Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to DSHS Economic Services Administration's Frequently Asked Questions!

Many domestic violence victims are nervous about collecting child support, but want to go forward with a support case because they need the money. Many feel that the other parent should be responsible for the children.

When it is relatively safe to do so, it makes sense to go forward. However, if it starts to be unsafe to collect child support, you can claim good cause from the CSO at any time while you are receiving TANF or medical assistance.

Remember you can ask DCS to stop collecting if the other parent reacts in a way you did not anticipate. If at any time the consequences of collecting outweigh the benefits, then you may want claim good cause and stop collecting support.

If you are on TANF or medical assistance when you want to stop or start collection, talk with your CSO worker. DCS cannot change how it works the case until you contact the CSO and talk with workers there, and perhaps go through the good cause process.

If you are not receiving any public assistance, contact DCS to discuss your concerns about safety and child support.

If you are limited in your ability to read, write, or speak in English, DSHS will provide information about available services to you in your primary language by authorized bilingual workers or by using licensed interpreters and translators. Interpreter services may be conducted in person or over the telephone. Translation of DSHS forms, letters and other printed materials may be given or sent to you.

If you are a current DSHS client, your primary language is the language you have indicated on your application or your eligibility review as the language you wish to communicate in with DSHS.

You can have your concern reviewed by a supervisor or administrator who will respond to your concern as quickly as possible, but no later than 10 days of the date your concern is received. You also have the right to an administrative hearing which can be requested either verbally or in writing. Requesting a review of your case by a supervisor or administrator does not take away your right to have an administrative hearing. In addition to the above options, you can also call Constituent Services with your concerns at 1-800-865-7801 (or TTY at 7-1-1).

If you want to authorize another person or representative to receive records from your child support case, you may print a copy of the Authorization to Disclose Information (DSHS 17-063), fill it out, and send it to your DCS field office. If you want the other person or representative to only be able to discuss your case with DCS (and not ask for copies of records), you may print the Consent (DSHS 14-012), fill it out. And send it to your DCS field office.

  1. On-Line -- Now you can see the most recent payment history for your child support case online! And, you can choose to receive e-mail notification when a payment is posted or a payment is due. Register here!
    Already registered? Click on CSIPS and login to see your case payments and choose e-mail notification.

  2. By Phone -- Using your DCS case number and your Social Security number, call 1-800-442-KIDS. You can find out:

    • How much DCS received.
    • When DCS received the payment.
    • Your account balance.
    • Bypass reception and transfer directly to your SEO's phone.
    • Listen to a message left for you.
    • Listen to most frequently asked questions.

Access is available most anytime of the day or night. (DCS conducts system maintenance work between Friday 6pm-3am Saturday. KIDS Line access is not available at that time.)

Learn more about the KIDS automated phone system.

 

The Division of Child Support (DCS) may give you the last-known home address of your dependent children or the home or work address of the other party to your child support case if you meet the following conditions:

  1. You must give us a written statement telling us why you want the address. The reason must be to enforce custody, visitation, parenting time, or contact rights, or to establish, enforce, or modify your child support order.

  2. If your reason for wanting the address is to enforce custody, visitation, parenting time, or contact rights, and you have not already done so, you must give us a certified copy of the court order that grants you the rights.

    1. The court order must name your children.

    2. You must give us a statement that a court has not changed your order to deny custody, or restrict your visitation, parenting time, or contact rights.

  3. You or your attorney must return an Address Disclosure Request to our field office listed below.

    1. You must appear at our field office listed below and show us suitable identification. If your attorney sends us the request, you do not have to appear.

    2. If you live outside Washington State or submit the request by mail, you must have the form notarized. If your attorney sends us the form, your attorney does not have to get the form notarized.

Before we give you the address, we will tell the other party to your child support case about your request. The other party has 30 days to:

  • Get a court order that stops us from giving you the address.
  • Get a court order that limits your right to visit or contact the other party or your children.
  • Request an adjudicative proceeding (hearing) to contest release of the address.

If the other party to your child support case does not ask for a hearing, we will answer your request within 45 days.

We will tell you if the other party asks for a hearing. You may attend and take part in the hearing. If we have reason to believe that release of the address will result in physical or emotional harm to the other party to your child support order or your children, we will not give you the address. Even if we decide not to release the address, we will still tell the other party to your child support order about your request.

You may print the Address Disclosure Request to request the address. Complete the form, sign it before a notary public, and mail it to:

Division of Child Support
P.O. Box 11520
Tacoma, WA 98411-5520

DCS will let you know if someone requests the address of your child. You have the right to request a hearing if you do not want the child's address released. You must take the following action to prevent DCS from releasing the address:

  • Get a court or tribal order preventing release of the address, or provide a copy of an existing order.
  • Request an administrative hearing to show why DCS should not release the address. DCS must follow the instructions of a final administrative order resulting from the hearing. DCS will not release the address until all appeal rights are exhausted.
  • If you receive a TANF grant, contact your public assistance caseworker and ask about claiming "Good Cause".
  • DCS will not release the residential address of a person enrolled in the Address Confidentiality Program through the
    Secretary of State's Office.

Read about your child support case and Domestic Violence issues.

Learn more about Domestic Violence and Victim Services Programs.

DCS may release information from your DCS case for purposes of establishment, modification, or enforcement of a support order.

  • First contact your Support Enforcement Officer. Many records, such as a payment history, are immediately releasable.

  • To make a written request, print a Request for Disclosure of DSHS Records, fill it out, and send it to DCS.

