If a customer suffers a loss due to inadequate service or advice CSA will do all that it can to redress the issue and remedy the loss. Compensation may be payable where there is no other remedy available.
CSA will advise customers when its actions or inaction have caused them to suffer a loss and it appears that compensation could be payable. An invitation to apply for compensation does not, in itself, constitute an admission of liability, nor does it guarantee that compensation will be paid.
The Child Support Agency is liable to pay compensation to a customer if:
It would be likely to be found to have a legal liability to pay compensation;
Usually a customer will make a claim for liability against the CSA on the ground of negligence. However, it is the Court that determines whether the CSA has been negligent considering the surrounding circumstances in view of the absence of legislation that defines negligence. For the CSA to be held legally liable for negligence, the following elements must exist:
A legal duty of care means to exercise reasonable care where it is reasonably foreseeable that a customer may suffer some harm because of CSA’s advice or inaction. Legal duty of care does not exist if what is sought is general advice or where the grounds for compensation are sufficiently remote from the functions of the CSA.
Whether or not there is a breach of duty is determined by considering what a reasonable person would have done if placed in similar circumstances. Hence, negligence is a failure to meet the standard of care that a reasonable man would be expected to exercise under the present circumstances.
The loss suffered must be directly connected with the CSA’s action and the loss must be that which CSA would have reasonably known or expected to occur.