Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1115.035.20 Child Support Exclusion

IM-134 December 21, 2021; IM-54 May 15, 2020; IM-111 October 22, 2004; IM-10 February 16, 1999

Court ordered child support, an amount directed by an order for support (judicial or administrative), paid by an household member is entered in the eligibility system.

The actual amount of court ordered child support paid by the household to or for non-household members from the household’s income is excluded to determine:

  • eligibility based on 130% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
  • net income
  • expedite income

The exclusion continues if the:

  • child returns to the home of the child support payer but the payer is legally obligated to continue child support payments to the other parent;
  • child moves back and forth between parents; or
  • payer has a continuing obligation to make arrearage payments to the Child Support Enforcement agency or court after the child returns to the home of the payer

An individual may be directed to pay child support through a judicial order which is provided directly from the court (i.e. divorce decree, support order, or separation agreement) or an administrative order which is provided by Family Support Division (FSD)–Child Support Enforcement.

For the purpose of this exclusion, child support includes current payments, arrearages, vendor payments (rent, utilities, medical expenses) and health insurance. The amount of the child support exclusion cannot exceed the amount that is legally obligated. Health insurance premiums may vary with the type of coverage and the nature of the obligation. Allow an amount that is reasonable. If necessary, prorate the health insurance premium.

Verify the legal obligation, the amount of the legal obligation, and the actual amount of child support paid. Enter the legal obligation in the “Mth Oblg Amount” field and the actual amount of child support paid in the “Mth Paid Amount” field on the Court Ordered Expense screen. The household’s application is not pended over 30 days or denied because they fail to provide child support expense verification. If the child support expense cannot be verified, the eligibility determination is completed without allowing the child support exclusion. When the application is complete and there is no other outstanding verification, the eligibility system completes the eligibility determination at the end of 30 days and does not allow the child support expense.

NOTE: Child Support Arrearages are considered legally obligated in addition to the normal court ordered obligated amount. If arrearages are being paid, this amount is added to the monthly obligated amount field.

Always review the Budget Summary  screen prior to authorizing a case action. From the Budget Summary Screen and the Expense Summary screen, ensure expenses you expect to be budgeted are included in the budget. If the expense is incorrect, return to the Court Ordered Expense screen and correct the incorrect information.