Child Support and Cash Assistance

If a parent or spouse applies for or receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), also called cash assistance, the law requires cooperation in establishing paternity and pursuing a support order. If domestic or family violence or other circumstances make complying with these support requirements dangerous or inappropriate, the county assistance office (CAO) may excuse an applicant or recipient from cooperating based on good cause.

What is considered good cause for not filing for support?

Domestic Violence - Good cause is granted when pursuing support would:

  • Make it more difficult for an individual or family member to escape domestic violence;
  • Place an individual or family member at risk of further domestic violence; or
  • Unfairly penalize an individual who has been victimized or who is at risk of further violence.

Rape, incest or adoption - Good cause is granted when:

  • The child was conceived as a result of rape or incest.
  • Court proceedings for adoption of the child are pending or the applicant or recipient is working with an agency that is helping to decide whether or not the child should be placed for adoption and these discussions have not progressed for more than three months.

How and when can someone request good cause?

Good cause can be claimed at any time. When the DRS is told that someone wants to claim good cause, the DRS will not take any action on establishing paternity or support. Applicants for or recipients of cash assistance will be referred to the CAO for help in filling out the Domestic Violence Verification Form (PA 1747) or providing verification in cases of rape, incest or adoption. Ask the CAO staff for help! The CAO will decide whether or not to grant good cause and will give written notice of this decision to the individual who claimed good cause. If the good cause claim is denied, the individual claiming good cause has the right to appeal and request a fair hearing.

What does "assignment of support rights" mean?

If you receive cash assistance, you give the DHS (the department) and the DRS the right to pursue and collect the current support that charged during the time you receive cash assistance up to the amount of cash assistance you receive. 

What happens to the "assignment of support rights" when cash assistance ends?

When cash benefits stop, support collections will be paid in the following order:

  1. The full amount of current monthly support owed to the family.
  2. The full amount of arrears owed to the family.
  3. The full amount of arrears assigned to the department.

The family will receive all support collections first before the state collects any support that is owed. This includes support collected through the Federal Tax Offset Program.

What is a support pass-through?

Every month the noncustodial parent pays current child support owed on time for a family receiving cash assistance, the department pays a portion of the child support to the custodial parent or caretaker. This is called the support pass-through payment. This payment is deposited to the custodial parent's or caregiver's EBT card the first week of the next calendar month. 

  • If you have one child, you are eligible to receive up to $100 of the current child support paid in each month;
  • If you have two or more children, you are eligible to receive up to $200 of the current child support paid in each month; or
  • If you have an order for spousal support, you are eligible to receive $50 of the current support paid in each month.  

You will receive only one support pass-through payment a month.

if you have any questions regarding support pass-through, contact the Child Support Helpline at 1-800-932-0211.