Child Maintenance- Case closed lost 10 months! Can I get it back?

in Child support
5 replies 408 views
JawalkJawalk Forumite
10 Posts
Third Anniversary First Post
Forumite
Hi,

If there is anyone who has been in a similar place to me, knows law etc I would value some advise.
My situation-
I have had a case with C.M for several years after my ex was useless at paying. It ended up going to collect and pay once my ex's mother stopped making his payments for him, out of her own pocket!! 
My daughter came to 16 and was attending college but I forgot (stupidly) to let child support know until I got a letter from Child maintenance stating my case was due to close.
At that point I was able to get through to them and asked why they were closing the case- no child support. I informed them that I had forgotten and would get that sorted, to which they informed me once it was payments would then be backdated.
I sorted it Oct/Nov 21 and the child support backdated me the moth they had not paid.
I then attempted to go onto my account online but was unable to send any messages to inform them. I tried numerous times to get in touch but wait times were horrendous. One time I managed to speak to someone and they informed me I needed to open a new case (I had waited an hour) but once I had they could reinstate the payments and back pay. I was given a number and straight away faced with another hour long wait to which I had to end as I did not have the time.
Then the other week I got an email from them about my online account. I signed in and went on chat. They said my case was still open and gave me the number saying roughly the same as the last person (back pay) but would need to speak to my case worker. I said I could not wait another hour to which they said I would get straight through as they would but an identifier on my number. I phoned- they were closed! Chat then said I needed to phone on Monday.
Today I phoned and waited about 15 mins. They informed me that I needed to open a new case and that my case was closed and was just there for the arrears. I asked about the 10 months that I had not had payment and that numerous times I had tried to get in touch. They informed me that I would only be able to claim from today. That I should of phoned to open a new case!!! To which I obviously got slightly annoyed as I had been doing so. She asked if I had tried online- to which I said yes but i could not do anything on my account. She informed me that I would not be able to and I would have to go to child maintence website and apply there. I would not get the money I feel I am owed only the outstanding arrears from my old case.
I have now applied online and paid another £20 for the experience! Is there any way I can get the 10 months back due to the fact that I have been trying and keep going round in circles being told different things. I want to put a complaint in but was told by case worker I couldn't until my new case was active. All I want is to be paid what I believe my daughter is entitled to. We have been at the food bank (to which he said to my daughter "if your hungry go to your grandmas") etc while he has been out drinking, holidaying etc.  
All these failed attempts were during the pandemic and I feel I have just cause, particularly as no one at C.M seems to say the same thing to have my child maintenance case back dated to the time it was closed.
Also if HMRC can inform CM that there is no payments of child support then surely it is on them to inform them different not to a mother who is already struggling to keep head afloat!

Replies

  • tightauldgittightauldgit Forumite
    372 Posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    I have to be honest and say it's really hard to follow your story. When you say Child Support do you mean Child Benefit? 

    It really is your responsibility to inform CMS of your own circumstances and to ensure that your information is correct. 

    It does appear you have been misled somewhat if they told you that your case was open and would be backdated but then they have closed it, and you should definitely complain about that, but it appears that you have been told the process to do that - open a new claim and make a complaint. 

    If CMS have made an error then it's likely that you will receive your money, the complication is going to come if you haven't given them the right information and they have acted correctly based on what information they have. As much as it might be annoying I don't think 'your waiting times are too long so I gave up' will cut it as a reason for not providing the info. 

    I do have sympathy because it does seem like an hour wait for your call to get answered is not unusual - I had to call them last week and had to wait an hour for a response and then another 45 minutes to speak to a case worker. They try to push you online but that doesn't help if you can't get access to your account for example. 

    I believe you may have been able to post them your communications though and this might be what they fall back on. 

    In terms of your new CMS claim, it won't be backdated because CMS only make awards from the date of the claim. So you would have to make the case that your old claim was incorrectly closed due to the fault of CMS. My sniff test on it is that if it's taken you ten months to get this far and you still don't seem to have opened a new case as you have been told to do then CMS will say that you haven't fulfilled your obligations to them.

    But as I say it's a bit difficult to follow your story so I might be missing some pertinent facts.   
  • JawalkJawalk Forumite
    10 Posts
    Third Anniversary First Post
    Forumite
    I have to be honest and say it's really hard to follow your story. When you say Child Support do you mean Child Benefit? 

    It really is your responsibility to inform CMS of your own circumstances and to ensure that your information is correct. 

    It does appear you have been misled somewhat if they told you that your case was open and would be backdated but then they have closed it, and you should definitely complain about that, but it appears that you have been told the process to do that - open a new claim and make a complaint. 

    If CMS have made an error then it's likely that you will receive your money, the complication is going to come if you haven't given them the right information and they have acted correctly based on what information they have. As much as it might be annoying I don't think 'your waiting times are too long so I gave up' will cut it as a reason for not providing the info. 

    I do have sympathy because it does seem like an hour wait for your call to get answered is not unusual - I had to call them last week and had to wait an hour for a response and then another 45 minutes to speak to a case worker. They try to push you online but that doesn't help if you can't get access to your account for example. 

    I believe you may have been able to post them your communications though and this might be what they fall back on. 

    In terms of your new CMS claim, it won't be backdated because CMS only make awards from the date of the claim. So you would have to make the case that your old claim was incorrectly closed due to the fault of CMS. My sniff test on it is that if it's taken you ten months to get this far and you still don't seem to have opened a new case as you have been told to do then CMS will say that you haven't fulfilled your obligations to them.

