Child Support Complaints – 0843 487 1835
When parents separate and one parent or guardian ends up with primary custody of children who live with them full time, the other parent generally is expected and required to provide child support payments, and these are monitored through the CSA and the CSA helpline.
Qualifying and applying for support payments can be tricky, and sometimes there are disagreements regarding the amount that is appropriate and which children qualify, in which case claimants may need to contact the Child Support complaints department.
There are two main complaints that parents and guardians generally have when receiving child support or applying to do so. The first is that the CSA itself may make a mistake or treat the applicant rudely in some way. Parents who feel that they are not being treated well by the CSA, are dealing with an employee who is not doing their job properly or have been the victim of a mistake on the CSA’s part should call the Child Maintenance Service, who will pass the complaint on to the managing office where the local Complaints Resolution team will evaluate it. Generally a decision is made about what to do within 15 working days, and if this will not be possible the team will inform the complainant and work out a timetable.
In the even that this does not resolve the issue, claimants can call the Child Support complaints number for the Independent Case Examiner who will evaluate the complaint and response of the CSA. If this still does not resolve the situation, the complainant should contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
Payment Decision Complaints
The second major complaint that applicants may have is dissatisfaction with the CSA’s decision regarding the amount of payment that will be received. In this case there is an appeal process which the claimants can go through, which can take several months and must be preceded by a mandatory reconsideration. The mandatory reconsideration is started by contacting the CSA or Child Maintenance Service and explaining why the original decision is wrong, which should be done within a month of being notified of the CSA’s decision.
If the mandatory reconsideration does not resolve the issue, claimants can appeal directly to an independent tribunal on one of the grounds outlined on the CSA website. The appeal process is complicated, so contacting the Child Support complaints department for advice is a good idea.