Alberta’s Maintenance Enforcement Program FYIs: Child Status Reviews and Section 7 Expenses
As many are aware, the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) collects Court Ordered child support, spousal and partner support, and enforces as needed. Here are some FYIs regarding Child Status Reviews and Section 7 Expenses you may not be aware of:
Starting September 4, 2015 MEP began a new process of reviewing the status of every dependant child as they approach the age of majority (the legislated age at which a child is deemed to be an adult). Three months before the age of majority, the recipient of the support will be asked to complete a Child Status Report and to return it to MEP with all supporting documents. These are due back to MEP before the child’s age of majority birthdate.
- The payor will be notified when the review of status is underway and both parties to the file will receive a letter notifying them of the outcome of the review.
- If the Child Status Report is not returned when it is due, MEP will stop enforcing support for that dependant on their age of majority birthday, thus if there is more than one child collecting support, the total amount will be reduced in accordance.
- Once MEP stops enforcing support for a dependant, to resume support enforcement through MEP, a new Child Status Report is required and a new Court Order may be needed as well.
- The payor may also request a Child Status Review anytime through MEP Accounts Online.
- MEP will not enforce support for any dependant after their 22nd birthday unless a Court Order specifically directs it, though an extension may be requested and granted if the dependant turns 22 in their last semester of schooling that is resulting in a certificate, diploma, or degree.
Starting August 1, 2015 MEP began a new process for Support Orders that include support for Section 7 Expenses (ie. childcare expenses, medical, dental and other health-related expenses and health insurance premiums or extraordinary expenses for educational purposes, post-secondary education and extracurricular activities).
- If your Court Order involves a Proportionate Amount Expense Clause for Section 7 Expenses, MEP will only enforce claims for expenses paid within the one year period before MEP receives the claim. If you paid for any expenses more than a year ago and you have not claimed these expenses with MEP, you can still try and send your claim for these expenses as soon as possible by providing MEP with a completed Expenses Report (found on their website).
- The name of the child must show on each proof of payment for expenses claimed (if the receipt would not normally include a name, such as on a standard till receipt, the name may be handwritten).
- For health-related expenses you are trying to claim, you must pay the first $100 per child per calendar year on your own, without reimbursement from the other party as only the amount over that first $100 is claimable through MEP.
- If you want to be able to claim your child’s portion of your family health insurance premiums, you can do this but it must be stated in your Court Order.
- MEP will no longer enforce a claim for expenses paid by a third party. They must be paid for originally by one of the parties.