  • You must indicate on the form exactly what information you seek and the reason for your request. DCS will respond to your request within 5 working days. When copies exceed 20 pages, DCS may ask you to pay for the cost of the copies.

If DCS cannot release the information we will send you a denial. You have the right to petition a review of the denial.

  • Respond to Part A, Notice to Withhold for Health Care Coverage by returning the Employer Response or by calling DCS.
  • If you serve as your own plan administrator, respond to Part B, Medical Support Notice to Plan Administrator by completing the Plan Administrator Response and the Washington State Addendum to Box 2 of Part B - Plan 

If you have questions about the National Medical Support Notice, you can get help in the following ways:

The majority of your DSHS business may be conducted online at Apply for Services, by calling the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-501-2233 or by visiting any local community services office near you. WorkFirst and Social Services must be conducted at your home office.

If you are already receiving benefits, you need to notify us of this change by calling our customer service center at 1-877-501-2233. If you are in need of medical coverage, you can Apply for Services online or visit any local community services office.

You may complete an application online for most DSHS benefits here: Apply for Services. For your convenience you have the option to visit your local community services office to access online and phone services to apply for benefits. You can view more information at How to Apply for Services.

 

You can become a certified translator if you are able to pass the required DSHS written translation examination or pass a DSHS recognized written translation examination offered by another organization. Both examinations are offered by DSHS Language Testing and Certification Program.

  • Compute the gross amount that you owe to the employee for the pay period.
  • If the employee took any advances, add those amounts back in.
  • Deduct the amounts that are required by law, such as IRS income taxes, FICA, Social Security and L&I. If union membership or pension contribution is mandatory, deduct union dues and/or pension amounts.
  • Do not deduct such amounts as car Payments, non-mandatory union dues, or voluntary savings deposits.
  • The amount remaining is the employee's net disposable income. Now divide that amount by two, and that's the amount that is subject to withholding.
  • After withholding the child support amount, go on and deduct any other amounts that you normally deduct from the employee's paycheck. These "voluntary deductions" are not subject to the 50% limit.

  • US Mail Payment Address
    • Washington State Support Registry
      PO Box 45868
      Olympia, WA 98504-5868

The Income Withholding for Support tells you how much to withhold each month.

  • If you pay once a month, withhold that amount (unless it's more than 50% of the employee's net disposable income) from each paycheck
  • If you pay more than once a month, here's how to calculate the amount from each check: for each month, divide the monthly withhold amount by the number of paychecks for that month, then withhold that much from each check.
  • If the OWI asks you to withhold a certain percentage of the employee's earnings, withhold that percentage amount each payday.

  • US Mail Payment Address
    • Washington State Support Registry
      PO Box 45868
      Olympia, WA 98504-5868

DCSOnline Services processes new hire reports at 6:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) each day. You can edit or cancel an online report until the system has processed it.

  1. Select View, Change, or Cancel Pending New Hire Report from the menu..
  2. To change one report, click Edit or Cancel.
  3. To cancel all reports for one company, or all fixed width reports, click Cancel All Pending.

If the report has already been processed, you will need to re-submit the new hire with the correct information.

If you have a case with Washington's Division of Child Support, and your support order contains no medical support provision, you may request DCS modify the order to include medical.

To ask DCS to review your order:

  1. Print the following forms:
  2. Complete the forms as required, and mail them to your child support office.
  3. DCS will request worksheets from the other party. (This process may take more than 30 days from the time DCS receives your information.)

If you are modifying your child support and do not have the income of the other party, you may send DCS a Request for Income Information for Purposes of Entering a Child Support OrderDSHS 18-701.

For more information to help in modifying your order, see the brochure How to obtain or modify a Child Support Order on your own, DSHS 22-021.

If you don't already have a case with us, you may apply for our services.

  • You can contact DCS by email
  • Call the Field Office
  • Call the DCS Employer Hotline at 1-800-591-2760
  • Print and fill out a copy of this form and mail it to: DCS, PO Box 11520, Tacoma WA 98411-5520
  • NOTE: please tell us the employee's home address, the last date employed by you, and new employer, if known.

  • US Mail Payment Address
    • Washington State Support Registry
      PO Box 45868
      Olympia, WA 98504-5868

If your support order tells you to send payments to the Washington State Support Registry or you received a notice from DCS to send your payments to WSSR, send your payments to the following address:

Washington State Support Registry
PO Box 45868
Olympia, WA 98504-5868

  • To insure accurate processing, please make sure your Social Security Number is clearly noted on your payment.
  • For your convenience, DCS offers Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) options for paying child support. A noncustodial parent can register and make payments using the Division of Child Support Internet Payment Service. To register or view an online demonstration, visit our web site at https://secure.dshs.wa.gov/.
  • Click here to obtain an EFT authorization form. An EFT deduction or Internet Payment cannot replace federally mandated wage withholding. If your case requires DCS to establish wage withholding, we will continue to do so. For more information regarding EFT, please contact our EFT Customer Service Unit at 1-800-468-7422.
  • If you receive a notice from another state to send your support payments to their child support agency, contact the other state. Be sure to tell them if you are currently sending your payments to WSSR. They will tell you where to send your future child support payments.
  • Send payments to WSSR as directed by your support order unless you have received a notice from another child support agency telling you to send payments to them.

If you still have questions, contact your support enforcement officer at the phone number listed on the last page of the notice you received. If you are not sure which office handles your case, call the KIDS line at 1-800-442-KIDS (5437).