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Advice on CSA backdating please!


Looking for some advice on CSA backdating. This is my first time dealing with CSA, and whilst the principle of what they do is good, the way they deal with claims seems very disorganised, and they tell me something different each time i contact them. They never ring back, and i find myself having to keep chasing them all the time.

Basically I'm a single working mum, and split with the father of my 2 young girls 12 months ago. Since then he has paid absolutely nothing. He promised to sort something out but never did. So eventually I contacted the CSA to initiate maintenance in March 2009.

The first lady I spoke to told me my claim would be backdated to the day i first contacted the CSA, the 2nd lady i spoke to a few weeks later, said it would be backdated to the date they first contacted the father, the 3rd lady i spoke to said it would only be paid from when they had completed their assessment. So which one is right, as clearly they don't seem to know themselves.

There has been 4 months between the date when i first contacted them, and when they finally contacted me to say they have completed their assessment and payments will start. However in the letter i have just received, in the backpay section, it says "zero".

Please can anyone tell me for sure exactly what date the payments should really start from?


  • I understand what you mean. My husband has a case & it is often different answers + often no calls back. I worked for them years ago & a lot has changed, Keep on at them & if you feel your being fobbed off use your MP. Cases that came via MP's seemed to get dealt with fairly quickly....certainly when I was there. Good luck x
  • Oh the joys of the CSA (no disrespect to anyone who works for them, or has worked for them,lol!) I think it back dates to when you first contacted them to make a claim, but tbh I'm not sure. Have you had a look on their website? If you have chance to read through and can get a better understanding of what their process is (if they have one!) then you might feel more confident on the phone. My experience of the CSA has been pretty negative, but I found that taking a name, and in some cases speaking to the same person again helps - it's like someone takes ownership of your problem. The CAB might be able to help if you really feel you are being let down by them, or like WOOLY said your MP can work a magic spell over them and get things done - it's easy to contact them and hopefully your will be a nice one xx
    Oh, and always ask them what the next step is - what they are going to do and when they expect to receive a response/update and ring them back - I know it's a pain but if you keep hassling them they will sort it if only to get rid of you!! Good luck x
  • Hi! I'm a family solicitor and csa are useless I'm afraid. Only really bother with people on benefits. My advice is to hound them day and night and keep a detailed log of the day, time, who you spoke to and what was said. I'd follow each call up with an e-mail and keep copies.

    There is a detailed complaints procedure I can let you have if you need. If they have failed to chase your ex they can pay compensation to you but be prepared for a very long and hard fight with them.

    Failing which, you can make claim under sch 1 of the children act for payments from your ex if you weren't married. But if you won't get legal aid may not be cost effective x x
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