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A Positively Surprising SSAT Outcome!

We got the letter yesterday…and after reading it 100 times and having to ask someone on here whether I read it right (thanks again MikeT), the SSAT decision was to set aside the decision under review and substitute a new decision - There is no reason to depart from the Administrative Assessment of Child Support.

We can't believe it, the hearing was awful…when I read the letter I thought maybe I'd attended the wrong hearing lol!  They didn't write back one expense off the P&L…even depreciation was left in as a legitimate company expense…even client gifts and donations (total of $230) was left in.  They decided that there was no evidence to suggest that income reported to the ATO was not the true income.  So now CSA has the job of re calculating back a year…and it will end up in credit.

Thank you to all who answered my questions and gave advice over the past year.  Hopefully my experience will be helpful to others in the future.
Congratulations.  A rare win indeed :-)
Well done.
Now you can go ahead and lodge your compensation claim against them. CDDA.

Your letter from the SSAT would be good if you can make an attachment on here as others can use it as reference.
From my experience there is a non disclosure order on all information resulting from a SSAT hearing, so it may not be possible for Julco to attach the letter.

However, congratulations on this win Julco.

A child is a gift, not a weapon. To be a parent is a privilege, one which unfortunately some parents do not deserve.
Yes what a great win. Let's hope this is a precedent for all to follow!

What a relief for you.
How about re writing the results in your own words.
A lot of others could benefit from this and they should be able read the decisions.  
Taylor, I think the main thing is to make sure company/personal books are pretty much water tight.  Make sure expenses are reasonable and that there are no outstanding directors loans on the balance sheet…if there is, have a damn good reason why.  I personally am still confused at the outcome giving the grilling during the hearing….I thought we'd lost big time.  Our whole case was that CSA had used company expenses/payments made using personal funds, as personal income.  As there were no outstanding directors loans…that theory was shot in the foot.  I'm looking at doing a CDDA claim but, since CSA have to now go back and re calculate the past year on the assessed rate, I can't think of what we could put a claim in for other than stress…and how to you put a $ value on that?
What about a claim for your time in providing both csa and ssat with the information they requested? And the time it took you on the phone with csa trying to sort out their mistake? Not to mention any time your husband and yourself had to take off work to attend hearings etc? If you are going to try to claim for stress then have a look at the guide for the criteria. I only have my phone at the moment but when I get home I'll post the link up for you.

A child is a gift, not a weapon. To be a parent is a privilege, one which unfortunately some parents do not deserve.
Here we go.

http://guide.csa.gov.au/part_6/6_11_1.php

Have a read through this, it might help you to work through the possibilities.

A child is a gift, not a weapon. To be a parent is a privilege, one which unfortunately some parents do not deserve.
That's the way the CSA works Julco. I doubt that anyone in the department who looks at cases like yours/mine or others has any degree in accounting. A Certified Practising Accountant would take about 1 hour to work out the figures supplied to them to determine what is income/expenditure.
I think that your case was pretty straight forward to the SSAT as you got a decision response very quickly.
As for your CDDA claim there is more then just stress involved here.


Kathg. Why is it that we have to use the CSA guide for compensation claims against the CSA/SSAT. This goes beyond those boundaries of the CSA
The guide just sets out the criteria that is considered when a claim is made. Although there can be a lot more substance in a claim, as relates to each individual case, if the initial claim sets out the grounds of the case for compensation in accordance with the criteria, then it is more difficult for the claim to be denied. And less follow up work will need to be done by the claimant. In this case it is fairly obvious that csa erred in their decision, which has now been corrected by ssat.
A claim for stress can only arise from another liability, which in this case is the error of csa. The stress was induced by an incorrect decision.

A child is a gift, not a weapon. To be a parent is a privilege, one which unfortunately some parents do not deserve.
On the application it states -
'Under the CDDA Scheme compensation is not payable for grief or anxiety, hurt, humiliation, embarrasment or disappointment that is unrelated to a personal injury, no matter how intense the emotion may be.'
We'll put down hours taken to fill out forms, information provided, telephone/emails and letters.  We'll also put down a small amount for stress…this isn't about pulling dollars from the government, it's about making them realise that they can't continue treating people so badly, especially self employed payers. Thanks again kathg.  I'll let you know how we get on.  Waiting now for CSA to re calculate child support for the past 13 months…I bet if we had to pay more, they'd have done it by now!
Don't forget about all time you came on this site asking questions, researching.
ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.
http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/docs/fact-sheets/FactSheet9_CDDA.pdf
detriment relating to a personal injury including mental injury (personal injury loss);
economic detriment that is not related to a personal injury (pure economic loss);
ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.
The Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration - Australian Research Council (ARC)
I would put down a large amount for stress as you have to live with this for the rest of your life. You have to make them pay for there incompetence actions so they get it right for the next sucker they try to blind side.
I wonder if CSA will change their practises after this. I bet they won't and will just keep doing what they do until the next client steps up and objects.

This concerns me that they don't upgrade their operating procedures after being proven wrong in SSAT. Any other company or govt dept would make changes. I think they need to be forced to compensate financially when they do the wrong thing…….just saying…….
BDouble, I doubt they will change their procedures just because one person has won an SSAT review against them.  They do seem to be digging an even deeper hole though.  We have received 10 letters and assessments in the past 24 hours. One was telling us they refuse our offer of a repayment plan for overdue CS - we never offered one and now don't have a debt! We have worked out that our overpayment will see us not paying CS$ for nearly a year but so far they have not mentioned anything about an overpayment.  Funnily enough, they have requested a CS payment on 7/6/13.  We've sent them an online message saying no payment will be made until a statement is sent outlining the re calculations.  I've got a long list of incompetence, failure to follow procedure, rudeness and obvious inability to understand small business finances that will be in the complaint and CDDA claim.  It would be nice if any of this did make a difference, but I won't hold my breath!
Include all of the irrelevant correspondence from CSA following the SSAT decision in your complaint to the ombudsman, and in the CDDA claim. I would also consider sending a copy of your complaint to both your Federal MP, and their opponent at the upcoming election, (just beware of any disclosure orders on the decision of the SSAT for these).

Unfortunately CSA seems to be a case of one hand clapping, and the communication between it's internal departments leaves a lot to be desired. I know that several years ago a similar thing used to occur with the ATO, but they seem to have gotten their act together a bit more in recent times. Whether this all boils down to software problems, or under-trained staff, I am not sure. Maybe even both.

I believe that this department really needs to undergo parliamentary review. As many others have said, CSA fails both payees and payers, but even more importantly children.

Has anybody actually tried to equate the cost of the stress, and time spent dealing with these inefficiencies, in relation to the effect it has had on their children - (coming from both sides, both payee and payer)?

A child is a gift, not a weapon. To be a parent is a privilege, one which unfortunately some parents do not deserve.
Thanks for the advice kathg.  I was just reading in another topic that getting an overpayment repaid was near impossible.  We are waiting to see just how much of an overpayment has been made due to CSA deeming income, it will be interesting to see how they handle it.  Last year, before the COA, when we became the payee, the small debt that we had was offset against CS$ payable by the other party.  Interesting to see if they treat us the same way!
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