Nothing but trouble

February 19, 2014

I have had nothing but trouble with the CSA.

In 2006 I split with my partner on the grounds of her unreasonable and abusive behaviour. I agreed to provide essentials for our daughter. She then began engaging in behaviour which was borderline stalking (abusive letters, text messages and threatening phone calls) she then also got the CSA involved.

The CSA then assessed my maintenance based in my gross pay by ‘mistake’ and took so much off me the first time I didn’t have enough left to eat. I telephoned them and advised them of this to be told ‘that’s not my problem’ I ended up borrowing money from my boss and taking a week off work sick. I then contacted them and told them I would be a week short as they were due to take even more the following month and was assured this would be taken into account. They then took the second bigger (and incorrect amount) from me the following month and this now left me with even less. I telephoned again, to again be told ‘that’s not my problem’. I complained and asked to be reimbursed (eight years later and still waiting) and my complaint didn’t even net an apology or an admission of wrongdoing.
In 2012 they contacted me at work demanding salary info. I told them in all honesty it was pointless as I was in the process of redundancy and in 2 weeks time would be unemployed. The advisor attempted to talk me into saying I was wilfully refusing to provide info. It didn’t work. They sent out an assessment form after I was laid off.

I got another job a few months later in which I was earning a lot less and they then started taking the assessment based on my previous salary (nearly £400pcm more!) I contacted them and pointed out this error and asked if my assessment could be reassessed and was ignored. It took the intervention of my MP before they actually contacted me back. I sent in pay slips and eventually they reassessed the maintenance at half of what was being deducted but then told me they would still be taking the higher amount because of arrears. They’ve been taking this higher amount for over a year now and then phoned me last week and said they were now increasing the deduction by over a hundred pounds. This is despite the fact I have a five year old son, service related mental health problems and I have been assessed as a high risk of suicide by my GP. I also have a partner who is seriously ill and this is having a detrimental effect on her health. I don’t mind paying for the upkeep of my child however my mother frequently has to buy her new clothes because my ex sends her to my mothers in dirty and damaged clothing while her and her new husband have a new car and an ipad each. I also don’t see why my son has to go without. Even with the higher amount deduction I was struggling and just about made it every month and now if they do start deducting this higher amount I don’t even know if we will make it. I am worried about the effect it will have on my partner as she is also a suicide risk due to previous abusive partners.

I contacted the CSA and advised them of this and I am due to hear back from them on Tuesday. I am also going to my doctor to have this entered onto my records and I will be speaking to my MP as well, if anybody has any advice on this id be glad to hear it