Frequently Asked Questions

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

  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 DCS Online 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.


When a noncustodial parent has more than one case with DCS, the law tells DCS how to split up a support payment between cases. It's based on a percent-of-total basis.

Current support is paid first. If a payment does not equal the total amount owed for all the noncustodial parent's cases, DCS divides the payment proportionately. Once current support for the month is paid, DCS applies amounts over current support to back support owed.

IRS tax refund intercept payments are an exception to this rule. DCS must apply these payments first to arrears owed to the state, then arrears owed to the family. DCS may not apply IRS tax intercept payments to current support. This process will change effective with IRS payments received by DCS on or after October 1, 2008.

Back support payments are also proportioned based on a percent of total. If you received public assistance in another state that has asked DCS to collect back support, that case will receive a percent of the back support payment. When DCS is providing payment processing services only (PSO) on one of the cases, the non-custodial parent must send payments and indicate that a payment is for the PSO case only. Otherwise, DCS will apply payments proportionately to the non-PSO cases.

When DCS initiates collection action an employer or business has twenty days to answer the Notice of Payroll Deduction or Order to Withhold and Deliver. The employer or business has seven days to send the withheld support to DCS. The law requires DCS to send you support within two working days after receipt.

For your convenience, DCS can send your payments as direct deposits to your bank account. Click here to download copy of the Direct Deposit 22-078 brochure that includes the authorization form. For more information regarding direct deposit contact our EFT Customer Service Unit at 1-800-468-7422.

When an employer refuses to cooperate with a withholding action, DCS may have to begin noncompliance action against the employer. We start the formal action by sending a Notice of Noncompliance to the employer. This additional legal process can take an additional month or more. For more information refer to the Employer and Income Withholding Information page on the DCS web site.

You assign your current support to the state while you are on TANF. The Department of Social and Health Services keeps the assigned child support it collects while your family receives TANF, except for pass-through payments. If DCS collects current support in an amount that exceeds the amount of your TANF grant for two months in a row, WAC 388-422-0030 provides that your cash benefit stops at the end of the third month. The state can only keep support collections up to the total amount of TANF funds your family receives, as provided in WAC 388-14A-2035. For more information about pass-through payments, click here.