CSA cases are closing!
All existing Child Support Agency cases will close over the next few years. The closure program began on 30.06.14 and is expected to be complete by 2017. Paying Parents and Receiving Parents will have 6 months notice of their closure date, and will be encouraged to contact CM options to discuss future maintenance arrangements. Once your CSA is case is closed, you will receive no further payments from CSA. Maintenance will only be payable if you make new arrangements.
Segment One: Nil Assessment.
This involves cases that are assessed at a nil rate, Parents in this particular category will have received, or will shortly receive their letters confirming a case closure date. You have until your closure date to ensure new arrangements are made for your child maintenance payments. Cases in this cohort will begin to close from January 2015
Segment Two: Non Compliance.
This group includes cases where a child maintenance liability is due, but no payments are being made at all. If payment is received through enforcement only, the case will not be relevant to this cohort, but will close under Segment 5. Notifications for this group are being issued from February 2015, and will begin to close from August 2015
Segment Three: Payment with No Enforcement (clerical).
This group includes cases where there is a maintenance liability is in place, and some level of payment is being made without the need for enforcement. This group will include those cases that are managed “offline”, and dealt with on a clerical basis. Case closure notifications will be issued from May 2015 with expected closures to commence from November 2015
Segment Four: Payments with Enforcement (non clerical).
This group will run concurrently with Segment 3. It includes all cases where there is a maintenance liability but is managed on the Agency’s computer system. Case closure notifications will be issued from May 2015 with expected closures to commence from November 2015.
Segment Five: Enforcement
This group will include those cases where payment is received via some form of enforcement, including DEO, Deduction Order, or Liability Order/Bailiffs and the Scottish equivalents. These cases are the final group to be moved as it will minimise the disruption of payments. As there are enforcement measures in place at the time of case closure, the NRP (or Paying Parent) may be subject to the Unlikely to Pay Test and the associated fees. More information about this can be found on our webpage Unlikely To Pay Test
After all existing cases are moved to the 2012 scheme, the focus will move to those cases where no regular maintenance is payable, but arrears are still outstanding. A process of debt verification will take place before those arrears are migrated to the new scheme. Enforcement of these arrears will continue “as resources allow”
At 6 Months:
- Both the Receiving Parent and the Paying Parent, will receive notification that the existing case will close in 6 months time. A Case Closure date will be stated in this notification. This is the date that maintenance will cease if no new arrangements is in place.
- Parents will need to discuss their options for future child maintenance payments.
- If the parent/parents wish to use the statutory scheme, the applicant will need to contact CM Options for the Gateway Conversation.
- Following the discussion with CMOptions, the applicant may proceed with an application to CS3 if so desired. An application fee of £20 is payable, and upon receipt a reference number is given.
- The applicant may now produce this reference number to CMS who will proceed with the application.
At 1 Month:
- A reminder notice will be sent to both Receiving Parent and Paying Parent reminding them that the existing case will close within one month.
- This reminder letter will be sent to everyone, irrespective of whether or not you have taken action by this time.
- If parent/parents have not taken action by this point it is crucial that they act now.
Case Closure date:
- The case with CSA will be closed and no further maintenance will be collected or paid out via the Child Support Agency.
- Any outstanding arrears may still be collected. The Receiving Parent is contacted to verify if arrears are to be collected. If no response is received within 30 days CMS will assume that the collection of outstanding arrears will be required and appropriate action will be taken to transfer the arrears to the new CS3 scheme.
There is an expected delay to payments! Once the existing case is closed, there is likely to be a period where no payments are received until the new application is complete and payment process in place.
For more information on how the Case Closure program will affect you, take advantage of our one month subscription and speak to our advisers now.