Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0210.015.20.30 Support Payments Retained by Temporary Assistance Households

IM-84 November 18, 2009

Child Support Enforcement (CSE) is responsible for recovering any support payments made to and retained by the Temporary Assistance (TA) Eligibility Unit.  Only those support payments not treated as income in determining the TA grant are subject to recovery by CSE.

  1. CSE Responsibilities: Upon notification that the noncustodial parent/absent parent is paying support, CSE informs both the noncustodial parent/absent parent and the TA participant that all support must be paid to CSE.  The notification will include an effective date and the Family Support Payment Center (FSPC) office where the support is to be sent. Should CSE discover that a noncustodial parent/absent parent has been paying support directly to a TA participant, they will document this information.  CSE attempts to recoup any support paid to the EU using the following procedures.
    1. CSE informs TA participant of:
      1. Their responsibility to turn over all support payments; the procedure for determining non-cooperation; the sanction for non-cooperation in retaining support; and the procedures for repayment of retained support.
      2. The amount of support CSE believes the participant has retained;
      3. That all retained support must be repaid. A signed repayment plan is developed as a condition of cooperation (CSE sends the participant a copy of a proposed repayment agreement); and
      4. That the participant has an opportunity for an informal meeting with CSE to discuss the retained support, and the proposed repayment agreement. An attempt will be made to resolve any differences before signing a repayment agreement.
    2. CSE proposes a repayment schedule reasonably related to the participant’s income and resources, and to the size of the debt. As a minimum, CSE requests $20 be repaid per month. CSE may request income and resource information to develop a proposed repayment schedule.
    3. If the TA participant fails to sign a repayment agreement or to repay according to their agreement, CSE first attempts to resolve the problem. If unable to resolve it, CSE refers the case to IM to determine if there is good cause for non-cooperation and whether sanctioning is necessary.
    4. If a non-cooperating TA participant begins to cooperate, CSE notifies IM. When a participant fails to make payments according to their agreement, they must begin making payments before cooperation can be established.
  2. IM Responsibilities
    1. Inform all TA applicants of their rights and responsibilities regarding cooperating with CSE. Refer to 0205.055.00 Assignment of Support Rights
    2. If a TA EU is receiving support, notify CSE immediately.  CSE attempts to persuade the TA participant to turn over future support, to recoup the retained support.  Budget future retained child support as income only after CSE refers a case to IM to determine if there is a failure to cooperate.
    3. If CSE requests income and resource information for a claimant to assist in determining a proposed repayment plan, provide CSE with the information.
    4. When CSE refers a case to IM for a determination of cooperation because a participant retained support, determine if the recipient failed to cooperate.  Consider the circumstances surrounding the original retention of support (such as willful withholding versus agency failure to inform the individual to turn over direct payments to CSE).  Consider whether the participant refused to agree to, or comply with, a repayment schedule.
    5. When a participant is determined to have failed to cooperate with CSE without good cause, place the case on protective payments and sanction in accordance with the sanction policy. Refer to 0210.015.50 Sanction Initiate an adverse action notice and complete action immediately upon expiration of the ten-day period.  If a hearing is requested, do not take action until the hearing is conducted and a decision rendered as in any other case.  Refer to the Entering a Sanction or Disqualification user guide.
    6. When CSE refers a case to IM for determining cooperation, notify CSE of the final decision.