Sign In

HFS logo

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Title IV-D?

  1. Title IV-D is a federally required program providing parentage and support establishment and support enforcement services.

  2. Established as Title IV-D of the Social Security Act on January 4, 1975.

  3. Statutory cite: United States Code, Title 42, Chapter 7, Subchapter IV, Part D, Child Support and Establishment of Paternity.

  4. Regulatory cite: Code of Federal Regulations, Title 45, Subtitle B, Chapter III.

  5. Federal Web site

  6. Federal Agency Authority: Action Transmittals, Policy Interpretations, Dear Colleague Letters

  7. In Illinois, the Title IV-D program is administered by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Division of Child Support Services (DCSS).

What does the Title IV-D program do?

  1. Locate parents;

  2. Establish paternity;

  3. Establish support orders, and modify administrative support orders;

  4. Enforce support orders; and

  5. Collect and distribute support.

*Services can be provided in languages other than English, as needed.

What does IV-D or Non IV-D mean?

  1. IV-D families include:

    1. Families who receive benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) (cash assistance or welfare) are automatically enrolled for full IV-D services, as are some foster care cases and some medical assistance cases.

    2. Families that formerly received assistance may continue services after the assistance has ended.

    3. Families that never received assistance may voluntarily enroll for full IV-D services.

    4. Some families are IV-D after assistance has ended due to an assigned support balance owed to the state.

  2. Non-IV-D families include: all cases that have never been automatically or voluntarily enrolled or that have cancelled services, even if support payments are being processed by the State Disbursement Unit (SDU).

Back to top

What is “assignment of support”?

  1. Families assign rights to support during assistance periods.

  2. This assignment may continue after the assistance period has ended, with several conditions.

  3. Assignment and distribution are defined by federal regulations.

  4. For detailed distribution information, see Title 89 Illinois Administrative Code Chapter I, Subchapter f, Part 160, Subpart F Distribution of Support Collections.

What is the State Disbursement Unit (SDU)?

  1. The SDU is a federally required payment processing warehouse for child support payments.

  2. The SDU is administered through a vendor by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

  3. The SDU does not track balances or record terms or conditions of support orders.

  4. The SDU does not issue income withholding order/notices.

  5. The only function provided by the SDU on Non-IV-D cases is payment processing.

  6. The SDU provides payment records for Non-IV-D cases beginning in 1999. Prior to 1999, payment records should be obtained from the Clerk of Court.

  7. For IV-D cases, you may also obtain records from HFS.


*Maintenance only payments are not to be sent to the SDU*
The purpose of the State Disbursement Unit is to process and record child support payments.
Maintenance payments in conjunction with child support orders can be processed through the SDU.
When the SDU becomes aware of a maintenance payment or anything other than a child support payment (i.e. attorney’s fees) the SDU is required to return the payment to the sender.

What about custody and visitation issues?

  1. The child support program is not authorized to act in custody/visitation, college expenses, child care, or uninsured medical; nor are state programs authorized to assist parents in obtaining a divorce.

  2. We are also not authorized to conduct account reviews or perform enforcement for Non-IV-D cases.

What administrative processes does HFS use?

  1. HFS has been authorized with certain limited jurisdictional powers, specifically:

  2. HFS’ child support program may establish paternity and/or support through administrative process. These administrative orders can be judicially enforced. The most common administrative process is establishment of paternity, through a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, completed by parents.

  3. Authority to utilize administrative enforcement remedies to collect on judicial orders.

Obtaining Copies of Administrative Orders

  1. Only certified copies of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity may be released by HFS by parents or their attorneys. 

  2. Administrative Orders of Paternity and Support can also be obtained from HFS.

  3. Attorneys must send, on letterhead, a letter of representation along with the HFS 3416H, Request for a Certified Copy of the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity Form (pdf) The client’s signature is required along with notarization.

Back to top

Administrative Establishment

  1. For more information about administrative establishment, see Title 89 Illinois Administrative Code, Chapter I, Subchapter f, Part 160, Subpart C.

Who has jurisdiction over Administrative Orders?

  1. The court has jurisdiction over administrative support orders only under the provisions of the Illinois Administrative Review Law, 735 ILCS 5/3-101 et seq., and when the department petitions the court for enforcement of an administrative support order under 305 ILCS 5/10-15 or 5/10-16. Such enforcement actions do not confer jurisdiction on the court to modify the administrative order. (See 305 ILCS 5/10-11 and 5/10-14.)

