CSA Help

Does anyone know when CSA liability ends?

I’ll make it quick.


My Story:-

With an ex-wife who has offered NO encouragement for the Kids to visit over the years (hopefully not actively discouraged)I’ve sadly drifted away form my kids, but now that my youngest has reached 19 I’ve requested a “Closure Order” be instigated to finally stop the CSA payments.

I believe my son has, after finishing sixth year has went to university (but for the purposes of a Question I submitted to the CSA I assumes he WAS NOT in advanced education…

Question went like this

Once my son reaches 19 and may still be in non-advanced education AND is still receiving Child Benefit (apparently til June 2012 at the last request to the Child Benefit Agency) when does my CSA liability END.

This was their response :-

Dear Sir
Thank you for your e-mail to the Child Support Agency.
Child Support Agency guidelines relevant to age and child support maintenance liability.
If you have a case with the Child Support Agency the maintenance liability generally continues until the child reaches the age of sixteen.

This next paragraph was in BOLD

The maintenance liability remains after this date if the child continues into further full time (twelve hours a week or more), non-advanced education. In these circumstances the liability to pay child support maintenance can remain until the child reaches the age of nineteen.

Then it continues …..

If the qualifying child is doing any of the below for twelve hours a week or more, then the maintenance liability would remain. As long as the parent with care is still receiving Child Benefit for the child, the Child Support Agency would generally deem that the child still qualifies for child support maintenance until this benefit ceases.
A child in full time education can be in paid employment and still be eligible for child maintenance. They are allowed to work no more than 24 hours a week.

When a child leaves full time education in the summer, Child Benefit generally continues until the first week of September (for Scotland it can be from June onwards). If you have a case with the Agency, we would advise you to make contact nearer the time so we can investigate if the child is carrying on in full time education.

Non – Advanced Education:
GCE / GCSE – A level / AS level / O level SCE Higher Grade or equivalent


So does the use of BOLD writing in their response suggest no matter what the childs situation is the liability ENDS at 19 !!!!!!

84 thoughts on “Does anyone know when CSA liability ends?

  1. If under 18, when they leave full time education and start work.
    If over 16 and in full time education, on the 31st August (end of academic year) after their 18th birthday.

  2. Maintenance ends when child benefit payments stops, that’s what we were told, and if we didn’t inform child benefit that child on our case left college, the pwc would have kept claiming it.

  3. thanks for the feedback, unfortunately the two answers only help to highlight the mess the CSA is in i.e. KMcQ80’s comment :-

    If over 16 and in full time education, on the 31st August (end of academic year) after their 18th birthday

    would be marvellous , but ma son is past 19 and I’m STILL paying.

    and Jays comments ” Stops payin when Child Benefit Ends….” contradicts both KMcQ80’s comments and what I’m hoping for i.e. stops when he reaches 19 –

    But can see me being hit by the worst case i.e. past 19 and until his pwc continues to receive Child Benefit

    thanks anyway people


  4. Click onto the NACSA Survival Guide Web Page.It helps both the NRP and the PWC.It states that CS remains payable until the terminal date,which is a period after a child has left school/college..A school leaver still counts as a child for CS upto the Sunday following the date unless s/he is 19 before that date,in which case it is the Sunday following the Monday before their 19 th birthday.Remember that CSA is one month behind so if your childs birthday is October 8th then you will have to pay one months CS payment,but then you should be able to cease payments.I hope this helps,it took me 2 months to find this has we needed the proof for my husbands ex who thought we were going to pay till the child was 21years old.

  5. Just about got my head around all of the CSA’s politics but would like to know an address or good telephone number of who I need to contact when my child reaches 19 as all I seem to do is talk to people who listen at the CSA then tell me I have the wrong department. Regards in advance Pete610

  6. Rang Child Benefit today to ask for CB to continue for another year while my son goes to college(he is 16 and just finished school).It is now being paid till Sept 4th 2013.If he continues after that I have to ring them again to renew.My stepdaughter has now finished college(19 in Oct)but Child Benfit does not finish till September 3rd “)she cannot claim JSA until this claim has finished but can find work.So yes Child Support stops September 3rd when CB stops.We have already told the ex that it stops and she knows this so the CSA is ceasing on this date.Go onto the sit also Footsteps is a site for the NRP and the PWC .

