As many as 50,000 children could benefit from continuing changes to the child maintenance system, the government has claimed.
The government has begun writing to 150,000 parents as part of a three year process in which all remaining Child Support Agency (CSA) cases will be closed and transferred to the new Child Maintenance Service. Currently, 800,000 CSA cases remain active.
The letters will inform parents when their case with the CSA will close and offer advice on what to do next.
The first cases to be closed will be the so-called ‘nil-assessed’ cases. These are the cases where no maintenance has been due so parents may not feel the need to respond to the letter.
However, the government says that under the new, “much more robust” system, some parents may find that they are eligible to receive payment.
Steve Webb, the Child Maintenance Minister, said that the new service would provide parents with “an opportunity to re-consider their child maintenance arrangements”.
He added that any parent who receives one of these letters should “look carefully at the options, as they may be surprised at the support available to them.”
The government has also launched an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the changes.