Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Child Support Cooperation

Revised:

26.1

POLICY STATEMENT

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To be eligible for Families First benefits, the caretaker must cooperate with Child Support to:

 

        Identify the absent parent(s).

 

        Establish paternity, if necessary.

 

        Locate the absent parent(s).

 

        Pursue court-ordered support for each AU child.

 

The caseworker/client rep must explain that receipt of a Families First payment is an automatic assignment of the individualís child support and that all child support, either court ordered or voluntary, past, present and future, will be assigned to the Department to reimburse the state for Families First and AFDC benefits that the AU receives.They must also understand that any spousal support that was ordered at the time of the child support order will be assigned.

 

The child support cooperation requirements still apply if the Families First payment is not issued because it is less than $10 or is reduced to zero because of a recoupment.

 

If a caretaker, eligible adult or minor parent who is the caretaker of an AU says at application they will not cooperate with child support, the application will be denied.This does not apply to a minor parent who is an eligible child in an AU who refuses to cooperate.

 

Sanctions will be applied when an AU refuses to cooperate with Child Support (IV-D), except in the case of a minor parent who is an eligible child in an AU who refuses to cooperate with child support.In that instance, the child support sanction does not apply.However, if a caretaker, eligible adult or minor parent who is the caretaker of an AU fails or refuses to cooperate with Child Support Services without good cause, the entire assistance unit will be ineligible for Families First benefits until the caretaker complies with the child support cooperation requirement.

 

The sanction for non-cooperation must not be applied until the child support worker has established that there are no extenuating circumstances that caused the non-cooperation such as illness, delay in mail, misunderstanding, etc., and the Families First caseworker has established that good cause does not exist.(See Sanctions Chapter for details.)

 

The caretaker is also required to submit any child support received for an AU child beginning with the month following the month that the AU is approved for Families First benefits.This is true whether the caretaker receives the child support directly from the absent parent, the court clerkís office, or from a third party (e.g., the absent parentís employer).

 

In addition, if a minor parent is the caretaker of his/her own Families First case, any support paid by an absent parent of the minor caretaker must also be forwarded to the State.

 

Note: Social security lump sum payments, based on an absent parentís disability, and received by a caretaker for an AU child are considered child support.These monies must be forwarded to Child Support.Failure to do so may result in possible fraud charges for not reporting the payment and not forwarding the money as required.

 

Glossary

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