    But as I say it's a bit difficult to follow your story so I might be missing some pertinent facts.   
    Hi, Child support yes I meant benefit. I was told when I first had contact with them that everything would be reinstated once I has sorted the benefit out. I was not given any kind of timeline. The next time I managed to speak to someone was due to fact I had not heard from them as they did not say I needed to get back in touch. I assumed that because they had been instructed by HMRC that they would get notification from them. It was then I was told to open a new case as mine had been closed. However due to length of time which I did not have I left it until I got an email about accessing my account. I did this and this was the first time I was able to have online chat. They told me my case was open and to call- eventually told to call Monday (just gone) It was then I was told I needed to open a new case and only then that they said I would not get any money for the time between my closed case and the new one. I have opened a new case now but I think from the lack of accurate info I was given it is there mess up. I do think that they should a least ask my ex for the 10 months of missed payments, perhaps they can't enforce it but I think he would agree to (but not action on) then they could claim it as he would of agreed to it!

    It is really upsetting as I have had people I know (mothers) who have abused the system and the absent father has had to pay twice. However in this situation I am still waiting for arrears of nearly £1000 and the system seems to of done a u-turn as every time I have got involved with cms I have ended up losing out and my ex laughing in my face (literally) knowing that he has got away without paying yet again. It is not masses either £20 a week was last amount they calculated and that is fine even though I know he is not being honest about his earnings (self employed!) I know this due to the lifestyle he leads and when I was with him of how he operated.

    I just hoped that I might be able to push this in a hope that I might get some of that 10 months. 
  • tightauldgittightauldgit Forumite
    372 Posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    CMS can't ask your ex to pay anything that they aren't authorised to ask for. If you think he would pay it if asked then you are free to ask him yourself of course. 

    I really don't know what's gone on between yourself and CMS but of course you should raise a complaint and see what you can get. 
  • JJWSJS8700JJWSJS8700 Forumite
    156 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Jawalk said:
    Hi,

    If there is anyone who has been in a similar place to me, knows law etc I would value some advise.
    My situation-
    I have had a case with C.M for several years after my ex was useless at paying. It ended up going to collect and pay once my ex's mother stopped making his payments for him, out of her own pocket!! 
    My daughter came to 16 and was attending college but I forgot (stupidly) to let child support know until I got a letter from Child maintenance stating my case was due to close.
    At that point I was able to get through to them and asked why they were closing the case- no child support. I informed them that I had forgotten and would get that sorted, to which they informed me once it was payments would then be backdated.
    I sorted it Oct/Nov 21 and the child support backdated me the moth they had not paid.
    I then attempted to go onto my account online but was unable to send any messages to inform them. I tried numerous times to get in touch but wait times were horrendous. One time I managed to speak to someone and they informed me I needed to open a new case (I had waited an hour) but once I had they could reinstate the payments and back pay. I was given a number and straight away faced with another hour long wait to which I had to end as I did not have the time.
    Then the other week I got an email from them about my online account. I signed in and went on chat. They said my case was still open and gave me the number saying roughly the same as the last person (back pay) but would need to speak to my case worker. I said I could not wait another hour to which they said I would get straight through as they would but an identifier on my number. I phoned- they were closed! Chat then said I needed to phone on Monday.
    Today I phoned and waited about 15 mins. They informed me that I needed to open a new case and that my case was closed and was just there for the arrears. I asked about the 10 months that I had not had payment and that numerous times I had tried to get in touch. They informed me that I would only be able to claim from today. That I should of phoned to open a new case!!! To which I obviously got slightly annoyed as I had been doing so. She asked if I had tried online- to which I said yes but i could not do anything on my account. She informed me that I would not be able to and I would have to go to child maintence website and apply there. I would not get the money I feel I am owed only the outstanding arrears from my old case.
    I have now applied online and paid another £20 for the experience! Is there any way I can get the 10 months back due to the fact that I have been trying and keep going round in circles being told different things. I want to put a complaint in but was told by case worker I couldn't until my new case was active. All I want is to be paid what I believe my daughter is entitled to. We have been at the food bank (to which he said to my daughter "if your hungry go to your grandmas") etc while he has been out drinking, holidaying etc.  
    All these failed attempts were during the pandemic and I feel I have just cause, particularly as no one at C.M seems to say the same thing to have my child maintenance case back dated to the time it was closed.
    Also if HMRC can inform CM that there is no payments of child support then surely it is on them to inform them different not to a mother who is already struggling to keep head afloat!

    contact:

    COMPLAINTS 

    CMS
    Washington
    Tyne & Wear
    North East

    complaints department

    explain everything,
    because the contact is exactly
    how you have stated, 1 hour waits, listening to their dogs barking after they pretend they’re in The office,
    coughing  and spluttering with but not one bit of manners shown..

    The website is appalling.

    So they  know you’re not lying because we’re all going through it.
    Stress on your old account number keep it open.
    Good luck
  • JJWSJS8700JJWSJS8700 Forumite
    156 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    CMS can't ask your ex to pay anything that they aren't authorised to ask for. If you think he would pay it if asked then you are free to ask him yourself of course. 

    I really don't know what's gone on between yourself and CMS but of course you should raise a complaint and see what you can get. 
    Of course they can, they can make a deduction from his wages before he gets them as long as child benefit is in receipt.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides