I have received today the report from Independent Case Examiner “Joanna Wallace”, regarding my multi-faceted complaint about the Child Support Agency (CSA).
My team have now completed our investigation into your complaint about the Child Support Agency (the Agency -part of DWP), which we have laid out in the attached report. I have considered this in detail, reached my conclusions and decided on the remedy.
Having looked at the facts, I have upheld four of your elements of complaint and found merit in one other, although I have made no finding on that as DWP had not had chance to consider it sooner. I have made recommendations including that DWP apologise for the service failures detailed in my report and award you a consolatory payment of £75.
I give a great deal of thought to cases and always consider the remedies I suggest in the context of other similar ones I see or those with comparable impact. The investigation has been very thorough so that we can be sure we have looked at all aspects and both sides of your case. Please bear in mind that to prevent case histories becoming too long we don’t always include all the information we examine unless it influences the facts of the case or its outcome.
I hope our work is helpful to you and that you find our report and my decision can close this matter for you. Paragraphs 123 and 124 show the options you may want to consider if you have any outstanding concerns.
pp. Joanna Wallace, Independent Case Examiner
1. You said that:
A. since 2013, the Agency have failed to take timely and appropriate action to secure regular maintenance payments and collect outstanding arrears from the non-resident parent, [my Ex]; JUSTIFIED
B. since 2013, the Agency have failed to correctly calculate the amount of arrears owed to you by [my Ex]; UPHELD
C. since 2013, the Agency have failed to confirm the correct amount of arrears you owe to [my Ex] from when you were the non-resident parent; UPHELD
D. despite you providing evidence in support of your case, the Agency failed to fully investigate your assertion that [my Ex] should not have been entitled to the Child Benefit for the periods July 2013 to April 2014 and June 2015 to September 2015; Not Upheld – Despite Fact My Ex Fraudulently claimed and received ChB & CSA for these two periods! My daughter wasn’t living at her dad’s house, and he wasn’t using the money to support our daughter! The CSA & HMRC both failed/refused to ever contact my daughter’s then-boyfriends family to confirm material facts for material period (2013-2014), and proved similarly useless for period June – Sept 2015 too.
E. since 2013, the Agency have failed to review the maintenance calculations each time your daughter changed households; UPHELD
F. the Agency failed to act on information you provided that your daughter had moved out of her father’s household from July 2013 up to April 2014; Not Upheld – Despite Fact My Ex Fraudulently claimed and received ChB & CSA for this period! My daughter wasn’t living at her dad’s house, and he wasn’t using the money to support our daughter! The CSA & HMRC both failed/refused to ever contact my daughter’s then-boyfriends family to confirm material facts for material period (2013-2014).
G. after the annual December 2013 payment schedule had expired, the Agency failed to issue you with a new and up to date schedule starting from December 2014; JUSTIFIED
H. the Agency incorrectly noted on their records that a payment schedule had been issued to you in December 2014; No Finding – Despite other evidence from CSA confirming this!
I. the Agency incorrectly interpreted the decision made by the Child Benefit Tribunal of 1 May 2015; Not Upheld – I’ll try to find relevant bit to this later.
J. the Agency failed to act on information you provided that your daughter had moved into your household from June 2015; Not Upheld – I’ll try to find relevant bit to this later.
K. since August 2015, the Agency have failed to issue correspondence to you by recorded delivery; Not Upheld – I’ll try to find relevant bit to this later.
L. the Agency failed to allow 14 days for you to respond and/or provide evidence regarding their letter dated 4 August 2015; UPHELD
(lots more pages to write later…………)