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Clarifying what a payer can expect reasonable to get back

I am a single dad with shared care 50% of 2 wonderful kids

I pay child support to their mother  assessed by CSA in a private collect arrangement. One child has just had an operation full payed for my by health fund. additional costs post the operation where n the vacinity of $900. After recouping medicare of approximatley $300 the remaining was $600. whcih need to be split between my ex and myself. I claimed part of my half $300 againt my health fund 25%. The Ex is refusign to pay her $300 seeing that I have already claimed 25% against the health fund therefore she should only pay me  $225 being (25% less due to what i claimed).

Is this correct for my ex to assume this position with repayment ?
Chris123,
             I would suggest that you explain that under section 71 of the Child Support registration Act, that you have a right to claim the whole $600 of the outstanding amount for the necessary medical expense and that by only claiming 50% that you are acting responsibly. However also suggest that the 25% reduction is due to you solely taking the responsible action of providing private medical insurance that covers the child or children and that if the other parent wishes to benefit from such reductions then the other parent has the option to do the same or perhaps contribute to the cost of the private medical insurance. Perhaps also remind the other parent that in providing this cover you have very likely facilitated a faster completion of the necessary medical care bypassing and/or reducing the waiting time that would have been encountered should you have not utilised the private medical insurance and instead had the necessary medical care provided under medicare. I would guess that the other parent did not object to Medicare solely being used and was aware that of the utilisation of the benefits of private medical insurance. Perhaps next time, if there is a next time, give the other parent the chance to decide against using the benefits, if you did not this time.

I would suggest, as you are on private collect, that you simply deduct the amount from the next payment or payments with an explanatory note saying that the $300 is for necessary medical expenses paid; including a copy of the fees paid and the Medicare rebates that you have received.

The other parent may retaliate by insisting upon CSA collect though. However, I believe that you could contest this under section 39(5) of the Child Support Registration and Collection act. Here's what the CSA guide, section 5.6 states:

CSA Guide (extract) - 5.6.3: reapplying for collection said
Application for CSA to again collect the liability

If CSA ends collection because the payer had a satisfactory payment record, or because the payee (or payee and payer jointly) elected to end CSA collection, the payee can later reapply for CSA collection (section 39).

The payee can make their application in writing, by telephone, in person, or electronically by completing a form on the CSA's website www.csa.gov.au (section 39(2)). The payee can also apply for CSA to collect arrears for them (section 39A(4)).

A payee cannot make an application for collection to resume during a low-income non-enforcement period (section 39(3)).

Unlike an application for registration, CSA is not obliged to accept the payee's application for collection to resume. CSA can grant or refuse the payee's application and must do so within 28 days of receiving it (section 39(4)).

CSA must refuse the application if (section 39(5)):

    * the payer has been complying with their child support obligations, or
    * the payer has satisfactorily explained their failure to meet their obligations and taken action to rectify that failure, or
    * special circumstances exist that make it appropriate for CSA to refuse the application

Obviously if the other parent successfully changes to CSA collect then such disputes would be handled by the CSA.
Chris123,
             I forgot to add, that you, or the other parent (if the other parent has costs i.e. not if the other parent pays nothing (unless the other parent wants a change of assessment applied to themself (if that's possible (not going to go there and try to find this out))) , could apply for a change of assessment under reason 2 (special needs of the child).  However I'm not sure if the case for special needs would apply. The CSA guide 2.6.8: Reason2 - the special needs of the child states:

The CSA Guide (Extract)- 2.6.8: reason 2 - the special needs of the child said
The term 'special needs' is not defined in the legislation. There must be some evidence that the needs of the child relate to a condition or disability that is out of the ordinary. These special needs can be because of a physical, mental or learning disability or because of a special talent or ability of the child (Lightfoot v Hampson (1996) FLC 92-663).

Examples


A condition that is distinct from the 'usual' childhood illnesses suffered by a child may be a condition that is 'out of the ordinary'.

A long-term or short-term physical, mental or learning disability may constitute such a condition.

In some cases, needs which arise from such special talents that are likely to lead to particular success or prominence may be considered 'special needs'. Gifted sports people could be considered to have special needs (Blamey and Blamey (1995) FLC 92-554).

A childs special needs will often be a fact accepted by both the payer and payee. However, in cases where there is a dispute, the person who seeks to rely on this reason will need to provide documentation, such as medical evidence, to substantiate their claim. Similarly, CSA will require the party making the application to provide evidence of the net expenditure associated with the special need, unless it is clear that the respondent accepts the other partys claim.


However, I'd not suggest this route as there is little doubt that an SCO  (Senior Case Officer), unless there has been some tremendous change in the very recent future, would find some way of misapplying the legislation to ensure that more money is transferred and or collected.

Objection and then recourse to SSAT(Social Securities Appeal Tribunal) may remedy this likelihood of the legislation being incorrectly applied (at least 70% chance) but that too is quite unlikely as the courts frequently highlight their inability to correctly apply the legislation correctly, your only recourse would then be to take the matter to court if you could determine a matter of law under which to take it to court. Unfortunately it is only the courts that appear to consider the legislation as it should be applied (note there is actual fee for filing such a matter).

To take this route I believe would be stressful and time consuming to all, not only also a waste of taxpayers money. As such the initial suggestion, to simply credit yourself with the other parent's cost of the necessary medical care, would in my opinion be the most advisable way.

Obviously you need to consider how the other parent would react, many "spend's time with" parent's, live in daily fear of the threatened and likely consequences of simply questioning the selfishness and irresponsibility of the "Lives with" parent. Many thousands of children suffer greatly at the hands of such enacted vengeance.
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