Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Treatment of Child Support Income




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Effective October 1, 1998, the child support distribution rules changed for individuals who have received AFDC /Families First cash benefits in the past, but who are not currently receiving Families First cash benefits. Prior to October 1, 1998, if an absent parent made child support payments to a caretaker who had previously received AFDC/Families First cash benefits and the payments exceeded the current court ordered amount, the excess amount would be retained by the state to reimburse the AFDC/Families First benefits. However, effective October 1, 1998, if the absent parent owes child support arrears to a caretaker, the caretaker would receive the current and the arrears payments until those arrears are reimbursed. The state will not be reimbursed until after the arrears owed to the caretaker are paid in full. Arrears owed to the caretaker are called Unassigned Arrears. Arrears owed to the state are called Assigned Arrears.


As of October 1998, child support is distributed to the AU as follows:


        While the AU is receiving Families First cash benefits, eligible AUs will receive child support pass-through payments up to the unmet need. Any child support paid in excess of the child support pass-through payments is used to reimburse the state and federal governments for AFDC or Families First payments that the assistance unit receives or received.


        When the AFDC/Families First assistance unit is closed, any current child support paid will be issued to the caretaker.


        When the Families First AU is closed and the absent parent makes any arrears payments (with one exception), these payments will be sent to the caretaker if the absent parent owes any child support arrears to the caretaker. However, if the absent parent does not owe any child support arrears to the caretaker, child support paid in excess of the current court ordered amount will be retained by the state until the past or current AFDC/Families First grants have been reimbursed.


Exceptions: IRS intercepts child support collections are always used to reimburse the arrears owed to the state first.




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