Requested statement from the CSA 3 times, but still do not have it

September 29, 2012

I am writing about my husband’s CSA nightmare. He has been paying child maintenance for his 11 year old daughter through the CSA for 10 years. They have made many mistakes in that time but their newest decision is to up his payments from £187 per month to £386 per month to his ex.

He, of course had absolutely no warning of this, they just started taking it off his wages almost 3 months ago now. He has been on the phone to them almost constantly since.

Every time he gets a different person and a different reason a to why these payments have shot up so dramatically. He was meant to be paying £126 because we had a baby 10 months ago, they told him he was in arrears though from when he changed jobs and it took them 6 months to set up te correct payments, so he was to pay £186. Fair enough.

Now they are telling him he is £5000 in arrears! The first 2 people he spoke to told him they couldn’t tell him where that was coming from, but if he thinks that’s wrong then he needs to write a letter disputing the amount and ask for a statement. He has done this twice and 8 weeks later there is still no sign of this statement.

He has spoken to a few other people at CSA in that time and the rest of them have all been able to tell him why he has these arrears, but all of their reasons have been different. From having no records of his payments pre 2011 and him needing to find the proof himself, to his assessment was £200 at that time but should have been £500 so that’s where the arrears are coming from.

We then have the argument that they are legally allowed to take up to 40% of his wage. £500 is 50% of his wage, not taking into account his 8 year old daughter who he has a private agreement for. They are meant to take any other children into account.

One guy has agreed that this doesn’t make sense, and the best way to stop it is to ask his ex to have a private agreement, she won’t do that. That’s fine – that’s up to her.

He asked again for this statement because until we get this we can’t do anything. Apparently on his file they can see that it has been requested 3 times but we still don’t have it.

With payday fast approaching they are going to take another £386 from him this month. Once all of the bills are paid that leaves him with £20 for the month.

He has told them this but they just don’t care. One super helpful advisor named Maz reminded him that they were allowed to take 40% in total and £386 is ‘only 35%’ of what he currently earns. What about the other 2 children they are supposed to take into account?

We absolutely cannot continue like this. There is just not enough money coming in to the household. How do we get this statement?

Comments

  • Carol says:

    Get a copy of your file from the DPU Unit, CSA, Newcastle. They will charge a fee of £10 but you will get the entire file. Also request transcript of phone calls if you have phoned them alot.

    We had the same problem for some reason trying to get a statement breakdown. You would think when they are telling people of these arrears that they can instantly provide an explanation but they can’t and from my partner’s experience make it up!

    Get your MP involved. Once they are involved you will get one person in the Agency to contact who will chase up caseworkers who are dealing with your case. Saves going over the whole story with someone different all the time.

    In the meantime until MP is in place you can write a formal letter of complaint letting CSA know that you are to get your MP involved and also of the financial impact this is having on you. Let CSA know your husband’s income and the household expenses to see if they will reduce the amounts. Do not give the CSA your income details.

  • chall says:

    Ariane,

    Is your OH case calculated on new rules?

    How many cases does your OH have with the CSA?
    The CSA will only take other children into account IF the agency are involved with their case.

    Does your household receive any benefits that can be deemed the income of the NRP, ie WTW, CTC?
    The agency should leave a NRP with at least 60% of their total income.

    As has already been said, it may be a good idea for your OH to apply for his Data Protection File, including dated note pad sections and a complete account breakdown. There is a £10 fee and the agency have 40 consecutive days to furnish you with such, but once in receipt you should be able to establish what has been happening with the case.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  • Submor says:

    Something I have learned from dealing with the CSA for a few years is speaking to them on the telephone is a waste of your breath and telephone bill. You will be promised the earth and will receive nothing, they will promise to ring you back and they never will. I have started to make headway with my own complaint to the CSA by communicating with them in writing only, letter (registered post) or email and make sure you print it with a clearly identifiable date and time.

    I had requested a statement several times by phone, it never arrived. When I requested it by email I received it within 5 days.

    Submor

  • j says:

    This isnt the csa its an open forum so don’t give names/details etc especially of children.

    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, parliamentry and health service ombudsman through your mp for maladministration.

  • >