How to appeal against child support payments

by Peter Magee on September 6, 2011

Peter MageeHave you ever wanted to know what avenues of appeal are open to you to object to a decision made by the Child Support Agency regarding your Child Support payments?

This article gives you the lowdown on lodging appeals against a Child Support Agency decision and against a Social Security Appeals Tribunal finding.

In the first instance, if you do not agree to a decision made by the Child Support Agency, i.e. a decision to increase your Child Support payments, you may lodge an objection directly with the Child Support Agency itself. There are limited grounds upon which people can base their objection. Examples of the grounds upon which people can base their objection include:

  • A decision to refuse a person’s election to end collection of child support payments by the Child Support Agency;
  • A decision to refuse a person’s election to have the Child Support Agency collect child support payments;
  • A decision to make deductions from Family Tax benefit payments.

Your objection must clearly state the reasons for your objection. If the Child Support Agency upholds their initial decision and i.e. thereby increasing your Child Support payments and you want to appeal against their decision, you may take your appeal to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.

If the Social Security Appeals Tribunal makes a finding to uphold the Child Support Agency’s decision (i.e. a decision to increase your Child Support payments), can you lodge an appeal against the finding of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal? The answer to this question is yes, but only if your appeal is because you believe that the Social Security Appeals Tribunal made an error on a ‘question of law.’ This narrows the scope of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal decisions that you can lodge an appeal on.

Which court can you lodge an appeal to if you want to appeal against a decision made by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal? If you want to appeal a decision made by the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, you may file an application in the Federal Magistrates Court. However it is important to note the deadlines for lodging an appeal in the Court, which are 28 days from the date of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal’s decision.

For legal advice on your prospects of successfully appealing a decision of the Child Support Agency or the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, call us on 02 9261 4555 to speak to a qualified lawyer with expertise in this area of law.

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