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 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.

 

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 may not receive services in two states at the same time. You must close your benefits in the state you are leaving. If possible, obtain a letter stating your benefits have ended. After you move you can Apply for Services online, contact our customer service center at 1-877-501-2233 or visit any local community services office.

You assign your current support to the state while you are on TANF. Except for the child support pass-through, which will end April 30, 2011, the Department of Social and Health Services keeps the child support it collects while your family receives TANF. 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.


Important Notice To Custodial Parents Receiving Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF):

Between October 1, 2008, and April 30, 2011, federal and state law allowed the Division of Child Support (DCS) to send a portion of child support collections to a custodian of minor children while the custodian received a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant. This amount of child support paid to custodians who received TANF during this period was called a child support pass-through payment. Effective May 1, 2011, Washington State law suspends pass-through payments. DCS must stop sending pass-through child support payments to custodial parents receiving TANF for any collections received by DCS on or after May 1, 2011.

If you have questions, or you would like additional information about the suspension of child support pass-through payments, please refer to the following Frequently Asked Questions, or call the KIDS general information line at 1-800-442-KIDS (800-442-5437).

DCS has developed a brochure to help you modify a child support order on your own. The brochure provides you with information on resources.

If you need help finding income information for the other party, you may use the Request for Income Information form to ask DCS if we have income information for the other party.

The Division of Child Support will continue to send you pass-through payments for collections it receives before May 1, 2011. The last day a collection can be received for DCS to send you a pass-through payment is April 30, 2011.


Important Notice To Custodial Parents Receiving Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF):

Between October 1, 2008, and April 30, 2011, federal and state law allowed the Division of Child Support (DCS) to send a portion of child support collections to a custodian of minor children while the custodian received a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant. This amount of child support paid to custodians who received TANF during this period was called a child support pass-through payment. Effective May 1, 2011, Washington State law suspends pass-through payments. DCS must stop sending pass-through child support payments to custodial parents receiving TANF for any collections received by DCS on or after May 1, 2011.

If you have questions, or you would like additional information about the suspension of child support pass-through payments, please refer to the following Frequently Asked Questions, or call the KIDS general information line at 1-800-442-KIDS (800-442-5437).

Due to budgetary concerns, the Washington State Legislature passed SSB 6893 in the special session held at the end of 2010. This law suspends pass-through payments for collections received on or after May 1, 2011.


Important Notice To Custodial Parents Receiving Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF):

Between October 1, 2008, and April 30, 2011, federal and state law allowed the Division of Child Support (DCS) to send a portion of child support collections to a custodian of minor children while the custodian received a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant. This amount of child support paid to custodians who received TANF during this period was called a child support pass-through payment. Effective May 1, 2011, Washington State law suspends pass-through payments. DCS must stop sending pass-through child support payments to custodial parents receiving TANF for any collections received by DCS on or after May 1, 2011.

If you have questions, or you would like additional information about the suspension of child support pass-through payments, please refer to the following Frequently Asked Questions, or call the KIDS general information line at 1-800-442-KIDS (800-442-5437).