Income support levels have risen, so have my CSA payments!

January 6, 2010

So I really didn’t think that it could get any worse for me.

I have been paying for three children for ten years now (They are 19,17 and 13 and I only have contact with one after a dose of alienation from their mother) and have been subject to the shambles of the CSA for all of it. My eldest daughter has just turned 19 so I ‘looked forward’ to a reduction in my maintenance assessment. Low and behold I received it today to find that now I am paying for two children my payment has increased ! I called the ‘lovely’ people at the Belfast office (anyone else find these the rudest people they ever dealt with?).

I’m told that since my last assessment in 2008 income support levels have risen so I have to pay more. I live with my partner and her two children and we already struggle to make ends meet,  we cannot afford to food shop at least one week of each month let alone have anything for any extras.  Once again the CSA are putting more pressure on our relationship causing more rows out of sheer frustration, it nearly ended us last year and leaves me fearing for this.

How can this be right? Hearts of stone or just no heart at all. I have read many other peoples experiences here and I feel for all of you in the hell of the organisational corruption of the CSA.

I am at a loss of what to do now, do I pack in work, lose my house, my relationship, my dignity?? They have a DOE order due to arrears built up by their own mistake so I cant even just stop paying and say enough is enough !

I don’t know where to turn next.


  • peter says:

    hi simon,

    my heart goes out to you as it seems like me your one of the good fathers that actually wants to see his children and also pays for them!
    One thing i can tell you with my dealings with the csa is that dont care what your other expenses are, for example debt, food, tv license, phone bill etc etc, understand that in life there are three things you must pay 1. your mortgage 2. your council tax and 3. the csa, yes the csa come before any other debt! credit cards , store cards are all second now, this is because failure to pay these can leave you without a home! if you have a mortgage then you have equity and thats an asset, the csa will firstly involve the sheriff officers who if they cant get the payment in FULL will take things like cars etc and other assets if none are enough its your home next! but i must say that this is normally only if you refuse to pay or owe a serious amount of money! You need to be able to prove to them you cant pay ammounts they want in arrears by either a letter saying you have been refused a load by your bank etc and cant extend your mortgage then you can setup a amount that you can afford! if you do not do this they can ask you for whatever amount they wish! if you phone about 100 times you can actually get someone helpful at the csa! lol, but remember the goverment allows them to do this and dont under estimate there powers! everything in writing! and keep a record for yourself!!

    hope this helps

  • Michael says:

    Not just everything in writing, you need to send letters and documents by recorded delivery because they WILL lose them and claim they never received them. You should also record ALL phone calls with the CSA, because they will lie about what they tell you.

  • chall says:

    Hi simon,

    It may be worth having your assessment checked to ensure it is correct. – join us in the forum at

    Also, re arrears on your case, have you established whether these are correct?

    To reiterate on the good advice already given by others – Keep copies of ALL correspondence to the agency and post it signed for.

  • Donny says:

    To Simon

    Wow! Sorry but that seems so selfish to me. What about your children? That is what the money is for… If you have credit card, HP, Store Cards and other form of personal finance and your struggling then you shouldn’t have got them in the first place… You should be concentrating on providing for your children, even though you’re not with their mother any more. Just cause you split doesn’t mean that you can STOP being a dad and STOP providing for them. What about the mother, who does she have to turn to when she can’t afford to put food in YOUR children’s mouths, what happens then….

    I am a single, male, parent with two children, 9 and 8. The boy’s mother goes out drinking every weekend and on a Tuesday with her pool team. She generally has the life of riley with none of the child responsibility. I have just applied for CSA, because I generally can’t afford to provide for the children, I have no one to help me when I run out of money or when they need new shoes, or there school jumper gets ripped. The luxuries have to stop for me; it’s the children who get the extras. But, I bought into that when I decided to have children, I didn’t decide to have children and then get gutted because I couldn’t afford the latest Nike trainers for myself, I foresaw that I would have to give to them, in fact, I like knowing that I am being the best dad I can be by sacrificing my needs for theirs,… It’s them you should be thinking about Simon not your needs.

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