My letter to the CSA Complaints Resolution Team

November 25, 2012

Extracts of a letter recently sent to the Complaints Resolution Team:

1. I applied to you for assistance in obtaining child maintenance from the father of my eldest daughter, Elsie Jane Strachan, in January 2012. I understand that the application was closed without action (or communication to me) the day after it was received. In spite of numerous telephone calls and letters I still have not received any explanation as to why this application was not actioned.

2. I received a letter dated 16th September 2012, which set out a proposed payment plan for child maintenance in respect of my younger daughter, Daisy Alexandra Davis. This payment plan includes additional payments for arrears from 2009/2010. These arrears stem from a decision I was not aware of. This decision was (I believe) sent in October 2009 to a property that I had sold in August 2009. I was only made aware of these alleged arrears earlier this year, at which time I immediately wrote explaining that I did not receive the original communication and that I could not possibly owe the amount quoted as I was sick and not earning between October 2009 and June 2010. I later appealed this decision, including clear evidence of my financial situation at that time, but the appeal was not actioned as it was too late.

3. I am now in a situation where 30% of my salary is being collected at source. I work full time and take home £1645 a month, and £500 of that is being collected by you, leaving me with £1145 per month. By the time my rent (£650 pm) and council tax (£100pm) has been paid, I am left with very little with which to travel back and forth to work and support my eldest daughter, who is living with me and still in full time education. Furthermore, I have shared care of my younger daughter, Daisy Alexandra Davis, which includes staying contact for at least 96 nights per year, I do therefore need to maintain a 3-bedroomed house and I have to travel some 300 miles in respect of every visit. When I spoke to one of your advisers about the situation, I was told that I was lucky – that you could have taken 40% of my salary! It seems utterly ludicrous to me that a) I was significantly better off on Employment and Support Allowance whilst I was sick, b) that I should be paying nearly £5000 in arrears that I can prove I do not owe, just because I was late filing an appeal (due to the fact that the original communication was sent to an address that I no longer owned) and c) that my eldest daughter should suffer hardship due to my younger daughter’s maintenance payments.

Comments

6 Responses to “My letter to the CSA Complaints Resolution Team”

  1. Paul Gibbons on November 26th, 2012 9:18 am

    I’m in the same situation. They are taking 40% of my income so all I can no longer afford to travel from York to Whitby to see my kids,
    When I had control of my own finances I used to have my kids every other weekend and more. Now I’m lucky if I can manage once a month.
    They have destroyed my life and damaged the children’s up bringing and its all legally binding.

    I have no ideal how to fight this monster.

  2. Nicola Lawson on November 29th, 2012 11:31 pm

    We are in a scarily similar position. The CSA is destroying our family and damaging the future of our children aged 10 and 10months. There seems no way to take them on, they claim to have sent letters which we have never received and now they are threatening to sell our house from under us for arrears of CSA payments due when the child concerned had left full time education and had a job. She is 21!!!! Someone please help us before this destroys our family.

  3. jane ******* on January 25th, 2013 11:02 am

    I got £33 a week to support my three young children , their father (term i will use loosely) refused to pay even that and gave up his job went on benefits on which he payed £2.50 a fortnight , he complained about that and refused benefits so the csa said he had no income therefore hes children wouldn’t receive any financial support!……….
    its taken the csa 10 mnths to contact me , on numerous occasions they should have called me back to inform me what was happening and still to date no call, I feel whether you are paying csa or receiving it, the whole service is wrong, slack and unfair to all!!!!! what would happen if i was as irresponsible as their father and refused to work? ……oh i know they would make me take a program and send my butt back into a job to make sure the government didn’t have to pay them!
    To be honest though its the government in Britain and the Laws we go by that are all wrong aswell!

  4. James Amos on February 8th, 2013 12:43 pm

    Get specialist advice from Selwyns Law. Most lawyer do not want this type of work because it poses too much of a challenge. At Selwyns though we specialise in this area of work because too many people are exploited by the Child Support agency.

    Call us today on 0871 750 2130 or call 0744 5031 662 any time between 8.30am and 8pm or visit our website at selwynslaw.com

  5. j on February 8th, 2013 2:13 pm

    Hi

    Wont comment on the posts above. You obviously have more experience of your own situation and I hope the various comments will help you decide on a direction to follow.

    Meantime –

    Here is some general advice –

    ‘This isnt the csa its an open forum so don’t give names/details etc especially of children. (your own name can be used to identify the kids, and your case)

    Don’t deal with the csa by phone, everything in writing, sent recorded, keep the receipts.

    Copy your MP into everything and try and get them involved as your advocate.
    Make a formal complaint about any decision you are unhappy with from the outset as time limits are involved. Always go for an appeal tribunal asap following the internal process.

    Get a copy of your Data Protection prints from the outset so you know what you are dealing with, again follow the correct procedure in wording your request to get ALL information, send it to the right department, send the correct fee.

    Don’t be afraid to complain about any csa staff, or their superiors if you feel you have just cause.

    Remember the process, internal complaint, ‘independent’ case examiner (the csa protection department), appeals tribunal, parliamentary and health service ombudsman through your mp for maladministration.’

    There are a couple of sites you can also look at –

    © ChildSupportLaws – general info.

    http://www.fmotl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=8006 – not sure it will help but worth a look.

    http://www.deadbeatdadsassociation.co.uk – they don’t help you if you are getting advice elswhere.

    http://www.nacsa.co.uk/page/contact_us.html – I’ve heard of them and they get a good review but cost money. (£30pm I think)

    Read the various threads on here eg ‘Court ruling leaves child maintenance authority ‘emasculated’ – ‘November 1, 2012′

    You may pick up some useful info.

    Finally a specialist csa solicitor may be worth talking to but can be expensive and usually end up putting you in touch with a specialist barrister. Still worth an initial interview though but to reduce costs you can use a ‘direct access’ barrister (find through internet) and save on solicitor costs.

    Good luck.

  6. J LAWSON on March 2nd, 2013 6:21 pm

    Two comments in relation to the above:

    Firstly, I cannot fathom why someone would put personal information on the internet such as your children’s first names? Irresponsible to say the least.

    Secondly, I am going through a seven year fight with the CSA for gross errors in obtaining money from my ex-husband but have enlisted the help of my local MP who has so far been WONDERFUL and I am on course to receive thousands in backpay now – contact your local one…that’s what they are paid to do.

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