CSA payable even after leaving education

in Child Support
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Hi, my husband's son left school as a Year 11 in May and did not take up a place in college, which I reported to the CSA online in September. This was rejected and we paid CSA up until 18th October when I discovered that he was in fact in an apprenticeship. I phoned the CSA again and reported the change, it was put into an investigation with the deadline of 16th November, which passed - then we received a DEO letter as did my husband's boss! This is all outside of the child ever setting foot into college. Now, after many torturous phone calls I have discovered that Child Benefit was stopped on the 8th November - CSA will not tell me why she was granted two further months! - and this then means that we have to pay the arrears, which have now been ramped up higher thanks to her demanding Direct Pay! Please can anyone shed light as to how this is fair or possible as I have a different answer every time from the CSA.

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  • edited 2 December 2021 at 1:26PM
    tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    edited 2 December 2021 at 1:26PM
    Child Benefit can be extended for up to 20 weeks after the child leaves full time education. The only requirement for this is that the child has to sign up with a local careers service. (May to November is about 20 weeks). 

    Direct Pay is free, it is Collect and Pay that incurs a 20% fee to you, and the receiving parent loses 4%/ So if you can agree on Direct Pay, you will save 20% and they will be 4% better off. Will they not agree to Direct Pay, and do you know why? It seems very odd as the amount owed is only arrears; it would be better to pay this as a lump sum direct to the receiving parent.

    I think your husband is quite lucky. Many fathers have to pay for their children until they are 19. I did.

    As an apprentice, your step-son will not be earning very much (£4.30/hr), and hence will still be being supported by the parent that has been receiving child maintenance. Perhaps your husband should consider giving him some money directly if this is a financial possibility for your both. At least with a direct payment to him, you can stop it immediately if he drops out of the  apprenticeship.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • SpendlessSpendless Forumite
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    Hi

    I neither receive or pay CM but my youngest left her sixth form college summer this year and was eligible for child benefit to be paid until the beginning of September, even though my daughter's last class was the beginning of July and she left later than some of her peers who finished MayJune time. It seemed to be in line with when an academic year ends rather than their last day at school/college. I'm guessing yoru step son had the same timeline plus a run on like tacpot describes of so many weeks for whatever reason which takes you to the dates involved  
  • HadEnoughOfCSAHadEnoughOfCSA Forumite
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    Thanks for replies - I understood that it would be payable until September, however he has not started any kind of college course and started an apprenticeship mid October when is when I stopped paying until things were clarified. The second of today's CSA call person, who was really rude and repeatedly threatened to cut me off, would only confirm that CB was paid until 8th Nov, but not why, she would not confirm his education status. When I phoned a few weeks ago, they said it had been confirmed that he had not taken up further education, but that she was not committing to dates as to when he stopped, which makes no sense. I don't know whether he started college then walked out in favour of an apprenticeship - the CSA will not tell me a thing other than insisting that two weeks arrears are paid via a Direct order, and there is now a £25 difference in our annual review payment (which is done in October) and the new DEO payment they are demanding. As ever, things are made so much more stressful during phone calls when one adviser says something totally different to the previous one. Or refuses to provide details that had previously been provided, or cuts you off altogether!

    There is no option of paying extra to his son once the maintenance has stopped as we have no contact with him at all, we do not know where they live, she has changed his name by deed poll illegally (presumably forging my husband's signature) and we have not seen him in 10 years.
  • jjj1980jjj1980 Forumite
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    It really needs to be your husband calling CMS not you.  They will likely be more forthcoming with information.  If they have put a DEO in place, then he should have received some paperwork from them explaining how the current payable amount has been calculated. If not, then he needs to call and ask for a copy or log into the case online and check the message section. 

    On the name point, as your husband has been out of the child’s life for a considerable period, the other parent has likely applied to the court for permission to change the child’s name and has been granted the legal right to do so. 
  • HadEnoughOfCSAHadEnoughOfCSA Forumite
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    jjj1980 said:
    It really needs to be your husband calling CMS not you.  They will likely be more forthcoming with information.  If they have put a DEO in place, then he should have received some paperwork from them explaining how the current payable amount has been calculated. If not, then he needs to call and ask for a copy or log into the case online and check the message section. 

    On the name point, as your husband has been out of the child’s life for a considerable period, the other parent has likely applied to the court for permission to change the child’s name and has been granted the legal right to do so. 
    I am his named representative as he gets too stressed and upset on the phone. At the moment we are waiting for a new letter with specific dates and amounts as to how much we are to pay. I'm still completely in the dark as to how and why Child Benefit was paid until mid-November when he has not been in education since leaving secondary school. However as it stands we only "owe" 2-3 weeks, so I'm waiting for exact information. Nothing has been updated on the online case since 23rd November, no record of the decision made on 3rd December. Meanwhile my husband's boss is getting twitchy about the DEO. All of this is just so stressful. As for the name, I have no doubt at all she forged his signature on the paperwork - I know you have to send a letter of consent. We have not moved house, he has not changed address, at the time of the change she was still seeing his parents for birthday/christmas, when they would take our presents and cards (she has since stopped this). She lied to get it changed. There's literally no behaviour of hers that I would find surprising.
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