  7. Pete610.
    Surely you have at least one letter from the CSA which should give you a contact number – but if you’ve lost that just go on the website , get a phone number and give tham a call, then once you’ve listened to the dozy £$£”$$£$£” who hasn’t got a clue DEMAND to speak to a supervisor, you’ll have to ask 10 times , but stay with it they will finally “give in” – always take the name of who you’re talking to – puts them under a wee bit of stress when its obvious you’ve written down their name – good luck – you WILL need it , be patient !!!

    but also (for everyone else)… worst case scenario for absent parents is that liability finishes on the childs 19th Birthday – even if they continue in “normal / non-advanced education” even then, you will probably themn have to wait 4 months + for them to work out if your in arrears (or in credit) , I phoned on my sons 19th B’day on the 6th March – and here we are 15 weeks later (having had 3 further payments deducted under DOe) to find out they owe me £750 – and I should get it within 28 Days !!!!

  8. Alan, thanks for your input, yes I have more than enough numbers just looking to see if anybody had a GOOD number so I could get it done in a tenth of the time that it usually takes, regards Pete.

  9. Wonder if you could tell me my husbands eldest son age 16 has left school, is to start in September at further education college on a useless Painting and decorating course for 1 yr only, is the pwc still entitled to maintenance from my husband ?????? I THINK he will be in receipt of an EMA ( EDUCATION ALLOWANCE) .

  10. EMA stopped in January this year,we are having to pay my son his child benefit each week when he starts in September.(CB is for my son anyway)Even if the son was getting EMA CM is still forth coming till aged 19 or him finishing college /work.

  11. Thanks Alice have done my research on that however, it was contradictory to different courses which would allow the female to still rip my husband off in child maintenance, which she is doing so am reluctant to give any more money to her than she absolutely qualifies for, i do know there are general bursaries in place for 16 – 18 yr olds and no doubt she’d have him filing the forms in for more money, i’m aware of bursary system all too well as left university last september, but really hoped as we practically can’t survive at the moment i have to give that female any more of my families money, when i’ve worked my backside off and she just defrauds the benefit system !!!!!! As well as us.

  12. My husbands daughter has left school now and intends to find work, doesn’t want to go in further education, she is 17 in November, does any one know if we have to continue to pay his ex csa and when it would stop?

  13. If the child has finished school and will not be going to college then the child benefit finishes on september 3rd,that is if she doesnt change her mind in the mean time and decides to go to college.My stepdaughters mother wouldnt let her daughter go into work when she left school because all her benefits would stop.Also thestep daughter could not claim anything herself because she was not old enough and the mother still claiming CB.On 4th September stepdaughter is going to claim JSA.

  14. My partners daughter left school in May/June 2011. She claims to be doing an E toE course but never seems to be in college. Does anybody know if child benefit would still be payed out for one of these courses and how long these courses last.

  15. Why is a 19 year old classed as a child. He can smoke at 16, get married or go to a pub at 18. Children aren’t allowed in pubs.

  16. Most CS payments are based on the Child Benefit being paid to the PWC.While the PWC is claiming this money then CS is active.Is does seem unfair that at 18 a child is no longer a child but an adult,but in the CSA rules it is 19 years .Joan if your stepdaughter left school in June then the PWC gets CB till September the 4th 2012,and if the child goes to college which starts September the 5th the PWC will keep recieving CB till Set 5th 2013,and then will have to renew it again at this time till she is 19 if still attending college or when child/adult starts work.

  17. New rules for CS starts in October ,anyone new going onto CSA3 will be paying CS now until the Child is 20 years of age.Soooooo wrong in so many ways…18 years is when a child becomes an adult why should payments be made to an adult?

  18. Fact,stepdaughter on 4th September is claiming JSA after last Child Benefit paid to her mother Monday 3rd September..Tried to claim JSA on friday at the job center but rearranged her appointment for tuesday when her claim becomes valid.She is 19 in October and will not be going into further education.Child Benefit ceases on September 3rd for those children who are nearly 19 years old and not going back to college.

