50,000 more single parents can claim child support
In the news recently we have been told that 150,000 single parents have had their child support requests knocked back - but 1 in 3 of these might be able to claim maintenance under the new system. Have a look here.
We asked our CSA Expert Jean to give us some feedback, this is her response:
This article is not new news.
The CSA are contacting existing customers of the old and new schemes on a rolling basis. It is in its first year of a three year programme. Those with an existing nil assessment should be amongst the first to be contacted.
I have been alerting Old Rules case clients to the possibility of closing their existing case and making a new application before they are written to by the CSA. There are benefits and disadvantages. If you have a nil assessment and have no arrears, you can jump the gun, make the new application and wait 13 weeks. If you are contacted by the CSA to join the CMS scheme, there is no waiting time. The clients have to be sure that any arrears owed to them will be pursued.
The Old Rules cases allowed for the NRPs housing costs and other things to be taken into account. This often led to low or nil assessments. If they had children in their home, or were on certain benefits, it could mean that they were exempt from the contribution to maintenance of £5 whereas in the CMS scheme there are very few exemptions to the minimum of £7 a week.
Anyone who has a nil assessment and no arrears could consider closing their case and reapplying and waiting 13 weeks. The worst that could happen is that they still have a nil assessment and have lost £20.
If you would like to discuss if it is worth applying to the CMS rather than waiting to be contacted by the CSA, contact our Expert Jean, who has been continuously advising on CSA issues since 1993.
Find lots of useful and relevant articles about Child Maintenance