t: 020 7219 8155 e: fieldm@parliament.uk

Child Support Agency

November 19, 2009

If you have concerns about the Child Support Agency (CSA) you can make a complaint.

Problems with their service can usually be sorted out by talking to the people dealing with the parents’ case. But, if a parent is not happy about the service they have received, they can make a complaint.

To make a complaint, the people dealing with the case should be contacted first, either by phone or in writing. Their contact details will be on any letter that has been sent to the parents.

What happens next?

When the CSA receives a complaint the people dealing with the parents’ case will look at the issues raised. If they cannot settle the complaint they will send it to the Complaints Resolution Team.

Or if the person making the complaint feels that it hasn’t been settled to their satisfaction they can get in touch with the Complaints Resolution Team by calling the phone number or writing to the address shown in the top right corner of the last letter that was sent to them or by filling in the online complaint form.

If someone has made a complaint and they are still not happy that it has been sorted out by the Complaints Resolution Team they can ask for it to be considered by the Complaints Review Team.

If someone follows this complaints process and is still not happy that their complaint has been sorted out they can contact the Independent Case Examiner.

Independent Case Examiner

The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) looks into complaints about the CSA from people who aren’t happy with how their case has been handled. The ICE service is free and is not part of the CSA.

Before ICE will accept a parent’s case, they must be satisfied that the CSA has had the opportunity to deal with their complaint and that it has been through each stage of the complaints process. They will look into a complaint as long as they are contacted within six months of receiving a final reply from the Complaints Review Team.

The Independent Case Examiner will examine a case if:

  • they are satisfied that a parent has received a final response to their complaint from the Complaints Review Team.

The Independent Case Examiner cannot look at a complaint if:

  • the Child Support Agency has not been given the opportunity to resolve the case first
  • it is more than six months since the Agency’s final response
  • the complaint is about legislation – this includes the amount of the maintenance calculation
  • the specific complaint has been, or is being, investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
  • the complaint is the subject of legal proceedings, such as judicial review.