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SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WORK & PENSIONS & ANOR v BOYLE & ANOR

Where there was an interim maintenance assessment, if the secretary of state had sufficient information to make a full maintenance assessment covering the entire period of the interim maintenance assessment from the first effective date, she was obliged to convert the interim maintenance assessment to a full maintenance assessment for the entire period, thereby backdating it.

1 April 2008

The appellant secretary of state appealed against a decision of a social security commissioner upholding a decision of an appeal tribunal setting aside a full maintenance assessment made by the Child Support Agency. In 1995, the respondent (B) applied to the Child Support Agency (CSA) for a maintenance payment to be made by her former partner (O) in respect of their child (L). A maintenance enquiry form was sent to O but he never completed it. The CSA made an interim maintenance assessment. O made no payments of child support between 1995 and 2000. In 2000, O returned the maintenance enquiry form to the CSA, prompted by the fact that a liability order in the sum of over £20,000 had been made against him in the magistrates’ court. O co-operated and provided full details of his financial and personal circumstances, enabling the CSA to replace the interim assessment with a full maintenance assessment in a sum considerably lower. A fresh liability order was obtained by the CSA in the...

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