I’m a PWC and I hate the CSA

March 7, 2010

I was a single parent for 8 years with four children and did not receive a single penny from my ex-husband who was assessed every 6 months as 0 contribution under the old system. He’s self employed and declares little of his earnings to the inland revenue. He led, and still leads a lavish lifestyle with numerous holidays abroad every year.

Our two eldest children grew up and left home, despite having no financial contributions from my ex, I was able to support our children through university. I agreed for my two sons to live with their father and was pursued by the CSA as soon as they left. I payed every month, one month I was called at work to say my ex was not happy that he had not received payment, but payment was taken by the CSA directly from my wages. On another occasion I had paid too much and they sent me a cheque to my previous address!

In August 2007 one of my sons decided he wanted to live with me and I contacted the CSA who told me that I could not have his name taken off my ex-husband’s maintenance claim until I was in receipt of Child Benefit. I called them when I got the CB sorted out and they advised me to make an application – I did this online and was given a reference number, however it was never acknowledged but I know it was received because all correspondence with the CSA was previously in my old name and I made my application in my newly married name which was reflected on the next letter I had from them regarding the payments I needed to make.

It took 9 months before they finally sorted it out so that I was not paying for our son who was living with me, but there was still no acknowledgement of my application for maintenance.

I made a complaint online and heard nothing back – numerous telephone calls to the CSA resulted in them referring me to my case worker for payments taken from me, who then referred me back to the helpline.

Eventually I was told to make another application and sent a form to do so, the online application was never acknowledged.

I did not make my payments and considered that they could take the payment out of the money I was owed, and received a call from the CSA in which I was bullied into making a payment over the phone and assured that my claim would be processed and I would receive payment from my ex.

I heard nothing and received no maintenance until the next call I got demanding a payment over the phone again, however, I had just lost my job so the caller did not pursue it any further. That was in April last year and I’ve heard nothing since.

My son told me that his father would not be pursuing payments via the CSA any more as we each had one son, and I thought that was the end of my long-standing emotionally and financially draining relationship with the CSA. This was backed up by the fact that I had no further correspondence from the CSA regarding his or my application.

I was out of work for 5 weeks then started temping for an agency, having no payments to make to the CSA and no payments received.

Today I got a call from them telling me it had been a long time and they wanted to know my previous employer! I was both shocked and distressed, and I could not continue with the call. I hung up the phone in a complete rage.

I have written a letter of complaint, but don’t hold out much hope of getting a reply.

I am now just waiting for the nasty letter from the CSA and fully intend to withold my information until they force me to disclose it. I have asked them for all the information they have on their database and intend to make sure I get a fair hearing before I part with any money over the phone again.

It is very unfair that they have worked so hard to ensure I contribute financially to one son, and completely neglect my other son’s financial needs.

I hate the CSA


  • chall says:

    Hi Sonia,

    Did you ever appeal on the grounds of lifestyle inconsistent with earnings?

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