  19. my husband son is 17 as always paid csa, at the blue last oct he got a letter saying that csa as ceased , Seven weeks ago csa called and said they are re opening the case and he as got to pay all the back pay from last sept and carry on with csa payments cos they have had a call from hes x
    This is over 5000 pounds plus the payments he as got to make from now on
    Hes son is not in full time education but is going to a group called IMPACT which lasts 13 weeks i dont know how many hours a week that is,

    Surley if csa made a mistake why have they taken so long to let us know
    We cant affford these payments

  20. Unless a school leaver becomes employed,every 16 to 19 year old can go into full time education or into connextions and CS has to be paid If IMPACT is a youth training scheme then the ex can open a case against you again if she is claiming child benefit.What I dont understand is why you are having to pay arrears based on that the CSA closed the case last October.What has your stepson being doing between September 2011 and September 2012 ? Have you spoken with the CSA? .If all else fails get in touch with your MP who might be able to speak on your behalf .I believe the courses the child takes has to be over 12 hours a week to qualify for benefits.

  21. My son is 18 and completed his college course in July. He has now decided it is easier to go back to college and take another course rather than look for a job, how long do I have to pay maintenance for? he can only complete one more year then he has to pay for the rest of his course. Surely he should only be able to do one non advanced college course.

  22. Child Support is paid for your child while the PWC is recieving child benefit .If he is in college the PWC will get CB till his 19th birthday.

  23. These kids that are over 18-19 who go to uni-still need parental support. i have had to pay accommodation in advance- buy books/ set him up-iron’s/kettles/food etc etc….. So supporting young adults who are at uni should be a joint responsibility for parents whether together or apart. These are your kids, do you not want to help them?. I do not like the CSA and have years of battling, but unfortunately there is obviously a need for some such organisation.
    I am a PWC (single) who has 2 jobs to support my kids.

  24. @ ruth…. I think some NRP’s struggle with having to pay their ex as opposed to paying for their child but I completely agree that both parents should contribute as much as they can afford to their kids education/life especially when the child is making an effort to get on in life!

    My partner has two kids and i’d love to see them go to uni and would actively support it financially 🙂 it’s a great experience and one that kids (who want to go) should be helped with…

    Good luck to your child 🙂

  25. RE Alice on August 19th, 2012 7:59 pm

    New rules for CS starts in October ,anyone new going onto CSA3 will be paying CS now until the Child is 20 years of age.

    Does anybody have further info? I’m on original CSA scheme. CSA chap, on phone yesterday said this would apply to me (he made no mention of CSA 3).
    Iwas due to be done Jan 2013 :)…and now this with no warning :(.

    Blows all planning by me and eldest daughter, who lives with me (mum wanted here out of her house the week she became too old to attract benefit paments!).

    Doing this, at all, is not good. To just drop it on NRPs with no warning is unforgivably scandalous (no change there then). A lot of spoiled Christmases for some…

  26. Talked to CSA yesterday. E-mail has been sent to frontline staff to prepare for change to age-20 for ALL systems (not just CSA3) in October. NRPs will not be told until the change has been applied to their case. Bit late then?

    How can this be ‘fair’? many NRPs will have made plans based upon age 19 and thes can be negated at no notice and, perhaps, even retrospectively !!….yes, closed cases can be re-opened for another year or whatever.

    I can see the point of announcing the change early, or phasing-in, so that people can prepare, eg change will apply to all aged 18 or under on, say, 31st Oct, 2012.

    Most people, including CSA advisors (my MP too!), and websites seem unaware of this change. How are NRPs supposed to manage in the face of covert financial interference?

    Lack of forewarning ( and possibly retrospective action) surely means that this change fails any test of ‘reasonableness’…..could it be challenged in court a la Judicial Review ?

    Another blow for NRPs who have tried to do the right thing for years.

    Suggest lots of E-mails to MPs. The reason for the change may or may not be “fair”, sudden implementation without warning certainly is!

  27. My son is 21 in Dec12. I have not had to make any csa payments for at least 5 years. They ceased whern his mother got re married.
    After all this time and out of the blue I have received a deduction of earnings order to take approx £1000 in so called arrears. Furthermore, what’s ironic is my son now lives with me, is nearly 21 and has been working full time for the past two years since leaving sixth form in school.
    Any thoughts ? I thought these dark days were behind. Where have these figures come from that they think they can just take a mans earnings and support his son as well.

