CSA payments

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    Hoping someone can help.
    We have a claimant who has received notification from CSA that she should be receiving £30 per week for her daughter from former partner. Claimant has not received £30 p/w payments but has received two arrears payments.

    I am happy that we should be counting the arrears for the period they relate to. However (I may be making this up!) I ‘m sure I read somewhere that payments set by CSA should be counted as income for the period they relate even if they are not being received. Is this correct?

    The claimant also has another child to a different former partner and is receiving maintenance payments from him. I’m wondering if the maximum disregard of £15 per week is per child or would it be deducted from the total amount of maintenance received from both former partners?

    Any help gratefully received!

    Kevin D

    The CSA payment should only be taken into account once it is paid. The reasoning is simple: if there is no income, there is no income.

    Assuming that payment of maintenance (including CSA payments) is being made, the £15 disregard is applied to the TOTAL of ALL such payments. i.e. Only one disregard of £15 can be applied per HB claim [[b:4294e6730b]Sch 5; para 47(2) applies[/b:4294e6730b]].

    Hope this helps.


    It’s difficult, because once arrears for this period are actually paid to the customer, this should be taken into account as income over the period it relates to. So, if you remove it now, at some point in the future, you will be re-assessing the claim to include it, which will obviously cause an overpayment. For this reason, I imagine certain authorities take the decision to include CSA at the rate at which it should be paid, even if it may not always be paid on time.


    Some authorities may be taking CSA payments that are not actually received as income, but they are doing so with no authority whatsoever because unless there is a specific provision in the Regulations (as with student loans) to take income not actually received into account, its not lawful to do it.

    You may be prventing potential overpayments, but you are also depriving someone of their lawful entitlement to benefit. This is particularly pertinent since the CSA are writing off millions pounds worth of defaulted payments


    Hmm. But these are payments which are actually received, albeit eventually. Could you not argue Reg. 31 applies?

    [quote:3b7b9b91a7]A claimant´s income which does not consist of earnings shall, except where paragraph (2) applies, be estimated over such period as is appropriate in order that his average weekly income may be estimated accurately but the length of the period shall not in any case exceed 52 weeks[/quote:3b7b9b91a7]

    I did say it was difficult! And I am aware that such a decision could cause hardship for someone whose ex-partner [i:3b7b9b91a7]continually[/i:3b7b9b91a7] defaults on payments. Perhaps it would only be appropriate if the ex-partner only ever missed the occasional week and then made up the shortfall almost immediately.


    Its ok to average out CSA payments ino rder to accuately estimate a claimants income, but this must be done by reference to payments actually received in the past, not to some notional figure set by the CSA.

    It will then be open to the claimant to report a change of circumstances if the pattern of payments changes.

    Mr Commissioner Jacobs gave some guidance as to the assesment of incomegenerally in CH/1780/2005

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