Does CSA Affect Your Benefits Payments?

Many parents who receive child maintenance payments wonder whether this will affect their benefits claim in the UK. In this article, we will explore the relationship between child maintenance payments and benefits and analyse whether or not benefits are affected by such payments.

Does CSA Affect Your Benefits Payments?

No, your Child Support Agency or Child Maintenance payments do not affect your claim for welfare benefits if you are the parent receiving these payments. This includes all means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Tax Credits.

Child maintenance payments are made when both parents of a child younger than 16 years of age don’t live together. This can be due to a separation, divorce or the fact they’ve not been in a relationship. Under these circumstances, the parent who is the primary carer of a child (or children) receives a monthly payment from the absent parent to pay for the living cost of the child.

However, if you are applying for benefits such as Universal Credit, you may be asked whether or not you claim Child Maintenance payments. In this case, you should declare the facts about the payments you receive of what amount.

Despite the declaration, the payments you receive for Child Maintenance will not count as income or savings during your assessment for a benefits claim.

However, if you are the parent making Child Maintenance payments and you claim benefits, the amount that you need to pay will be affected by the fact that you are on a low income and claiming benefits.

How Do Benefits Impact CSA Payments?

If you are the parent paying for Child Maintenance while being on a low income and claiming benefits, the calculator for the amount that you need to pay for Child Maintenance will be affected by your financial situation. This means that you may be required to pay a reduced amount of Child Maintenance if you claim benefits.

Whether you claim Universal Credit, Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit or Incapacity Benefit, your Child Maintenance payments will reduce.

In addition to this, if the paying parent claims benefits and the child stays with them for more than 52 nights in a year, they will not have to pay Child Maintenance at all.

However, if the paying parent is claiming benefits and still earning more than £100, they will continue to pay Child Maintenance as per the usual agreement. 

What Are Some Common Misconceptions About CSA And Benefits?

There are many misconceptions about the relationship between Child Maintenance and benefits. Some people believe that child maintenance payments will always reduce their entitlement to benefits, while others believe that they will not be eligible for benefits if they receive Child Maintenance. 

If you are unsure about how Child Maintenance payments will affect your benefits claim, it’s important to seek advice from an expert in this area. A benefits adviser or family law solicitor can help you understand your entitlement to benefits and how child maintenance payments will be taken into account. 

They can also help you navigate the complexities of the benefits system and ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to.

Alternatively, you can seek guidance from Citizens Advice.


Child Maintenance payments are intended to pay for the living costs of a child or children when both parents don’t live together and the absent parent pays a certain amount to the parent taking care of the children. These are not taken into account for a means test when the parent receiving such payments apply for a benefits claim with the DWP. 


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