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Children: Maintenance

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 45408, tabled on 11 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what reports he has received on the Child Maintenance Service not contacting parents who miss child maintenance payments during the covid-19 outbreak; and what assessment she has made of the effect on the financial security of the recipients of any such missed payments.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

7 July 2020

Paying parents are still expected to pay child maintenance throughout this period. Our priority is to maintain the flow of maintenance that is currently being paid, by ensuring that we transfer the payments as quickly as possible to receiving parents.

We know the vast majority of parents take their responsibilities extremely seriously and will do whatever is needed to ensure their children are supported.

Where payments have been missed we have asked parents to report the changes via the self-service portal.

In order to ensure that receiving parents do not lose out in the long run, we will update cases with notified changes as soon as possible. Where payments have been missed the Service will take action to re-establish compliance and collect any unpaid amounts that may have accrued. There is insufficient data to estimate the precise economic impact of missed payments on different groups.

The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those, including both paying and receiving parents, whose income drops as a result of the public health emergency and we have made a number changes to the welfare system to ensure people are receiving the support they need. Taken together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system and, along with the other job and business support programmes announced by the Chancellor, represent one of the most comprehensive packages of support introduced by an advanced economy in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

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