  28. Apologies , what i meant to say at end was my earnings help support my son as we now live together.

  29. i got screwed over when my daughter left school, she was forced to go to college but quit after 2 months, the PWC continued to claim CB for her and thus my maintenance

    My son has just left school and been forced to apply for college, (here we go again)
    She was reported for benefit fraud the first time but nothing was done, I know my daughter was not in college as i saw her every couple of weeks. and she told me she had quit
    The college will not give me any information but surely if the law and the benefits agency say the child is still a child I can request copies of any information regarding my child.
    does anyone know how i can prove a child did not go to college

  30. Never! Never ever, ever ever. The csa will milk us all dry until we die in order to get more stealth tax for the government. Then they will bleed our estate of our childrens inheritence so the government get more stealth tax. It doesnt matter which political party is in power, the csa was dreamed up by a civil servant under a tory government, put in place by a cilvil servant under a labour government and currently promoted by a civil servant under another tory government. Its a disgusting scam to create more low grade civil service jobs for the DWP while collecting stealth tax for the government of the day who let the civil service get away with it as long as the tax dollars keep rolling in. The latest scam is to charge people to have their lives destroyed and it will NEVER stop or be abolished while the money keeps flowing. We are all doomed for eternity.

  31. My son is 18 in January and currently at college doing his A levels with a view to going to Uni in September. When is he classed as having finished full time education?

  32. Graeme:- Your son will cease to be a qualifying child when he starts university. Child benefit will cease on the first Monday in September and your case should close aligned to that date. Ring the CSA that week and ask for closure.

  33. the csa are nothing but robbere they should wear a mask
    i have been paying £347 a month for 1 child and she still asks for moore but she is 19 soon and i have spoken with the csa and you can ask for closure 1 month before there birthday so that you wont have to pay the month after its all confusing but if you dont get on there case they will keep taking it
    make sure if you have an AOE you inform your pay roll as the csa take time to inform them your company can contact them to make sure your payments are to stop
    good luck everyone

  34. If the Pwc has been falsely claiming child benefit is there anything that can be done to stop maintenance payments?

  35. First time ever using one of these to vent my frustration about the CSA.

    The CSA has just informed me (18 Dec 12) that when the new computer system is up and running in 2013 that my payments will be extended until my child is 20 years old! I did ask when we were to be informed of these changes and they said it would be by letter. Given it has taken them 30 weeks to tell me that my circumstances have changed, (News to me) and that I will now be in arrears – effectively putting me in debt, this is deplorable given that it is a Government depatmnent (DWP). Not a happy bear!

  36. I have always given my ex partner money for my son for the last 15 years after we split. My son was due to be 16 so I suggest to her I wanted to give the money directly to my son as he would be going to college and I felt that would help his development to manage money. She didn’t like that idea and she decided to take as much money of me by using the csa. At the time I had just had another child and this made her angry and she was going to try and mess everything up My whole relationship with my son who is now 18 has been controlled by his mother which is completely wrong as fathers love the children too. Women are happy to take the money to spend on themselves but do not want the fathers to have a proper relationship with their children. To be honest some women are not fit to be mothers. What real mother will stop her child from seeing their father provided he is a good man. Woman shouldn’t be allowed to do this just beacuse she is angry and therefore will stop the child having contact with the father. To rub salt in I know she spends the money on herself rather than on my son. I thought I was due to finish next year as he will be 19…only to find out recently the age has been changed to 20year.. This system is not right to keep taking money off the fathers when the fathers have no say in their own child welfare. Its like giving money to a complete stranger. This is criminal. Hopefully charma will repay these so called mothers with interest for not allowing the child to see their fathers just because the woman will not allow a relationship to develop properly. Shame on you women. If only you knew the damage you were doing to these children. Good luck fathers, its no wonder more and more men are becoming homeless because the csa never take into account what bills the father have to pay.This is the reason why more and more woman are driving expensive cars and wearing designer clothes but they are single mothers how is that possible. Not to mention the expensive holidays..Stay strong guys…justice for fathers.

  37. Just rang the CSA to confirm I have paid my last payment for my daughter who turned 19 on 31st December, only to be told I have to pay until she is 20!
    Apparently, these changes came into effect on 10th December, so for the sake of 21 days, I now have to pay another 12 months maintenance.
    Angry does not even begin to describe how I feel.

