Want to make a formal complaint against the Child Support Agency

February 20, 2012

I am wondering how I go about making a formal complaint about the Child Support Agency. To put it briefly I called the Child support agency to advise them that my current partner was pregnant and the dates we were to expect our daughter. The man I spoke to advised me that as soon as our daughter was born to contact them straight away and they would freeze the payments or re calculate the payments made to my ex partner for my son. However this was not the case and it seems a long process before this is sorted, they told me that I needed to obtain a child tax number…. and we all know how long that can take with HM Revenue weeks….months even.

Anyway this was just the start, my concern is that there is not enough care given to fathers paying maintenance, I currently pay my ex partner £34.00 a week out of my basic pay of £227.00 as if that isnt bad enough with having to pay rent council tax bills etc, im sure you can imagine we have to be careful just with the food we buy. Anyway when I rang the child support agency to advise them my daughter had been born and I was on Paternity pay for 2 weeks with a weekly earing of £125 they still said I had to pay the £34.00 a week which is discusting when I have a new baby to pay for as well as my house.

To pay this then left me with £95.00, my rent is £70, council tax £25… the money has gone. So now how am I to buy baby food? pay my gas and electricity? Buy food? ETC ETC??? Its charming the fact that because my ex partner is a single parent she can brag about having her house all paid for her as she has 2 kids and she claims benefits for a single parent which let me tell you she gets a lot more money than I do, whatever she gets from me is just a bonus and I’m sure this contributes to her nights out on the town getting drunk…Im glad she can afford to do this as I cant even afford to get things we need to live on for the next 2 weeks.

This has taken the pleasure out of bonding with my daughter as I am constantly worrying about the money side of things and just how we are to get by. It would benefit me more to be out of work and on benefits paying £5.00 a week like most men seem to do. I understand I have a responsibility as a father to pay for my son but this is taking the mick dont you think? When it gets to the point that my family are suffering and I cant even afford to put food on the table. Luckily I have a good mother myself who has borrowed me money just to keep me going but if I didnt have her I dont know what we would have done? I just dont see the logic behind the CSA?

Although both parents are always responsible for having a child everybody knows that a women holds all the power where babies are concerened. A women can say she is on the pill and get herself pregnant then take the father through the child support agency whether the father wanted a child or not. The sytem is completely wrong if you ask me. Like I said now she is a single parent she gets EVERYTHING paid for while I work hard to provide for my family while CSA rinses me. I just thought there would be something they could of done for me whilst I was on paternity pay is that really asking too much?

I hear so much talk about fathers commiting suicide or quiting work because of the Child support Agency and I will be honest I can see why they do it especially if they have been treated worse than me. I would just like to know where fathers rights are in this system. I do not see my son because of threats and grief I got from my ex partner and her family and have had to change my number etc. I dont know how the CSA access everyones situations and to be honest I dont think they care about everyones situations.

When I filled out the forms not once was my outgoings taken into concideration just what came in. Fair enough if I lived at home with my mum and paid £34.00 this would be much more managable but on a basic basic wage and bills coming out my ears I really do not get how this is fair???

Please advise me if there is anything I can do as I really do feel so helpless at the moment and dont know what to do.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Comments

  • John says:

    First of all make the complaint to the CSA complaints dept.

    Secondly, don’t speak to them by phone, get everything in writing as eveidence.

    Make a complaint to the Independent case examiners office (ice) explaining the whole situtaion.

    Finally, go to your M.P. and ask for their help, even though you have made complaints to the CSA and ICE. Your M.P. will speed the process up!

  • Carol says:

    Now that your daughter is here they should be amending your maintenance assessment as you have another child and should be able to keep 10% of your salary for your daughter.

    The bad part that you should be prepared for as they keep threatening me is that they can take into account any tax credits you and your current partner may get. I find this disgusting that they take tax credits you and your partner get for your own kids and take it from you to pay for another child! This will happen if you are the lowest wage earner in the house.

    We got nowhere with any complaint until we got our MP involved so it is worth doing that.

  • chall says:

    Ben,

    Having read through your post, it appears YOU are the only income provider in your present relationship, is your partner not entitled to any maternity pay or allowance/grant?
    Can you claim housing benefit to help with your rent, have you made a claim for child benefit, WTC & CTC?

    The CSA will take your baby into account when making the re assessment, but you will need to supply them with the information they require to enable that to happen.
    However, the agency can hardly be held responsible for the time it takes for HMRC to provide such and there is no set time line in which they have to complete a re assessment.

    If you have correctly informed the CSA that your baby has arrived, your case should be backdated to the date they became aware of the information.
    On CS2 the reduction will 15% for 1 relevant other child of your total income, which at present includes any WTC, if you are the higher earner OR split 50/50 if you and your partner earn the same AND any CTC your household receives.

    chall ~ afairercsaforall

  • Darren Godwin says:

    Ben
    As mentioned you should get a reduction in payments on the new child back-dated to the date you first notified them. You just have to wait for that tax form!

    Assuming the CSA haven’t attached a DOA on your earnings my advice is to keep on top of payments and not fall behind. Keep notes on any calls made and emails sent and file any correspondence the CSA sends you. You may need these in the future.

    As tempting as it may be to enter into a direct pay arrangement with your ex, try to keep it all through the CSA so there is a continuous history of payments and re-assessments.

    Your circumstances will change, so will your earnings. Put as much into a pension as you can afford when you can – the CSA does not touch this part of your income.

    Complaining feels like the right thing to do, but you’ll quickly lose the will to live when you realise how pointless the whole process (deliberately) is. Enjoy your kids as much as possible.

    Keep the faith!

    Darren.

  • Philip Walduck says:

    Ben given the information you have provided of a net income of 227 a week your new payment should be £29.00 so if you can mange to pay that and if you have kept the agency informed of all the relevant changes (i.e. birth of new child with no other changes (the 2 week paternitly pay would be considered a temporary change unfortunately). You will be able to claim tax credits but you are under no obligation as far as i am aware to tell the CSA about them. If you wish to complain then please make sure you put it in writing and send it via recorded delivery so that you know when it has been received

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