Child Support Agency Contact Number
Calls to this number cost 7p / minute plus your network operator’s access charge.
When you are separated from your partner and you are both parents of one or more children, it can be hard to come to arrangements over budgeting and financing their education and welfare. Therefore, the Child Support Agency, or CSA, exists to help separated parents to find financial support from the government and welfare system when they need it the most. Child Maintenance – as it is referred – is an agreement through which you and your ex-partner stick to so that money and resources can be set aside to ensure that your children receive enough money for food, school and other means. However, there may be occasions where you are unable to stick to an agreement with your ex-partner, in which case the CSA can be brought in to act as an intermediary.
The CSA, or Child Maintenance Service, is available to separated partners who are unable to agree to a family-based arrangement – however, they now only currently handle existing cases. New queries regarding Child Maintenance should be forwarded to Child Maintenance Options instead on 0843 816 6322. If you are in an existing arrangement with the CSA, the team can be called on 0843 816 6322 to assist with any queries you may have. Child Maintenance ensures that regular payments are made to a ‘receiving parent’ who has general custody of any children in question. The ‘paying parent’ will be required to set up payment options with the CSA to ensure that funds reach the other party in regular amounts and with the government department having taken note of payments going through. CSA customer services, too, can help with a wide range of queries and problems that may arise while arranging for such support.
The CSA contact number can be called at any time if you or your ex-partner have any concerns regarding the nature of payments being made, the scheme you are currently registered to, or what you can expect from the scheme in future. The CSA’s Child Maintenance scheme is set up to ensure that payments are fairly scrutinised and processed by an independent third party, in the event that a fair agreement and system of trust cannot be reached between the parents in question. It’s important that, if you or your ex-partner cannot agree to make such financial arrangements, that you appeal to CSA guidance as soon as possible to ensure that your children’s welfare is kept as priority at all times.
Contacting the CSA
While the CSA is not as departmentalised as other areas of government or public service, there are still many ways to get in touch with them and a whole host of reasons why you may. For instance, as advised, the CSA helpline team no longer handle new queries or applications – instead, they facilitate and support existing claims and those which are currently in progress. This means that you will need to find an entirely different number to call, which can be a hassle.
Therefore, we have made things easy for you and your ex-partner by sourcing the most useful and important CSA telephone number teams for you to call regarding Child Maintenance and options. All you need to do is take a close look at our table and guide below to find the team you need to speak to for your specific query. While the CSA support team aims to handle and resolve all queries as soon and as professionally as possible via their main line wherever possible, it can sometimes be difficult to do so – meaning that there are always separate contacts for you to get in touch with should you need to.
What happens if I need to make a complaint?
The CSA customer services team aim to try and resolve all matters as efficiently and professionally for you as possible – however, there may be occasions where you need to escalate a concern. This could be anything related to the way that your claim has been handled, to any decisions that have been reached. As a public-facing government body, the CSA is open to and responsible for handling concerns and problems of all natures and magnitudes, which means that if you do need to make a formal complaint, you are encouraged to so.
There is no specific CSA complaints telephone number at this time – however, the main CSA phone number will provide you with instant access to support as and when you need it. You are encouraged to contact the number in the first instance as many issues can be handled head-on before escalating. If, however, you still feel you need to address your complaint in writing, you can do so by getting in touch with your local agency branch via post. For your convenience and information, we have included details on how to find this information at the bottom of the page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is responsible for handling new Child Maintenance queries?
While CSA customer services previously handled all cases, new and existing, this has since been streamlined so that two specific teams now handle new and ongoing cases respectively. The team that handles all new support applications is known as Child Maintenance Options, or CMO, and we have included their details in our table above. The CSA helpline is still open to existing claims and you will be able to consult their staff whenever you have a question or a complaint.
What is the general eligibility for Child Maintenance?
Child Maintenance is available as an aid to funding a child’s living costs and education, and can be provided to parents with children under the age of 16 or under 20 if they are in full-time education – or if a parent in question is eligible for and in receipt of Child Benefit. Either the ‘receiving parent’ or the ‘paying parent’ can apply for Child Maintenance support, and your status as one or the other will depend entirely upon how custody has been arranged with you and your ex-partner. If you have majority or full custody, you will be the ‘receiving parent’. If you have limited access or no custody, you will be expected to register as the ‘paying parent’. This way, the ‘receiving parent’ will be able to access regular funds from the ‘paying parent’ that are rationed and mediated by the CSA or the Child Maintenance Services – who effectively work as a middleman.
What happens if the ‘receiving parent’ lives abroad?
If the ‘receiving parent’ and children in question move or live abroad, they will not be eligible for Child Maintenance support, regardless of where the ‘paying parent’ may be residing. This means that, if you wish to benefit from fair distribution of funds on behalf of the CSA, you will need to arrange for both ex-partners to reside in the country – otherwise, support cannot be granted.
How do I apply?
Your first port of call should always be the CMO, who will enlist you for Child Maintenance Services. The CMO cannot handle existing claims – you will need to get in touch via the CSA contact number on 0345 713 3133 in these circumstances. You will be expected to supply certain information regarding your family situation, such as the full details of the children affected, your ex-partner, your National Insurance details and your bank information if you are the designated ‘paying parent’. You will be expected, generally, to pay a £20 application fee – however, if you are under the age of 19, live in Northern Ireland or are a victim of domestic violence, this fee will be waived.
How long will it take to set up Child Maintenance?
The Child Maintenance Service will generally look to have set up your payment schedule and your case entirely within six weeks of first contact. Delays may occur, however, if the ‘paying parent’ cannot be contacted due to a lack of details – in which case, the ‘receiving parent’ will not be able to pursue support. It is therefore important to have as much contact information as possible for both parties if applicable.
How is it paid?
Child Maintenance can be shared between parents, paid directly from the salary of the ‘paying parent’, or can be set up via direct debit. These options are available to ensure that regular payments are made should a child’s needs be at stake. You may even choose to make payments directly if you are operating via the Child Maintenance Service (for new cases), or if you are still registered with the CSA. This, too, will depend upon whether or not an amicable resolution or plan can be sought either via CSA or via a family arrangement. Both the Child Maintenance Service and the CSA can take further action if payments aren’t made – ranging from fines to court action.