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Receiving Payments

To receive payments electronically, sign up for direct deposit or an electronic payment card.

Enroll in either option on the California State Disbursement Unit page.

Person Ordered to Receive Support

General

Why is this happening?

Child Support laws have changed, allowing Child Support Services to send more money to California families who used to receive cash public assistance through CalWORKs. The goal is to ensure family self-sufficiency by making child support a more reliable source of income.

When will I receive the money?

Collections that are received on or after May 1, 2024 and that are applied to government-assigned debt will be passed through to families who used to receive cash public assistance through CalWORKs.

Where/how are you going to send me the money?

Payments will be sent to you electronically via direct deposit or electronic payment card. If you have not enrolled in electronic payments, you may do so by visiting California State Disbursement Unit website. Otherwise, payments will be sent via paper check to the address on file with Child Support Services. Please be sure to update your information with Child Support Services.

How long will I continue to receive the money?

If payments are received and applied to government-assigned debt and you are no longer receiving cash public assistance through CalWORKs, the payments will continue to be sent to you until the debt is paid in full, the parent ordered to pay support is granted relief from the debt, or the child support case otherwise meets any other case closure criteria. (See Debt Reduction Program and Uncollectable Debt Program information).

Will I have to pay taxes on the payments?

Payments passed through to you are to be reported like any other support payment you receive when filing your taxes. Please contact a tax preparer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and/or the government agency that collects taxes in your state for further information. You can find information for contacting the IRS about federal tax filing requirements and the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) about California tax filing requirements as follows:

IRS: IRS Online Tools and Resource

FTB: Franchise Tax Board Online Tools and Resource

The child(ren) no longer lives with me; am I still eligible to receive these payments?

Yes, if payments are received, they will be sent to you even if the child(ren) is no longer living with you and no matter the child(ren)’s age.

How much of the balance is owed to me?

The government-assigned debt is still assigned to the government, but Child Support Services is now sending the payments to California families that used to receive cash public assistance through CalWORKs. You may receive up to the total amount of this government-assigned debt.

If I am paying child support on another case(s), can the payment(s) be intercepted and applied to any cross cases I have?

No

Payment Methods

I lost my EPC years ago (and/or I do not have a valid address); how can I get a replacement card or receive the money? And how can I check my balances?

You can enroll in direct deposit or Electronic Payment Card by visiting California State Disbursement Unit website or call us at 1-866-901-3212. You can check your account balance online by visiting Way2Go or you may call Way2Go customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-844-318-0740. Customers may call Way2Go for free up to three times monthly.

I have moved from my old address and believe a check was mailed there. How do I find out if any checks have been sent out and update my address with DCSS? Can I get a replacement check mailed?

You can visit the Customer Connect website to view payments that have been sent to you, or call us at 1-866-901-3212. You can also update your address on Customer Connect. To request a replacement check, call us at 1-866-901-3212.

If the parent ordered to pay support is making their payments, why am I not receiving the money?

Option 1: Due to the hierarchy of how payments are applied, there are no funds that can be applied to your case at this time.
Option 2: It is possible your information is not updated with Child Support Services. Please be sure to update your information if it has changed since the last time you had contact with Child Support Services.

Public Assistance Impacts

Will payments count against me as income if I re-apply for aid?

Any payments received prior to re-enrollment in aid may be counted as income. Please contact your eligibility worker for further information.

Will I continue to receive the money if I become cash aided again?

No, the change in law only allows Child Support Services to send these payments to California families who are no longer receiving cash public assistance through CalWORKs.

I’m receiving other public assistance (CalFresh, Medi-Cal, Child Care subsidies, etc.); will this impact my benefits?

There may be impacts to your eligibility for other public assistance programs. Please contact your eligibility worker for further information.

Why am I Receiving Payments

My child(ren) is emancipated. I don’t want any child support money. What are my options?

Due to the change in law, Child Support Services must send these payments to you regardless of the age of the child(ren). During any period where the government-assigned debt must be collected by the child support program, any payments received on or after May 1, 2024 can no longer be sent to recoup aid paid when they can be delivered to you by law.

I don’t want the money. Can I close the arrears?

Since the debt is government-assigned, you cannot close the outstanding balances.

I signed a closure letter and/or waived my arrears; why am I receiving the money?

Due to the change in law, Child Support Services must send these payments to you even if you requested closure of debts owed to you. Since this debt is government-assigned, you cannot close the outstanding balances.

The parent ordered to pay support and I are back together; can I close the case?

Since this debt is government-assigned, you cannot close the outstanding balances.

What contact will be made with the parent ordered to pay support? Will they know I’m getting the money now?

General information about the change in the law will be/has been sent to child support customers. The amounts may be shown on Customer Connect and any monthly billing statements that are sent to customers that have made and/or received payments.

Debt Reduction/Uncollectable Debt Programs

Does the Debt Reduction Program (DRP) apply to those balances?

Since the debt is government-assigned, there is no impact to the Debt Reduction Program or Uncollectable Debt Program. Payments received to satisfy a compromise for the Debt Reduction Program will be sent to families who used to receive cash public assistance through CalWORKs.

Regarding Debt Reduction Program/Collectability review: Why was the government-assigned child support balance reduced?

Debt Reduction Program: California law allows child support agencies to enter into an agreement with a parent ordered to pay support to lower their government-assigned child support debt based on their current circumstances and ability to pay. If the local child support agency determines that the parent ordered to pay support is eligible to participate in the Debt Reduction Program and the parent ordered to pay support pays their current support and a portion of their past due support in exchange for a reduction of their government-assigned debt, there would be a reduction in the government-assigned child support balance.

Uncollectable Debt: California law allows child support agencies to perform a collectability review to determine whether the circumstances of the parent ordered to pay support deem their government-assigned child support debt as uncollectable, in full or in part. This program only waives balances that are assigned to the state; the balances owed to the family are not affected.

Parent Ordered to Pay Support

The child(ren) no longer lives with the person ordered to receive support, has emancipated, etc.; is the person ordered to receive support still eligible to receive these payments?

Yes, if payments are received, they will be sent to the person ordered to receive support even if the child(ren) is no longer living with them and no matter the child(ren)’s age.

The person ordered to receive support and I are back together; can we close the case?

Since this debt is government-assigned, you cannot close the outstanding balances. As the parent ordered to pay support, you may, however, qualify for relief of the government-assigned debt. (See Debt Reduction Program and Uncollectable Debt Program information).

What will happen to the Debt Reduction Process/Uncollectable Debt processes?

Since the debt is government-assigned, there is no impact on the Debt Reduction Program or Uncollectable Debt Program.

If the person ordered to receive support is deceased, will Child Support Services continue to collect arrears balances?

Yes. Since the debt is government-assigned, Child Support Services will continue to collect until the debt is paid in full, the parent ordered to pay support is granted relief from the debt, or the child support case otherwise meets any other case closure criteria. (See Debt Reduction Program and Uncollectable Debt Program information).