Byline: WITH TRICIA PHILLIPS
A THIRD of single parents turned down by the Child Support Agency for help in gaining child maintenance could now be eligible for financial support from ex-partners.
Around 150,000 nil-assessed cases, where the CSA calculated no child maintenance was due because of the other parent's circumstances or income, are being closed as the agency are gradually replaced by the Child Maintenance Service.
The Government estimate 50,000 of these could be successful if they open a case with the new service. This could be owing to a change in a former partner's circumstances or because the CMS use more accurate financial information on partners, gained via the taxman. Single parent charity Gingerbread are encouraging parents who think they may now be eligible to apply under the new system.
It costs PS20 to apply to the CMS, but, as average child maintenance payments are PS34 a week, that can be quickly offset.
Rose Stone, head of advice and "information at Gingerbread, said: "Regular child maintenance payments can make a huge difference to single parent families relying on one income."