This is when you ask the CMS to look again if you think their initial calculation is wrong.
You should ask for a mandatory reconsideration if you think the CMS has used the wrong information in their calculation. For example, where they’ve:
- Made a mistake about the number of children your child’s other parent pays maintenance for
- Used the wrong income figures
- Not included all the days you or your child’s other parent care for your child
You can also ask for a mandatory reconsideration if you think your child’s other parent hasn’t been honest about their earnings. This will give you information on what income the CMS has recorded which might be useful if you appeal (see below).
If you think your child’s other parent has income beyond their wages or self-employed earnings, or unearned income from capital worth over £2,500 a year, it’s better to ask for a variation (see below).
How to ask for a mandatory reconsideration
You have 1 month to ask for this from the date on your original calculation letter. You can do it in writing or by phone – there should be details for this on the letter.
If you miss the 1 month deadline, your request will only be looked at in special circumstances – if you were ill or dealing with a family emergency, for example. If it’s too late to apply for a mandatory reconsideration, you can ask for a supersession instead.
If the CMS agrees with your request, they’ll calculate the amount again. If they decide you should be getting more child maintenance, you should also be paid the money you’ve missed out on since the original calculation.
Tip: always keep a written record of your communications with the CMS. If you talk to someone on the phone, it’s a good idea to follow it up with a letter or email to put things in writing.