Donate Child Support Calculator
Skip navigation

response to COA

response to COA

can anyone tell me how long can the CSA take to respond to a COA application and if they don't, what course of action can be taken and in what time frame, cheers
There are no legislated time frames as such. Here's what the CSA guide (The CSA's interpretation of the legislation) says about the process:

The CSA Guide - 2.6.5: Change of assessment process (application from payer or payee) said
Version 2.6, Last updated 4 July 2011 4:00pm
Context

The Assessment Act sets out the procedure CSA must follow when considering a payer or payee's change of assessment application.
Legislative references

    Sections 5, 75, 150A, 161 and Part 6A Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989
    Section 8 Electronic Transactions Act 1999
    Schedule_1 Electronic Transactions Regulations 2000
    Section 4 Family Law Act 1975
    Regulation 12A Family Law Regulations 1984
    Part 3, Schedule 3 Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Further 2008 Budget and Other Measures) Act 2008

Explanation

    Change of assessment application must be in writing
    Parties to a change of assessment
    Copy of application to the other parent
    Right to respond to application
    Each parent entitled to a conference
    CSA not obliged to conduct investigations
    Procedural fairness
    Agreements made during a change of assessment
    WA ex-nuptial cases and applications made prior to 6 January 2009
    CSA must give written notice of the decision

Change of assessment application must be in writing

A person cannot apply for a change of assessment by phone. CSA requires that a change of assessment application be made in writing on the appropriate form (sections 98D and 150A).
The form (Your Application: changing your child support assessment in special circumstances) is available from CSA offices or on CSA's website at www.csa.gov.au. The form can be lodged by mail, in person or by facsimile.

In order to make a valid change of assessment application, the person must complete and sign the form.

CSA may refuse to make a decision on the application without taking any further action if:

    The application does not disclose any of the 10 change of assessment reasons (section 98F(a));
    A change of assessment reason exists, but it would not be just and equitable or otherwise proper to make a decision to change the assessment (section 98F(b)); or
    It includes obscene or otherwise offensive material.

It is therefore important that an application contains enough information to allow CSA to be satisfied about those matters and that the application is made in a manner that complies with section 150A.

The form asks the applicant to identify the period for which a change is sought. CSA has limited powers to make a retrospective change of assessment decision.

Parties to a change of assessment

The parties to a change of assessment application are the liable parent and the carer entitled to child support (section 98B(2)). Where there is a non-parent carer, both parents will be parties to the application in some circumstances.

Copy of application to the other parent

When CSA receives a change of assessment application, it will send a copy of the application and any documents that accompanied the application to the other party (section 98G) provided that CSA has no reason to believe a persons last known address is inaccurate. However, CSA is not required to send a copy of the application or supporting documents to the other party if it decides to refuse the application without a conference (section 98G(1)).

CSA will not send a copy of the application or supporting documents to the other party if those documents include obscene or otherwise offensive material. Such applications have not been made in the manner specified by the Child Support Registrar (section 150A) and no further action will be taken on them. CSA will contact the applicant and give them an opportunity to re-submit the application and supporting documents, without the offensive material, if they choose to.
     
Right to respond to application

CSA must give the other party an opportunity to respond to the application (section 98G(2)). CSA does this by sending the other party (the respondent) a form (Response - changing your child support assessment in special circumstances) when it forwards the application to them. However, CSA is not required to give the other party an opportunity to respond to an application if it decides to refuse to change the assessment (section 98G(1)).

If the respondent completes the response form, CSA will send a copy of that response and any documents that accompanied it to the applicant (section 98G(3)).

CSA will not send a copy of the response or supporting documents to the other party if those documents include obscene or otherwise offensive material. CSA will contact the respondent and give them an opportunity to re-submit the response and supporting documents, without the offensive material, if they choose to.

Each party entitled to a conference

CSA must give each party an opportunity to have a conference with the Senior Case Officer (SCO) making a decision on the application for a change of assessment (section 98H). However, CSA can decide to refuse to change the assessment without giving any party a conference (section 98G(1)).

CSA will offer the applicant and respondent a personal or telephone conference. This can be a joint conference with the other party if the parties agree (section 98H(3)). CSA can also conduct separate conferences for each party, either personally, or by telephone.

Unlike a court hearing, the CSA cannot take evidence under oath, or cross examine a party about the evidence they give at conference, or in their application.

No party can have a representative appear for them at their conference (section 98H(5)).

CSA not obliged to conduct investigations

CSA can make a change of assessment decision on the basis of the application, the other party's response and any supporting documents that the parties provided (section 98H(1)(a)).

CSA can conduct further enquiries, but is not obliged to do so (section 98H(1)(b)). If CSA requires further information from a party, or from third parties, it can issue a notice requiring a person to provide that information (section 161).

The prescribed change of assessment application form requests that an applicant provide documents in support of their application. The response form also requests supporting documentation. The SCO will examine and weigh the evidence presented by the parties, which includes their written and oral statements, as well as the supporting documents. The SCO may request that the applicant or respondent provide further information or documents before making a decision on the application.

