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Children: Maintenance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Labour, Ellesmere Port and Neston

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average length of time was that payments from parents were held by the Child Maintenance Service before being paid to the receiving parent, in each of the last three years.

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

This information is not held.

The Department does not hold the payments for longer than is required for the payment to clear and the funds to be administered to the receiving parent.

Where a payment has a correct reference number applied and is paid into the correct bank account it will allocate automatically and pay out once the payment has cleared, so long as the RP has provided bank details.

The only delays that may occur are when a receipt does not allocate to a case automatically. This could be because:

(i) a customer fails to quote a correct reference number, which results in a payment falling into a suspense account requiring investigation. Once the intended RP is traced, and funds have cleared, the payment will be transferred to the RP account.

(ii) a paying parent makes a payment when no maintenance is outstanding, in which case the payment will allocate to a RP account and pay out once the next payment falls due.

(iii) Receipts arrive as part of a bulk schedule of payments, which may need some manual intervention to ensure payments are allocated to the individual customer, for example Employer or Bailiff receipts.

Does this answer the above question?

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