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COA Application - CSA wanting my wife's income details?

Have previously posted re our situation and today had the telephone conference re my COA (lodged under special circumstances due to supporting my wife and sons due to one son's medical condition)  Anyway the case officer wants financial details of my wife's income (she is only working 1 day a week at the moment to cover our bills and her mother is looking after our son that day - however this cant really continue long term) But the case officer wants payslips re her income now to see if "she can support herself"? Is this common?
Yes.

They do require proof of her income, since you are saying she can't support herself or make enough money in one day to cover all her needs and her child's needs.

Rarghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
Simsam.

This is what the guide says, it doesn't mention proof of income, however it may only cause hassles/rejection if you don't. You could very well say that if that information is given it will be provided to the other party and that would be a breach of their privacy, perhaps ask them how they will protect the privacy of your wife?
The Guide said
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 certificate or report must identify the person's medical condition, and 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.
It seems like the case worker is looking for evidence of the money both of you earn eg. exactly how much.

Rarghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
I guess we will but maybe black out areas to protect her privacy if the other party will get to view them.  Apparently the CSA officer said the other party didnt even respond to the COA application…..  A

Also would anyone know, the COA application asked what I thought was a fair amount of CS to pay - do they REALLY take what you indicate into account?
no they dont. im sure that is some sort of secret csa guage, they make the asessment based ont he formula and the mney you earn and the circumstances. I would suggest showing the documents to the worker and then blacking them out.

csa dont hold much respect for privacy, it was only until recently the if ther was a mutli cap case a parent could see the parents other children names and birthdays so many ex could go to the childrens schools and find them out, stop sending kids on the step kids birthdays, track down the new partners and do all sorts of unscrupulous things with the details.

Rarghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Han Solo routine "We're all fine here, thanks. How are you?" *weapons fire* "It was a boring conversation anyway!"
Simsam.

I guess what you need to do is ascertain an amount that you can provide evidence for, that it would take to provide your duty of care to the other person. I'm wondering if it should be $18252 (the CSA Self Support amount), less anything she earns, plus any costs for special needs e.g. medical costs.

Somehow I don't think they'd recognise $18252 as being the amount a person needs to support themselves though.

Has anybody any experience of a reason 9 COA? (it is reason 9 Simsam?)

Here's what the guide says :-

The CSA Guide

Spouse or partner

A person may have a legal duty to maintain a spouse if the spouse is unable to adequately support themselves by reason of:

    * having care and control of a child of the marriage who is under 18;
    * their age, physical or mental incapacity to obtain employment;
    * or any other adequate reason.

The duty is limited to a married spouse and does not include a de facto partner (section 72 Family Law Act). The Family Law Act also provides that a person is liable to support their spouse only to the extent that they are reasonably able to do so, taking into account the matters listed in section 75(2) of the Family Law Act.

Example

F is liable to pay child support to M for their child B. F has remarried. Her husband O is unable to work. There are no children of F and O's marriage. F may have a legal duty to maintain O, depending upon the reasons for O's inability to work.

As noted above, the administrative child support formula already takes into account a parent's responsibility to support their relevant dependent children by deducting an amount from the parent's income before calculating their child support (See Chapter 2.4.7). The formula does not take into account a parent's responsibility to support a dependant spouse. However, the mere fact that a parent's spouse is staying home to care for the children of the marriage does not, of itself, meet the reason 9 test. Nor is it sufficient that the parent's income does not meet the needs of the household, as a result of the spouse's unemployment (or underemployment). The applicant must also be able to show that there are 'special circumstances' in their case.

Examples

M and F have a child support case for their child A. M has remarried. He and his new wife N have a disabled child, C. N is unable to return to the workforce because C's disability prevents C attending school or using childcare. C's disability is a special circumstance and M has a legal duty to maintain N, as well as a legal duty to maintain C. M's legal duty to maintain N and C significantly affects his capacity to provide financial support for A.

