Unlikely to Pay Test

The Child Maintenance Service may impose an Unlikely to Pay Test on parents who are deemed potentially non compliant with maintenance payments. This test will also apply for existing Child Support Agency cases that are closed, and moved to the Gross Income scheme.

Unlikely to Pay Test

The Unlikely to Pay Test consists of a 'compliance opportunity' of 6 months.  Collection charges will be applicable during this period.  If the payment is made without default during the compliance opportunity, the case will be moved to the Direct Pay service and no further charges will apply.  There are no appeal rights against a decision to instigate the Unlikely to Pay test, but if a parent believes the decision is inappropriate, representations can be made via the complaints process including evidence to dispute allegations of non compliance. 

New Applications on 2012/CS3 scheme:

The Unlikely to Pay Test will not be applied if a new application is made as there is no history to determine any non payment. 

If the Paying Parent indicates that there is no intention to pay, the case will be set to Collect and Pay from the outset, and charges will be applied.

Existing 2012/CS3 Cases:

The Unlikely to Pay test will not be applied if:

  • The existing CS3 case has a history of full compliance.
  • The existing CS3 case has arrears due (from 2012 scheme only) and all of those arrears are repaid in full by 05th August 2014.
  • If the Receiving Parent requests Direct Pay

For cases that do not meet this criteria the Unlikely To Pay Test may be instigated.

Existing CS1/CS2 Cases:

The Unlikely to Pay Test will be applicable only when an existing case is closed and any new application is made under the 2012 scheme.  There will be no Unlikely to Pay Test imposed against any live CS1 or CS2 case.

If the Receiving Parent asks for the case to be set on the Collect and Pay service, a review of the account is made to establish if the Unlikely to Pay Test is necessary. Factors for consideration include:

  • If there is evidence that the Paying Parent will not pay at all – the case will be scheduled onto Collect and Pay with charges without any consideration of the Unlikely to Pay Test.
  • If there is evidence of possible compliance, the Unlikely to Pay Test will be instigated, providing the Paying Parent with a 6 month compliance opportunity to demonstrate full compliance.
  • Any history of missed payments will instigate the Unlikely to Pay Test again providing the opportunity to comply fully.
  • If the review finds that there has been compliance throughout, the Test will not be applied and the case will be scheduled on Direct Pay.

Any Paying Parent who was subject to a Deduction from Earnings Order at the point of their case closure, will be subject to the Unlikely to Pay Test, but must have paid a full 6 months DEO payments before the 6 months Compliance Opportunity is applied.  Charges will be applied throughout the whole period.

Any Paying Parent subject to any other form of enforcement measures at the point case closure will be subject to a 9 month Compliance Opportunity before being considered for a Direct Pay service. If however the arrears (accrued on 2012 scheme only ) are paid in full, the compliance opportunity will be reduced to 6 months.

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