First post so please be patient. I am a single parent of a severely disabled child, divorced and receiving child maintenance through the CMS. I am unable to work as I am full time carer and so rely on state benefits and child maintenance. My X moved home approximately 100miles away from the marital home and is now claiming travelling expenses to maintain access to our child. He usually has two sleepovers per week and is therefor claiming 4 journeys every weekend of 100 miles. The CMS have agreed his claim and seem to have reduced my maintenance award by £100 per month, which is half of the amount of expenses he is claiming.
I have written to the CMS disputing the milage he is claiming as there are many journeys he claims for but does not actually make. There are frequent times when he does not visit at all but is still claiming 4 journeys every weekend. I have kept a record of his visits and given the CMS this information. Today I have received a notification that my objections have not been upheld. CMS state it is because no evidence has been received but they have considered the letters from me. CMS are now saying my only option is to lodge an appeal! Can anyone help me with this? Have the CMS calculated the amount correctly? Does the fact that he misses ,a not insignificant amount of access visits , be taken into account when awarding his travelling expenses to be taken into his maintenance payments. Also, are there special considerations with regard to my daughters complex and serious disabilities that could affect any decision?
Sorry this post is a bit long winded but I really do not know how to appeal and the reduction of £100 per month is causing real hardship for myself and daughter. Can anyone help point me in the right direction to get some advice on how best to appeal this decision.