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CSA Arrears, Unemployed/Back in Education

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I am asking this on behalf of a friend who is staying with us at the moment.


A bit of background :


He has children from a previous relationship and the CSA have been in touch to say he owes them 4 months arrears.

He notified them of a new temping job in June and they said the would re-assess him (he had been unemployed previously). He called them again end of July and they said they were still trying to assess him.


So this week gone he got a letter from the CSA saying he owes arrears and must pay immediately - he does not dispute this at all. BUT they have assessed him until 2011.

He is going to be leaving his job in 1 week and returning to college Full time, he has already given notice to his temp job.

He has been saving from the job he had to see him through until the college holidays at which point he will try and get another job.

He will be living with myself and partner rent free as the college is only 10 minutes away.


So my question is :

After he pays off the arrears which he has set aside anyway, will he have to continue paying the rate they assesed him at until 2011 ?

This will leave him with no means to go to college.


He is returning to FT education to retrain so he can earn a decent wage to support his children.

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As I recall it, full time students who are non resident parents should be assessed at nil rate unless they have income in addition to their student income. When he becomes a student (or any time there is a relevant change to his circumstances which could mean a new CSA calculation) he should inform the CSA of this. If he doesn't inform them then they can do a default decision which means they calculate a flat rate he must pay. When he's a student he shouldn't be liable to pay unless he has other income.


He will remain liable for arrears which were accrued before he became a student though.

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