Children: Maintenance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 30 March 2023.

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Photo of Andrew Bridgen Andrew Bridgen Conservative, North West Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on how many occasions the Child Maintenance Service requested a death certificate for a paying parent where the cause of death was defined as suicide in each of the last four years; and how many deaths of paying parents were recorded in that period.

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

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

When notified of a customer death within Child Maintenance, there is a process to be followed to take the appropriate action on the case. This includes verifying the death of the customer. Requesting a copy of the death certificate is one such way of verifying a customer’s death, but if the death has been reported and verified elsewhere then the cross-government computer system called Customer Information System (CIS) will be updated, meaning further evidence is not required for Child Maintenance purposes. We cannot readily identify from data sources whether a copy of a death certificate is held on a case so providing accurate data would involve manually reviewing every case where a customer has died.

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