SINGLE parent Jackie Day has described how frustrated employees at the Child Support Agency (CSA) begged her to take her complaint about the service they provide as far as possible.
They told her they felt they were banging their heads against a wall.
Mum-of-four Jackie, who has been divorced for six years, was advised by staff at the agency that she was one of thousands of women across the country not receiving money owed to them due to the failings of a £456m computer system installed in March 2003.
Jackie, of Caernarvon Court in Stanney, said: 'As soon as I decided to complain and got through to the complaints officer, she said she was furious and livid at what was going on.
'She said the people above them were not listening to them about the computer system not working. She asked me to please take it as far as I could and that I wasn't alone.
'She said the money was coming in and just not getting to people.'
Last week CSA chief Doug Smith resigned following widespread criticism of its work.
Only half of the applications received following the installation of the computer system have been processed and applicants are having to wait an estimated 15-22 weeks for their first payment.
Since taking the decision to come off benefits and start full-time work, Jackie has received one payment in seven months.
She said: 'I started at MBNA in Chester on May 4 and the first thing I did was to ring the CSA. They said payments would come direct to me.'
Jackie and her children Richard, 21, Stuart, 17, Phillip, 14, and Ebony, 12, had been surviving as a family on £145 a week benefits.
But while she waited in vain for her money, Jackie had to rely on her family for financial support.
Jackie said: 'I first rang the CSA on June 16 and they said I should have had my first payment.
'I rang every couple of weeks after that and they kept saying the money had been received and was due to go into my account.
'Every time I called I would be put through to a different person in a different area of the country.'
Five months later, Jackie is still waiting for a resolution.
'My ex is upset, too, he is paying the money, he has done his job,' she said. 'Fathers are paying in good faith but the money is not getting paid out.'
Jackie says she is considering taking legal action against the CSA to secure her payments.