Thousands could lose child support payments

living standards to worsen

child support benefitsOne in eleven English families are set to miss out on child support benefits in the upcoming welfare reforms, according to predications made from Government data.

The loss of such finance would be a huge blow to a large number of households, substantially reducing monthly budgets.


Under the changes, the Child Support Agency (CSA) will cease its services from 2014 and be replaced by the new Child Maintenance Agency (CMA).

But the Whitehall analysis estimates that around 100,000 families are unlikely to adapt to the new service, subsequently missing out on child support payments altogether.

Single parent charity Gingerbread has condemned the figures, stating that cutting so many families out of the system will result in the loss of £26 million in support.

Fiona Weir, chief executive of Gingerbread, said: "The government is so focused on getting parents to come to their own arrangements that it has failed to see the serious financial impact these changes will have on the very children the service should be supporting".

Child Maintenance Agency explained

The Department for Work and Pensions believes the CMA will encourage a new and sustainable culture of support in the UK, stating the existing system is currently "failing" to help families.

It said such change is needed "to ensure both parents take financial responsibility for their children".

In a bid to achieve this, use of CMA services would require parents to pay a one-off charge of £20 and then pay 7% of any maintenance paid.

One of the aims of the CMA is to use less taxpayer money to fund the upkeep of children, while raising the amount of money a parent has to pay to their ex-partner who is the primary custodian of their child.

It includes annual reviews of maintenance assessment, an increase in the 'flat rate' child maintenance deduction from state benefits and the removal of the necessity for parents who share child care equally to pay maintenance through the statutory scheme.

Other welfare reforms

Government reforms will also affect other areas such as child benefit, child tax credits and working tax credits.

Make sure you do your homework and find out exactly how these changes will impact upon you and your family budget.