Thursday, 1 October 2015

Claiming Child Maintenance...My experience!

I am not going to go into personal details but something changed a little while ago and now I am getting paid £6.72 a week Child Maintenance for Becky from her biological father! It isn't much but extra pocket money for her.....

I just wanted to share my experience.....Maybe it will help someone!


Like I said up until a few weeks ago I couldn't claim anything. The claim I had with the Child Support Agency was closed earlier this year as they are removing their services....The Child Maintenance Service opened in 2012 and they take all the new claims....They have new rules and the main thing I noticed was they charge fees....

 Her biological fathers circumstances changed and I realised on the Sunday I could claim so I got straight on the phone on Monday morning to the Child Maintenance Options people....They offer advice and support to both parents not just the one making the claim.....You can call them on 0800 988 0988 or visit their site....They went through a few basics with me and said I had reason to push things further if I wanted too.....

They said obviously coming to a family based arrangement would be better where you just arrange it with yourselves but I knew that wasn't going to happen. A family-based arrangement is not usually legally binding. So if the agreed payments aren’t made, you can’t go to court to get the other parent to pay.

They explained the other arrangements to me too....

 Direct Pay - The Child Maintenance Service works out the amount of child maintenance a paying parent must pay. Both parents agree between themselves how and when the paying parent will pay the receiving parent direct. If the paying parent doesn’t pay in full and on time the Child Maintenance Service can move the case to Collect & Pay and take immediate enforcement action.

   Collect & Pay - The Child Maintenance Service works out the amount of child maintenance to be paid, collects payments from the paying parent and passes them on to the receiving parent. 

I was given a reference number and a phone number to ring the The Child Maintenance Service.....I had decided to use Collect and Pay arrangement for personal reasons.

The Collect and Pay option I chose has fees. I had to pay £20 to open the claim which is non refundable if the paying parent cannot be found or doesn't have to pay....The paying parent with this option pays an additional 20% on top of the maintenance they owe while receiving parents will pay 4%....

So I rang the number I was given and spoke to a lovely fella.....He warned me I would be on the phone from anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and he wasn't joking. The call lasted 55 minutes....Most of the time was it was the lovely fella just typing up details and checking things....

He went through all mine and Becky's details and I think it was handy that I new Becky's biological fathers full name, address and phone number. The man on the phone made it sound like if I didn't have an address for Becky's biological father I wouldn't be able to progress with the claim....When I gave those details he said he had found him on the computers whatever that meant....

The worst part of the phone call was setting up the security....The fella said pick 7 numbers....This will be your account/pin number if you ever phone up.....My mind went blank....I struggled to think of 7 numbers....I will never remember them. They were totally random.....Then came the security questions.....Pick your fave singer, teacher, food, person, etc, etc.....My mind again was a total blank! I was glad I wrote the answers down because they were so random......

They only tend to use the Collect and Pay option for people who have suffered from domestic violence (I hadn't) or for people who have a feeling the other didn't want to pay.....I think I put my case across well....He said a case worker will be assigned to me and I may have to plead my case with them.....

On Thursday it turns out The Child Maintenance Service had been in touch with Becky's biological father and he had agreed to pay with the Collect and Pay arrangement which made my life so easier! There was no having to speak to a case worker.....When on the phone they said it can take up to a month to get in touch but it was only a couple of days.....Wow!

About a week later it was confirmed by letter when and how I will be paid....Then the day after receiving the letter I got a phone call from someone confirming everything in the letter....The first payment is a few days before Christmas....The woman on the phone said it's because the payment is coming straight off the paying parents benefits it takes a while to set up....They do like to drag their heels!

The whole experience was positive, quick and painless....


The new setup isn't as bad as I thought it was....

The people answering the phones are so helpful and answer any questions you have....

Even if you don't see your child you still have a responsibility to pay for him or her....

Paying for your child does not grant the other parent automatic contact....

A parent still has to pay for their child even when they are claiming benefits....

The paying parent does not have the right to know how their payments are spent. 

Becky and I may not be getting much but it works out over £350 a year but on the other hand still works out less than £1 a day....Six pound odd is better than nothing though.

Child Maintenance does not stop being paid when the child turns 16 like I thought....It continues while they are in further education maybe until they are 20 years old.... 

Becky remembered when I said about if her father ever started paying for her....I said she can have the money as pocket money.....Can't remember to do her homework but remembers this....lol 

http://www.vevivos.com/2015/10/02/post-comment-love-and-newbie-showcase-2nd-to-4th-october-2015/

12 comments :

  1. I hope it works out for you. I won't go into my experiences but it's not an easy process to follow and succeed with sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's not easy at all and has caused so much stress but it seems to be working out now....

      Delete
  2. i worked in child support for years so i can certainly understand how you must have felt arranging all this. good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little stressed to say the least....lol
      Thank you!

      Delete
  3. I hope it all goes well for you
    x

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great post to write - brilliant advice to share. #pocolo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I have read all the official advice but never from someone who's been through it x

      Delete
  5. I get money off my eldest biological father but its currently all sorted through the old department , it is good to know the new system is easy to use. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had heard horror stories about the new system but they are brilliant....

      Delete
  6. I cannot tell you how useful this post is! I am just about to start the procedure on this myself as Grace's father hasn't been paying enough for years now! Thank you for sharing with #PoCoLo x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wishing you the best of luck! Glad to help x

      Delete