Tag Archives: maintenance

Coronavirus-prompted policy change means single parents are losing child maintenance cash

How will they cope: the DWP’s decision to accept claimed losses of income at face value means single parents are losing maintenance payments that feed them and their children.

The Department for Work and Pensions is stripping thousands of single parents of child maintenance payments – on the basis of word-of-mouth.

Its Child Maintenance Service is allowing non-resident parents to stop or reduce the amount they pay towards the upkeep of their child, without any investigation or appeal.

In many cases, the parent only discovered their payments had been altered after the full amount failed to arrive in their bank account.

Single parent charity Gingerbread is now calling for the CMS at least to write to single parents, advising them of any changes to their payments.

The DWP has admitted it is accepting verbal evidence of reduction of income – without checking – but will revert to the previous standards when the crisis is over.

This means smaller payments for many struggling families in the interim. How can the government pretend this is fair?

Since the end of March, single parent charity Gingerbread has experienced a sharp rise in calls from parents over missing – or reduced – payments.

And it’s having devastating effects on single parent families – almost half of whom are already in poverty.

“The main issue is that the CMS is accepting verbal evidence over the phone,” explained Joe Richardson, Policy and Research Officer for Gingerbread.

“They’ll take the paying parent at face value, so they can reduce or stop the payment with no verification required. The system is quite simply to ring up and stop paying.”

Source: Single parents losing out on hundreds in child maintenance payments due to coronavirus – Mirror Online

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