What if Judicial and Administrative Orders Both Exist?

  1. If it is found that a court order predates an administrative order, the administrative order is generally vacated. HFS does not intentionally issue an administrative order if a court order exists. This occurs only when HFS is unaware of the court order.

  2. As a matter of comity, HFS terminates administrative orders of support, when a court enters a support order, in a dissolution of marriage proceeding.

  3. The entry of a judicial support order, after an administrative support order, does not negate or invalidate pastdue support accrued under the administrative order.

  4. Administrative determinations of paternity have the full force and effect as judicial adjudication of paternity.

Requesting Modification of Terms on an Administrative Order

  1. Please contact us regarding review and modification requests or visit any of our offices.

  2. A request for modification may be made every three years, or at any time based upon a change in circumstances.

  3. When a request has been received, all parties are sent the following documents:

  4. Notice of Child Support Modification Review (HFS 3238) - notifies the parties (or the other state's IV-D agency, if applicable) that a review to modify the order will be conducted.

  5. Certificate of Income and Expense (HFS 2782) - sent to both parties.

Automatic Review of Terms of an Administrative or Judicial Order

  1. Modifications are also completed every three years for assistance cases, or sooner if health insurance had not been previously addressed.

Review of Terms of an Administrative or Judicial Order

  1. A modification review is an evaluation of the non-custodial parent’s current financial status to determine whether the ordered child support should be increased, decreased, or remain the same (using the statutory Illinois guidelines); and/or determine if the order addresses healthcare coverage for all children covered by the order.

  2. To qualify for a modification, the modified order terms must be at least 20% above or below the amount of the existing order terms, or an amount equal to at least $10 per month.

Administrative Enforcement of debt owed on Administrative or Judicial Orders

  1. Child support debtors are notified of the debt, and of HFS’ intent to enforce, through Form HFS 2766.

  2. Any balance can be contested at any time simply by contacting HFS.

  3. The most common cause for a disputed balance is the existence of a new or modified order that was not provided to HFS.

  4. HFS will take certain enforcement actions to collect pastdue support, even if the payor is now making regular payments.

  5. See Title 89 Illinois Administrative Code, Chapter I, Subchapter f, Part 160 Subpart D for detailed information.

HFS 2766 Notice of Intent

  1. Before any special enforcement action is taken, the delinquent non-custodial parent receives an HFS 2766, Notice of Intent to Pursue Collection Remedies, which details the balance of his/her account(s) and the opportunity to contest the balance. Detailed instructions are provided in the notice.

HFS 3692 Consent to Release Confidential Information

  1. HFS 3692 (pdf)

Federal Tax Refund

  1. Tax refunds may be intercepted and applied to past-due child support, or past-due spousal support. 

  2. Legal authority: Sections 454 and 464 of the Social Security Act; Section 6402(c) of the Internal Revenue Code and federal regulations at 45 CFR302.50 and 303.72 and 26 CFR 301.6402-5; and 89 Illinois Administrative Code 160.70(c).

State Tax Refunds and Administrative Offset

  1. State of Illinois tax refunds, and other administrative payments, made by the State of Illinois may also be intercepted for payment of support. Intercepts are applied first to current support, then to arrears.

  2. Periodic payments (ie., salary, sick leave, disability) are not subject to offset, but are subject to income withholding.

  3. Legal authority: Section 10.05a of the Comptroller Act; Section 466(a)(3) of the Social Security Act; 45 CFR 303.102; 89 Illinois Administrative Code 160.70(c) and 35 ILCS 5/Article 11 and 35 ILCS 5/911.3.

Back to top

Driver’s License Suspension

  1. HFS may notify the Illinois Secretary of State to suspend the Illinois driver’s license of a delinquent parent.

  2. Delinquent parents can avoid suspension, and/or be reinstated, through making satisfactory payment arrangements with HFS.

  3. Non-Custodial Parents (NCPs) who are unable to pay, due to circumstances beyond their control, should contact HFS and provide any available documentation.

  4. NCPs, who are working, can avoid suspension by notifying HFS of their employment, and submitting to income withholding. They may also need to make a payment toward the arrears.