  38. Hi was reading a few of the comments that were sent and I just wanted to ask, my son started uni sept 2012. he’s 19 and has a part time job. Do have to still pay cs?

  39. Tony:- If your son is in advanced education studying at degree level or above you should not have to make a contribution to maintenance.
    Child benefit and hence child maintenance should have ceased September 2012.
    If you have not received a letter from the CSA saying your case is closed telephone immediately repeating what you have put in your post.
    Your regular maintenance should have stopped in September and any over payments will be returned but any arrears are still due.

  40. Hi,what are the circumstances surrounding csa payments being paid for a child up to 20yrs of age?? I.e. if they choose to stay at college? Or if they’re not in full time employment etc.

  41. the Qualifying Child must be under the age of 20 and in full time (12 hours or more) non-advanced education – HNC and above are classed as Advanced Education. Liability will automatically end on the QCs 20th birthday regardless of their educational status.

    A student enrolled in a course of 12 hours or more may work as well, so for example a student can attend college 6 hours Monday and Tuesday and go to work Wednesday – Sunday and still meet the criteria of a QC, and liability would be on-going until either their college course ended or their 20th b’day

  42. What an absolute joke and p-ss take by the DWP and CSA. A child aged 20! Then it will be 21 then 22, and we all be paying until they are f—ing 40! This has to go to the courts!

    My final liability will be up for question soon, and if there any attempts to make me pay beyond 19, I will be seeking legal advice, irrespective of the introduction of retrosepective legislation.

  43. I received a letter from the CSA in December informing me that my case was closed because my son was 19 on the 24th November 2012 . I had a private agreement and have been paying for him for 12 years .Subsequently his mother threatened to to go to the CSA and have the case re-opened as the age was raised to 20 on December 10th. I rang the CSA and was informed that indeed she is able to do so. How can the CSA be allowed to retrospectively re-open a case that has been closed ? This is surely at least morally wrong if not illegal . If you have been told that a Hire Purchase agreement is finished the HP company can’t then make you pay for an extra year because interest rates increase the month after, so why should the CSA be able to?

  44. My case closed on Dec 2nd 2012 after my son turned 19. I am shocked to learn that my son’s mother can retrospectively re-open the case under the new system (CSA3) requiring me to pay until my son is 20 – even though the new system was not introduced until 10th Dec 2012! As Gary Jeanes has said ‘surely this is at least morally wrong if not illegal’! I have recently made a number of financial changes to my circumstances on the basis of the ‘fact’ that my CSA payments had stopped after 13 years. At no point in the past has anybody contacted me to advise me that my payments may continue for another year. It is impossible for me to retrospectively undo the changes I have made to my finances. What am I and others like me supposed to do? The CSA cannot be allowed to get away with this. It is plain wrong.

  45. My case also closed in November 2012. I was then re-contacted by the CSA in December 2012 to say that the law had changed and I was now liable to pay CSA until my son’s 20th birthday (or until he leaves full time education – excluding university) whichever is sooner.

    My son is working (in addition to going to college) and has more disposable assets than I do. His mother by her own admission is putting all my money into a savings account as she doesn’t need it.

    Which all goes to show that the system is a complete mess and has no bearing on reality.

  46. Mark – given that your ex has stated that the money is going direct into a savings account for your son as she does not need the money to support him through college (12 hours or more is considered full-time and the QC can work along side college without it affecting them meeting the QC criteria) – would it be an option for yourself and your ex to come to a private agreement.

    education must be non-advanced – HNC and above are classed as advanced education

  47. hi, my husbands son starts uni in sept 2013 and is 18 in june 2013, he will finish school and his A levels in june 2013, what month can maintenance stop?

  48. When I finally plucked up the courage to leave my ex 6 years ago he told me:-
    1 He’d make the children choose him (more benefits that way)
    2 Make them hate me (guaranteed benefits)
    3 He’d have the house (I paid the mortgage/endowments/bills etc!)
    4 And I would be paying for the rest of my life as he doesn’t believe in working.

    Looks like with the exception of the house he has it all and the government has helped him to achieve it.

    At 19 I had a child, ran a house, dealt with the bills, had a full time job, organised child care, was responsible for myself and others and yet I was a child?

    This is beyond unfair!

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