CSA will require a person to provide evidence in support of a claim that they cannot work, or have a reduced to capacity to work, because of a medical condition. The usual acceptable form of medical evidence is by way of a written report or medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner. The evidence provided needs to establish that the person is suffering from a medical condition that will affect the person's ability to work. It should state the manner and the period for which that condition will affect the person's capacity to work. CSA may also require medical evidence of a child's special needs; or of the medical condition of a person for whom the applicant provides care, or has a duty to maintain.

Procedural fairness

CSA must deal with a change of assessment application in a way that is procedurally fair. A decision-maker must ensure that a person is aware of any adverse information and that they have an opportunity to be heard and make submissions in support of their case. In addition to providing each party with a copy of the other party's response or application and supporting documents, CSA will also advise each party of any additional information that it intends taking into account in a way that is adverse to them, and invite them to comment upon that information. This would include information provided by the other party at a separate conference, or by a third party after the conference.
Agreements made during a change of assessment

Parties can make an agreement while CSA is considering a change of assessment application (section 98T). CSA must accept the agreement if it is satisfied that it is a child support agreement (section 98U(1)). However, if the agreement is not a binding agreement, CSA can only accept the child support agreement if it is satisfied that it would be just and equitable to do so (section 98U(2)).

If an agreement is accepted while CSA is considering a change of assessment application, the assessment will be based on the agreement rather than on a change of assessment decision, although the change of assessment process may continue for the purpose of determining the notional assessment amount. The notional assessment is used to determine the receiving parents entitlement to Family Tax Benefit (section 146D(3)). Where parents already have an assessment based on an agreement, they may generally request a change of assessment in relation to this notional assessment. If the agreement ends and the assessment is based on the administrative formula or a new agreement, any change of assessment decision affecting the previous notional assessment will not affect the assessment or new notional assessment  parents can apply for a new change of assessment decision if they still require a change due to special circumstances in the case.
WA ex-nuptial cases and applications made prior to 6 January 2009

The Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Further 2008 Budget and Other Measures) Act 2008 amended sections 80E and 98U from 6 January 2009. Those amendments apply to WA ex-nuptial cases from a later date.

See Chapter 1.4.3 for details of the date from which various provisions had effect for WA ex-nuptial cases.

CSA must give written notice of the decision

CSA must give the parties written reasons for the decision to change an assessment, including the reasons for establishing that special circumstances existed in the case (section 98S(4)). This allows the parties to have a clear understanding of the meaning and effect of the decision. CSA will also document its reasons for the type and duration of the decision in the notice of decision. If CSA fails to give written reasons to either party this does not affect the validity of the decision (section 98S(5)).

CSA must also amend the administrative assessment to give effect to the change of assessment decision and give the parties a written notice of the assessment (sections 75 and 76). The assessment notice must include, or be accompanied by, information about the parties' right to object to CSA's decision, and to apply to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal if they are aggrieved by CSA's decision on the objection (section 76(3)).

If CSA refuses to make a change to the assessment, it must also provide the parties with written reasons for that decision.

time frames

So from that I take it the CSA can take as long as 50 days (my case) or even more, thanks Mike T, cheers
Pretty much Aussie.  

We lodged one years ago in the Sept, they started garnishing hubby's wage in the Jan (even though they knew the COA was to fight wrongly applied income), hubby changed jobs in Mar to get away from them & suddenly in the April they were 'ready' to deal with it.  Result, payee was overpaid due t CSA garnishing and taxable income should have been used, not what the ex said he was earning.  They put the assessment period on a 'fixed assessment' as reducing her child support because of the overpayment could cause her financial hardship.  But they didn't care that the garnishing caused us financial hardship and caused our children to go hungry & our relationship to end!
the CSA do not care about the devastation that they cause through incorrect assessments, all they care about is reducing the cost to the tax payer, the more cs$ the less social security $

CSA officers should be held accountable for their mistakes (often deliberate) and should that ever happen and only if, then some fairness and honesty may surface, until then they will can go on doing what they do best, screwing people over.

I just received my notice from the csa today disallowing my coa application and guess what, the reasons contained things that I am supposed to have said that i definitely did not and the decision was in the main based on these lies.

I have submitted an FOI request for the recording of the conversation and have lodged a complaint and will be lodging an objection (again).

My bet is that the recording will be lost or can't be provided for some reason because if they did find it will prove what I am saying, at least if it can't be provided then it can't prove what they are saying and will surely cast doubt on them as I do have a receipt number for the recording.

There are no words that can describe the pathetic actions of the CSA, although fraud, stealing and trickery come to mind

Last edit: by Aussie

Good luck with that, I've seen other people complain about conversations being edited.  Get moving on lodging an objection to the decision in writing before you run out of time.  Then be prepared for it to be disallowed & then you'll need to lodge with the Tribunal within the time frame.
as I was with the coa application I am prepared for rejection on the objection and for the ssat and am prepared to go further if need be, this time it is "cut and dried" (I think, well i hope, maybe!, aahhh) cheers
Aussie
Its not that simple.
The SSAT take sides with the CSA in there decision, and they say that they are independant and unless they make an error in the law you cant object any further.
The only error they do make is - fair just and equitable for both parents.
basing their decision on lies and fabricated (by them) wrong information I see as an error at law, especially when the agencies they contacted would have told them different to what the csa say, agencies like ASIC for company records etc, fancy misquoting ASIC.
1 guest and 0 members have just viewed this.

Recent Tweets