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Children: Maintenance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th November 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Independent, Romsey and Southampton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that non-maintenance-paying parents do not request mandatory reconsiderations from the Child Maintenance Service to continue to avoid making payments.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

All clients, regardless of their role within the scheme, have the right to request a decision be reconsidered by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). Mandatory reconsideration rights only apply to decisions relating to child maintenance liability. The standard timescale in which a revision may be requested is within 30 days of the date of notification of the decision. Our policy is that a mandatory reconsideration will only happen once in respect of any particular decision, after which a client accrues the right to appeal to an independent tribunal.

If a client requests a mandatory reconsideration, their child maintenance liability will remain in place as usual until a decision is made. Where a mandatory reconsideration or appeal is ongoing, the Service will continue to attempt collection of any debt that is not covered by the appeal. The CMS may make a decision to suspend enforcement action on debt which is subject to an appeal, as this may result in reimbursement for the amount collected.

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