  5. Legal Authority: 305 ILCS 5/10, 625 ILCS 5/6 and Illinois Administrative Code 160.70

Professional, Recreational, Occupational Licenses

  1. HFS may pursue revocation, non-renewal, or denial upon application of professional, occupational and recreational licenses for non-payment of support.

  2. Legal Authority: 5 ILCS 100/10-65, 305 ILCS 5/10-17.6, 20 ILCS 2105-15, and Illinois Administrative Code 160.77

Back to top

Consumer Reporting

  1. Illinois law requires that child support debts be listed on the debtor’s credit report.

  2. Legal Authority: Section 466 of the Social Security Act and 89 Illinois Administrative Code 160.70(i).

Passport Denial

  1. The names of child support debtors are submitted to the U.S. Secretary of State for passport denial.

  2. Debtors whose passport has been denied, due to child support debt, are expected to pay the debt in full in order for the passport to be released.

  3. Legal Authority: 22 CFR51.70, 89 Illinois Administrative Code 160.70(l).

Real and Personal Property Liens and Lawsuits / Claims

  1. HFS places liens on real and personal property, including bank accounts, and lawsuit claims, including worker’s compensation claims, for child support debt.

  2. Legal Authority: 305 ILCS 5/10-24/5, 305 ILCS 5/10-25, and 45 CFR 303.103.

What to do if your client disputes the administrative enforcement action

  1. Ask to see the specific notice. There will be an address and/or telephone number on the notice, along with instructions.

  2. If you believe the balance recorded by HFS is incorrect, please provide a detailed explanation.

Back to top

Contesting the balance

  1. Is there a new court order? HFS is not always copied on modified Court Orders. Please provide a copy of the Court Order.

  2. Did the NCP make direct payments? HFS will need to consult with the Custodial Parent (CP) before considering credit for direct payments, unless the order called for direct payments.

  3. Other reasons? Please be as specific as possible and provide any available documentation.

  4. You may request an administrative appeal hearing, but you can get an account review, and decisions by DCSS simply by asking for a review and providing the necessary documentation. This may be faster. If you disagree with the account review, you can still file for an appeal hearing.

Administrative Appeals

  1. If the NCP or CP disagrees with the results of their order, they may appeal the decision.

  2. Sections 10-12, 10-13 and 10-14 of the Public Aid Code and Sections 160.60 and 160.61 of the Administrative Code, govern the Appeal Rights for Custodial and Non-Custodial Parents.

  3. Specifically, Sections 10-12 and 10-12.1 of the Public Aid Code give parties aggrieved by an administrative order, or administrative determination of paternity, 30 days from the date of mailing of such order or determination (date the individual was served with the order) to petition the department for release from, or modification of, the order or determination. Section 10-13 indicates that they have a right to a hearing. Section 10-14 allows a party affected by a final administrative decision to file for Administrative Review. Section 10-14.1 allows a party aggrieved by an administrative order, who did not petition within the 30 day appeal period, to petition for relief within two years under the same grounds as relief from judgments under Section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil procedure. Sections 160.60(d) and 160.61(c),(d)&(e) of the Administrative Code, indicate the parties periods for appeal.

Debt Forgiveness: Project Clean Slate

  1. Assistance in establishing paternity for non-married parents.

  2. Working with incarcerated non-custodial parents to adjust child support obligations during the time of incarceration.

  3. Assistance to unemployed and under unemployed non-custodial parents.

  4. Assisting non-custodial parents with support modifications.

Other services for non-custodial parents

  1. Assistance in establishing paternity for non-married parents.

  2. Working with incarcerated non-custodial parents to adjust child support obligations during the time of incarceration.

  3. Assistance to unemployed and under unemployed non-custodial parents.

  4. Assisting non-custodial parents with support modifications.

What is the Remittance Identifier on the Income Withholding Notice?

  1. Healthcare and Family Services uses the county code (FIPS) and docket number as the remittance identifier on the Income Withholding Notice. These 2 numbers are pre-printed on the IWNs we send to an employer from data from our Key Information Delivery System (KIDS) computer database

Back to top


 Need Assistance?

Illinois Healthcare and Family Services

JB Pritzker, Governor • Theresa Eagleson, Director