CSA's Periodic Case Checks

There are many decisions of the CSA that can be superseded. Supersession is however subject to several rules. Situations in which decisions can be superseded include decisions that are wrong for any reason, but the decision was notified to you over one month ago, or something has changed which affects the decision.

Decisions can be superseded either by way of an application to the CSA, or of the CSA’s own volition.

CSA's Periodic Case Checks

There are many decisions of the CSA that can be superseded. Supersession is however subject to several rules. Situations in which decisions can be superseded include decisions that are wrong for any reason, but the decision was notified to you over one month ago, or something has changed which affects the decision.

Decisions can be superseded either by way of an application to the CSA, or of the CSA’s own volition.

CSA supersession, If the CSA''s Decision is wrong in Law

Supersession

Usually the CSA carries out periodic case checks on each of its calculations once every two years. The 5% tolerance rule does not apply to periodic case checks (i.e. no change will be made in the event that the non-resident parent's income has gone up or down by a variable of 5%).
The CSA does not have to grant periodic case checks in all cases. However, if non-resident parents who have been obstructive or who have not complied with the CSA's requests in the past will be subject to more frequent reviews than those non-resident parents who have been fully cooperative throughout their dealings with the CSA.
If the case check reveals information to show that there may be grounds for instigating a supersession, the CSA will do this. In the event that there is a further change in circumstances after the periodic case check, this will be treated as part of the check, rather than requiring a further supersession, as long as it occurs within 26 weeks of the case check.

Procedure of supersession

In cases that result in supersession, the CSA should give the parties involved 28 days notice either orally or in writing. If the parties are informed on different days, the 28 day period commences on the date of the later notification.
On notifying the parties about any intended supersession, the CSA allows parties to make representations about any changes within 14 days. If the CSA does not receive any responses, or if the responses signal that there are no relevant changes in circumstances, then no action will be taken. In the event that there are changes reported, the CSA may decide that this new information has to be verified.

Once in possession of this new information, the CSA will decide whether there are any grounds for supersession. It is important to note that the CSA will not notify you if there is no new decision. If there is a new decision the parties must be notified, and the CSA is under certain obligations to provide information in this notification. The notification must:

  • include details as to how to seek a revision, a supersession and how to appeal. These rights are the same whether or not a new maintenance calculation is made.
  • include the date on which the decision becomes effective
  • the net income of the non-resident parent
  • details of the children, whether qualifying or not
  • the rate of the calculation
  • any variations made to a previous calculation
  • any adjustments made to the rate because of shared care, or any time spent in local authority care or other type of care.

 Types of Decisions

'Decisions' of the CSA do not relate merely to maintenance calculations. Decisions are made in many other situations, for example, the way in which the CSA collects money, enforces orders against parents, and in the way in which it collects information about people in order to make decisions. Those decisions that are incapable of being challenged are generally related to the gathering of information, CSA staff conduct or over extensive and repeated requests for unnecessary information. In these cases, the proper redress is to make a complaint against the CSA or individual in question in the first instance. Your complaint should be made directly to the CSA. If this is handled in an unsatisfactory way, you may then take your complaint to the Independent Case Examiner.

A wide variety of decisions that are made by the CSA, JobCentre Plus, the appeals tribunal or commissioner, can be superseded. Decisions include:

  • maintenance calculation decisions (including default and interim calculations)
  • when the CSA refers a variation application to an appeal tribunal, the tribunal's decision can be superseded
  • departure direction decisions
  • decisions to make a reduce benefit decision

Examples of decisions that are Superseded

Generally decisions can be superseded by the CSA if, since the date of the decision, there has been a material change in circumstances. This is either if the change has actually occurred already, or it is expected to occur, and it would have a significant effect on the amount of the calculation. If the changes are 'expected' the test is whether the change is based in fact rather than merely being something that could happen or guesswork.) Other decisions capable of supersession can occur if the CSA has received an application to vary the calculation, or if the CSA was wrong in law in the way it came to its decision. It is important to note however that decisions that the CSA makes that are capable of being revised are not capable of being superseded.

When Superseding Decisions Come Into Effect

The date on which a superseding decision becomes effective will depend on the circumstances of the case. In general, supersession occurs on the first day of the maintenance period when the decision was made. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Here are some examples:

  • if the supersession relates to changes expected to occur, the superseding decision will only take effect on the date on which the change is expected to occur.
  • if the CSA has facilitated a supersession of its own volition, the relevant date will be the first day of the maintenance period after the 28 days notification period has expired.
  • In the event that the non-resident parent or his or her partner starts claiming benefits and notifies the CSA within a month so that the benefit starts before the CSA are notified, the effective date will be the first day in the period of maintenance in which the benefit starts.