Child Support Agency

It has to be said, one of the most annoying/irritating things since me and Jo have split has to be the paperwork. It's never ending, and over the weekend, I sat and finished every single form I had.

I wouldn't mind, but it's the same info over and over and over. It's stupid questions. It's one thing after another.

Finally, Sunday evening, I was DONE. I had finished, and went out and offloaded seventeen tons of paperwork into the postbox. Mr Postman, I apologise if you gave yourself a hernia lifting it all.

My joy was short lived however. Today, me and Jo received identical letters, but I got something extra for my troubles...

The first letter, however, was the one that made me chuckle. Bear in mind, to get to this point, Jo had a phone interview. I had a phone interview. Jo had to fill out a 30-page form. I had to fill out a 30-page form. We had to provide statements. We both tried to explain "We're still friends, we're looking out for the kids, and helping where we can" You can imagine the man-hours put in by the Child Support Agency (CSA) in order to process this claim.

The letter I got this morning was a covering letter, three pages of explanations, and two booklets, one "what to do if you wish to appeal" and one "how we work out your money".

Got that clear in your head. This has been going on for nearly seven weeks.


All that hard work and stress to be told "you should pay £0.00 per week" I mean, seriously... A three page letter to tell me I HAVE to pay £0.00. Oh, and I am still liable for all the arrears of £0.00. Where will I find that kind of money?! The MOST amusing part at the end of the letter. "Failure to comply may result in a fine of up to £1000"

So, HOW do I pay someone £0.00??

There is ALSO more to this than that...

Also in the post was a wad of paper from - yup, you guessed it - the CSA. Not content with the forest-worth of paper I filed earlier this week, they are asking the bloody same bloody questions on a completely different form. Why, do you ask? Because they want to "assess my situation in regards to Tamsyn"

Now, obviously this is confuzzling, simply because the "award" for Tamsyn has been confirmed at £0.00 per week. So I called them. I'm always nice to these people - they do get an awful lot of shit thrown their way, and I try to brighten their days with "Hi, can you help, I'm not blonde but I am very stupid" which always gets a chuckle.

Still, I explained it to the woman, told her what I had received, what I had to do... And she confessed she was as confused as I was. She didn't have a clue what the hell was going on. Turns out somehow Jo has two applications in her name, both for Tam, both filed on the same day but one in person, one through "another agency" which, she explained, is the Job Center working "on her behalf".

Or, in other words, they were being spanners and lost the plot. Of course, this means the whole claim for Tam has to be re-evaluated.

GAH!

The even funnier part of this, they HAVE to do this, they HAVE to cover every ass between here and there, but she confirmed, while it might take a few weeks to sort out, but the outcome won't change. I am on Incapacity Benefit. Jo is on Income Support Benefit. Being on benefits means that you automatically DON'T PAY CHILD SUPPORT. So all the forms, the claims, the documentation, everything - even this poor case worker having to reassess the claim, the end result will still be the same, a big fat payment of £0.00 per week.

And then she realised that no one had contacted me in order to claim for Jaysen. Which means we have to do it ALL over again for him...

But I tell you now, if I don't get my £0.00 per week from Jo, I'll take her ass to court and take her for EVERYTHING!

What a palava.

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12 Responses to “Child Support Agency”

Matt said...

What a load of bollocks!

Posh Totty said...

If you are having trouble paying that darling, I have a spare £0.00 I can lend you ;o)

debbie said...

OMG what a palarva.. all for £0.00

Deni said...

Gee I just choked on my toast when I read that...I didn't mean to laugh, Canadian burocracy is the same as yours.Glad I am not alone going thru this crap.

Gretchen said...

Funny - but only because it isn't happening to me. I mean really... Bureaucracy at it's finest.

Nancy said...

hehe... I'm sorry for laughing, but I've been dealing with this type of bureaucracy and paperwork for Jess since she was born - almost 20 years ago!!! Woot! When she was born and it was found that she had heart problems, one program would cover her medical costs because we didn't have medical insurance at the time. Then after 6 months it was determined that we had to be re-evaluated and then a different program had to be set in place. More paperwork. Every 6 months she was evaluated. I guess "living" in the hospital wasn't enough evidence that she still needed the support. Eventually she was changed to a long-term-care program where she is only evaluated once a year. BUT she has had to be evaluated for other special needs such as OT, PT and speech therapies and trust me, after suffering 2 strokes, being blind and paralyzed, she really needed those services. Then when she was doing pretty well at the age of 6, that program kicked her off. They said she didn't qualify for their program any more because she didn't fall into one of their cubbyhole diagnosis such as down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc. I was able to prove that she did have "cerebral palsy" since the definition (at that time) was: brain damage suffered either before birth, during birth or after birth. They didn't specify how long after birth and Jess had her first stroke when she was 5 months old. They came back with "she isn't delayed enough". Well now, just because OT, PT and Speech therapies that they were paying for to help her improve was working then they decide to take it away? I fought. I lost. BUT wait, I had a case manager who actually cared and knew of another long-term-care program that she might qualify for but was usually only used by adults. Old adults. Really old adults. Well, bless her heart, our case manager was able to get Jess onto that program and that's where she is today. We still have to be evaluated once a year and the qualifications are geared towards really old adults but at least in the last 4 years they haven't made me load up Jess, the wheelchair and the oxygen, drive down-town, try to find a parking spot, unload the wheelchair, oxygen and Jess and then try to find a way to the elevator through the maze of buildings on multiple levels and tons of staircases... and hardly any ramps. At least now we can do the interview over the phone and return their form signed and in the mail. Oh wait.. there is another clinic that we go to for dental and vision care and free glasses. We have to be evaluated every year by them too. When Jess is 21 yrs old she will no longer be able to go there and we will have to pay out of pocket for those medical needs. but she will still be on the main program. *whew* We'll have to pay our deductable, % of cost of dental care and buy her glasses just like we do for our other kids. But yeah, every year I get the forms in the mail saying that I must pay $0.00 or there will be penalties and then gives me information on how to appeal that decision.

So yeah, I know a little of what you are going through. LOL

Daisy said...

When I first went to Uni I had to wait in a queue for about 3 hours to pick up a cheque for £0.00 and yes it was made out for that. Cos if i didn't go and pick up said cheque I couldn't get a bank account!!.

THe best one recently for threats was Virgin media(NTL) who threatened me with court action over teh £75 they owed me :).

Em's way said...

Wait until a years time Dan, then they send you another letter, telling you that in the past 12 months you were meant to pay £0.00, you actually paid £0.00 and you are in arrears to the sum of £0.00. Then they will send you one saying that in the past 12 months Jodie should have paid you £0.00, actually paid £0.00 and is arrears to the sum of £0.00, AND they will send the same bleddy letters to Jodie too!!!

TWELVE gruffaloing years of it mate!!!

Joshua said...

Is it just me, or does "Child Maintenance" sound odd? It makes me think you're paying a fee to have the kid looked over by a mechanic every six months.

Dan said...

Well I'd hate to have to maintain my son... He's got an eeevil arse on him ;)

debbie said...

Hope you have got over the massive shock of having to pay £0.00 to Jo,, hope your coping well with it Dan

Suburban Mum said...

I think the Child Support Agency should be sued under the Trades Description Act. It's hardly supportive is it!