F and M have a child support case for their child A. F is married to H who has a child S. S's other parent is deceased. H is not employed and has no personal income. H provides full-time care at home for S, who has special needs. F has no legal duty to maintain S, as S is not F's child. However, F does have a legal duty to maintain H.

Where a person applies under this reason because their spouse or child has a medical condition, or requires medical treatment, CSA will require them to provide appropriate medical evidence of that condition.

simsam said
Anyway the case officer wants financial details of my wife's income (she is only working 1 day a week at the moment to cover our bills and her mother is looking after our son that day - however this cant really continue long term) But the case officer wants payslips re her income now to see if "she can support herself"? Is this common?
simsam,

You are claiming you wife cannot support herself, so it is reasonable to ask for evidence of what she earns.

However, I think you said earlier that you have already provided details of your son's extra medical expenses.

Working one day a week, your wife is unlikely to be earning enough to support herself and contribute her share to your son's bills.

I suggest you remind CSA of the medical expenses and your wife's need to cover them when you send the pay slips.
MikeT said
The Guide said
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. 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.
You have already provided that.  As Mike says, this does not mention proof of income, but that is only because it is about proof of the medical condition, and your son's medical condition is only part of your claim.

You are saying there is a medical condition and as a result your wife cannot adequately support herself, so proof of what she can earn is relevant.

As Mike also said, Reason 9 is about whether your wife can adequately support herself while caring for your son.

Clearly, on one day a week she cannot.
simsam said
 Also would anyone know, the COA application asked what I thought was a fair amount of CS to pay - do they REALLY take what you indicate into account?
Yes simsam, they do take what you say to that question into account.

You won't necessarily get what you ask for, but they do start from that point then apply all the usual calculations, fair and equitable tests etc.

I don't know how they calculate what your wife needs in these circumstances, but I agree with Mike that it is reasonable to ask them to start at  the same self-support amount as they apply to both you and the payee - your wife is equally a person.

Here is a suggestion

1. Start with your wife's annual income

2. Deduct her half share of your son's medical expenses

3. Call the figure you arrive at the amount you wife has available for self- support

4. Deduct the amount your wife has available for self support from the recognised self support amount which will be $18252 from July 1 (Explain why you chose that figure).

5. Call that the amount you need to contribute to your wife's support

6. Deduct your contribution to your wife's support from your own child support income.

7. Calculate a formula assessment based on that income

8. Tell them that is what you consider to be a reasonable amount of CS to pay.

CSA may not agree to that calculation, but if you explain where the figures came from it sounds very reasonable.
MikeT said
Somehow I don't think they'd recognise $18252 as being the amount a person needs to support themselves though.
My instinct is that Mike is right, but logic says otherwise.  If they accept that figure for the other adults, you and your former partner, then it should also apply to your wife.

I suggest you use it anyway because they asked you what you think, so think that!
simsam said
 Apparently the CSA officer said the other party didnt even respond to the COA application…
That sounds encouraging - Good luck!

I may have said this before, but have you looked into Centrelink payments for disabled children? The child does not have to have a disability - my daughter qualified due to a medical condition rather than a disability and the payments really helped with the medical expenses.



Thanks Mike T and BriarRose - and BriarRose no I havent looked into Centrelink - I assumed as it was a medical condition and not a disability I wouldnt be eligible for anything…

ANother thing re the medical expenses, in our application we just put basic expenses, ie specialist costs, prescription medication… The case officer wants us to put in additional information, she said did we think about claiming things like parking (hospital trips and specialist appointments $14 a time)…. and were there other associated costs…..  So my wife and I got to thinking there are heaps of other costs I guess with a child without a medical condition wouldnt incur eg costs of speical food for medical diet, that we didnt include - we just didnt want to appear like we were taking the pi#$ - but there are a numer of items we have to purchase that maybe we should put in for medical expenses…… It's hard to think of them all when it's just part of your life and we were'nt sure what that would consider "medical costs"
Simsam, put in all that you can and let them take them out if they think they aren't correct. Perhaps try to go over the last 6 months or so and think all that you have done.
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