. We should speak out and be heard.

    My latest ‘brainwave’ is to ask HMRC under the Freedom of information act, for a total amount that I have paid in Income tax and N.I. contributions since 1974. I plan to use this as evidence that I have paid vast amounts of my income into the public purse, whilst some ‘feckless’ people have either, never paid into the system, never worked, or have paid very little as self employed people.

    In other words, I have paid into the system at a high proprtion of my income, that provides for benefits, education etc, etc! Why am I being asked to pay again?

    The children belong to both parents. They are not some sort of Government asset, to be used to financially penalise and criminalise parents. It is for me to make decisions regarding my children. Not a Politician, an Executive or a grade 2 office clerk!

    I urge you to put your individual cases to the Government and challenge them on the moral ethics of this ‘disgraceful shambles’ that has no place whatsoever in our society!

    Do not let them tell you that it is civil disobedience! It is freedom of speech and democracy!

  • Pat says:

    I am frustrated by this, my ex is getting thousands in benefits, we divorced she got house, left me with all our joint loans I ma still paying, has a new fella who she takes money of too. I am having to get loans on a monthly basis to just survive and see no way out of this slippery slope. Within the next few months I will be totally bankrupt, unable to pay rent or afford to travel to work yet they just pester me over o few hundred quid of arrears, th fact she has 5k income a month and i am surviving on less than £200 after all expenses then having to try and pay csa, eat and try and start a new life totally from scratch seems not to matter. The fact i do pay says all you need to know about me understanding and being willing to pay. But the fact she was on benefits meant all loans where in my name she took everything i owned (i left with £8 in my pocket!) and i am trying to start again seems unjust. Can’t afford a solicitor for access to the kids even let alone paying for a messy divorce. Just a rant but any advice would be welcomed.

  • >