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CMS Complaints

There are situations that require an official complaint to be made, and the correct process has to be followed.  It is important to distinguish between a complaint, and an application to appeal.  Some decisions need to be appealed, others can only be dealt with through the complaint process. 

We recommend that all complaints are put in writing and sent recorded or registered post.  If you want to make a complaint verbally this is fine but would encourage you to confirm the details in writing too.

Involving your MP can also help to secure a timely response.

If you are not happy with the response from each stage of complaint, you should escalate the matter to the next level. You will need to send a covering letter stating why you feel the previous stage had not provided a satisfactory response and enclose a copy of your original complaint letters.

Child support decisions can be an emotional subject, but try to be concise and avoid distracting the nature of your complaint by lengthy emotional content.


  • STAGE 1 :   Raise the complaint to your own case worker, at the centre dealing with your case.
  • STAGE 2 :  Write to Complaints Resolution Team at the centre dealing with your case.
  • STAGE 3 :  Write to Client Services Director at the centre dealing with your case. 
  • STAGE 4 :  Write to Complaint Review Team at PO Box 247, Washington, NE37 9AT 

If you have no success with these stages, you must now move away from the internal complaint process and escalate the matter to higher authority.  You cannot access the following stages until you have completed stages 1 -4

  • STAGE 5 :  Contact Independent Case Examiner (ICE) at PO Box 209, Bootle, L20 7WA  or visit their website   ICE is an independent review body and as the reports are comprehensive it can take many months for an outcome.
  • STAGE 6 – If you are still not happy and ICE have not concluded matters to a satisfactory outcome, you can contact the Parliamentary Ombudsman at. Parliamentary Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP.   For this stage you will require the assistance of your MP, as it is only he/she that can refer your complaint to Parliamentary Ombudsman.