Common Terms and Acronyms
DCSS: Division of Child Support Services
Parent, the adult that has legal custody of the child(ren)
Parent, the parent obligated to pay child support
Disbursement Unit- the organization that processes child support payments
legal relationship between a father and child
person who owes support (NCP/Non-Custodial Parent)
person who receives child support (CP/Custodial Parent)
Assistance for Needy Families
which may be paid to CPs who are receiving TANF
Acknowledgement of Paternity—a form, that when signed by both the mother and
the alleged biological father, establishes paternity. The biological father’s
name is allowed on the child’s birth certificate
Administrative Appeal: a written request made by the custodial or
non-custodial parent for an administrative hearing on an action taken by DCSS.
These appeals are heard separate from HFS by the Bureau of Administrative
“The following Frequently Asked
Questions involve questions submitted to DCSS in cases receiving IV-D services
and are not intended to be meant as legal advice.”
What does child support services do?
Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) can establish
paternity for your child, locate the non-custodial parent, obtain/modify a
child support order, send an income withholding notice to the non-custodial
parent’s employer for payroll deduction, deduct support from unemployment
insurance benefits, send a medical support notice to enroll dependent(s) in
health insurance coverage.
DCSS also can use the following methods
to collect past due child support: Intercept federal and/or state tax refunds,
deny a passport requested by the delinquent non-custodial parent,
suspend/revoke the delinquent non-custodial parent’s professional and/or
recreational license, suspend the delinquent non-custodial parent’s driver’s
license, report the delinquent non-custodial parent to credit bureaus, place a
lien on the delinquent non-custodial parent’s finances/real estate/personal
How do I enroll?
You can enroll online, or by completing the PDF version of the application.
You also can visit your local regional office
or call the child support call center.
Are child support services through
DCSS automatic when I get child support awarded to me in court?
No. Our services are not automatically provided unless
you are receiving TANF services from the Department of Human Services. If you
would like to apply, please see the question above “How do I enroll?”
Do I have to have child support services
if I am receiving TANF or All Kids?
you are receiving TANF, you must cooperate with child support to receive full TANF
benefits. If your children are receiving medical services through All Kids, you
will be sent a questionnaire offering child support services automatically, but
you do not have to use the service.
What is Paternity?
Paternity is a legal relationship between a father and
his child. Paternity must be legally established before any financial child
support order can be obtained.
How do I establish paternity? What if I am not the father?
If a legal order for paternity has been established,
you will need to seek legal advice.
How do you get child support payments
from my employer?
An income withholding order is sent to the employer,
telling them the appropriate amount to withhold from each paycheck, no matter
how often you are paid. The State Disbursement Unit processes the payment.
Can I make payments to the CP instead
of through my paycheck?
through income withholding is the law.
How do I get a copy of my payment
You can print this, by year,
from your online account case information through our website, however this
verification is not a legal document that can be used in court proceedings as
the balances are not certified. You also may call the DCSS Call Center to
request a copy of your payment history.
What if the NCP is working for cash?
If this is the case, DCSS will not be able to obtain
child support payments through income withholding. The NCP will need to pay the
support via one of our payment methods indicated on our website.
Who do I
contact if I have questions about income withholding
, or medical
insurance that has been ordered?
Our income withholding division can address these questions. Please
call them at 1- 888-245-1938.
The NCP isn’t working
Despite the employment status, child support still
must be paid. Billing statements with payment information are sent to the NCP
The NCP moved out of state
DCSS can collect child support even if the NCP
resides in another state. DCSS works cooperatively with other states to enforce
child support orders. If you have a new
address or employment information for the NCP, please supply this information through
your online account on the website, by contacting the call center at
1-800-447-4278, or by calling 1-888-245-1938.
How do I make child support payments?
If you are working, report your employment
information to DCSS. The child support will be withheld directly from your
paycheck, or check our website for more payment options.
I paid the CP directly. How do I get
You will need to provide
documentation of payments (money orders, copies of both sides of checks, or
printouts of Venmo or other online payment methods) to your local regional office
The custodial parent canceled her
child support case. Why is child support still being withheld from my paycheck?
If your child support order was issued in court, the
income withholding will need to be addressed with the court. DCSS services may
have been canceled, but the order to pay child support continues.
I pay my child support, but the CP
won’t let me see the child(ren), can you help?
DCSS does not assist parents with any visitation
related inquires. Any assistance needed on this matter would have to be
discussed with an attorney of your choosing.
