The Child Support Agency (also known as the CSA) is responsible for legislation in regards to payments made between separated parents regarding children and young people in the UK.
Although it has now been replaced by the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), the organisation still deals with claims that were filed between 1993 and 2013.
CSA was replaced by CMS as part of the government’s efforts to streamline the benefits system and reduce the financial burden of claims upon the taxpayer.
The main function provided by CSA is the administration of Child Maintenance. Paid to claimants in order to help toward the living costs of a child, it has proved to be a vital method for the most vulnerable in society to provide for their dependants, especially during this era of financial austerity.
Aimed at making sure that both parents are equally financially responsible for a child in the result of a split, it has proved to be a bone of contention for some.
Though many claims work seamlessly, the level of funding provided from one parent to another has always caused controversy – especially if the split was less than acrimonious – and some claimants have noted that chasing missed payments can prove to be a difficult task.
Run by the Department for Work and Pensions, Child Maintenance has often been mistaken for Child Benefit – however, the latter is government funded, while child support payments are fully funded by the parents themselves.