I’m receiving Social Security. Do I
still have to pay child support?
you are receiving SSA or SSD, yes. We will garnish your payments from Social
Security to pay your child support obligation. However, your child may be
eligible for a Social Security Dependent Allotment (SSDA), which is paid
directly to the CP. In this case, the amount of this allotment is applied to
your support obligation. If the SSDA is greater than the child support amount
ordered, you no longer will have support withheld from your Social Security
If you are receiving SSI, you do not
have to pay child support. However, if you obtain part-time employment, this
still can be garnished.
Do I need to attend a child support
You will receive a letter
that will state whether it is mandatory for you to attend your court
The child was adopted. Why do I still
have to pay child support?
Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, your current child support obligation ends the
effective date of the adoption. However, if there was a balance due on the case
at the time of the adoption, you must continue to pay until the balance is
satisfied. DCSS will require a copy of the order of adoption.
The NCP is not making payments
DCSS continues to track balances and will add a
delinquent amount to any future income withholding until the past due support
is caught up. DCSS also will use special collections options to obtain child
support. These options include: federal
and state tax offsets, comptroller offsets, bank liens, property liens,
lawsuit/settlement liens, driver’s license suspension, hunting/fishing license
suspension, professional license suspension, passport denial/revocation, offset
of lottery and/or casino winnings, reporting to credit monitoring agencies, and
submittal to the delinquent parent website.
Can the NCP be jailed for not paying
DCSS does not jail for
non-payment of child support. A judge
has the authority to grant a request for jail time.
What is the Notice of Intent to
Pursue Collection Remedies (HFS 2766)?
This is a letter sent to NCP’s that are behind in their child support payments.
The letter details the remedies that may be put into place to collect on the
past due child support.
What are the criteria for special
collections to start?
share this information for the collection remedies to remain effective. If the
criteria were made public, the NCP might stay under the benchmark and make it
harder to collect past due child support.
How can I get the balance on my case?
If you have an active child support case in which
DCSS is assisting, you can obtain your balance by logging into your case on our
you can call the child support call center, or visit your local regional office
How do I request an account review?
Send a written request to the Data Gathering Unit (DGU).
Be sure to include the information below, as well as payment ledgers and any
other documentation to support your claim.
Gathering Unit (DGU)
Include the following in your letter and
on each supporting document:
Your Social Security Number
The other parent’s name
The child support case
number (this usually begins with the letter C)
including the docket number
How long will my account review take?
Each case is unique, so no timetable can be provided.
Account review requests are worked in the order in which they are received.
Please allow at least 90 days before calling the child support call center for
I disagree with the results of the account
review done on my case
To appeal a decision of the Department, you must
submit a written request for a hearing to DCSS within the specified time frame
as stated in the notice. When appealing the amount of child support owed, you
must include copies of documents to support your request. Mail your appeal
Appeals/Offset Unit - Attn:
Administrative Hearing Request
Division of Child Support
Illinois Department of
Healthcare and Family Services
P. O. Box 19152
Springfield, IL 62794-9152
What does “Owed to the state” mean?
This means that the State, or an
Agency of the State, is entitled to receive these payments pursuant to the law.
What is a child support order?
A child support order is a legal document stating how
much, how often, and for how long a parent must pay child support. It also
establishes paternity and may establish which parent must provide medical
How do I get a copy of my order?
What if I don’t have an order for
DCSS can help you get
an order established. You also may obtain one on your own through court.
Do you have my child support order?
You can check through your online services account to see if your order is on file for enforcement by
DCSS or you can call the child support call center at 1-800-447-4278.
How do I send you a copy of my child
You can hand-deliver
or fax a copy of the order to your local regional office
The support order on your website
does not match what I have
need to send DCSS your order. You can do
this by faxing, mailing, or delivering that order to your regional office
judicial order is issued by the court. An administrative order is issued by
Can I change my order from
administrative to judicial?
can request that your order be reviewed and issued by a judge in court.
I received a new court order, did the
court send it to child support?
orders are not generally sent to DCSS by the court. To ensure we have a copy of
the new order, you should fax or hand-deliver a copy to your regional office.
I’m not working. Does my child support stop?
No, not until your order is modified by the court.
You may request this yourself at the circuit clerk of the county where your
order was issued, or by calling us. Payments should continue to be made while
My income decreased. Will you automatically lower my
This does not happen
automatically. You must request a modification, either through the circuit clerk
or through us.
How do I request a modification?
By calling the child support call center, visiting
your local regional office, or seeking a modification independently through the
The non-custodial parent is making more money. How do
I get more child support?
request a modification, either through the Circuit Clerk or through us.
Note: offsets will apply to
balances owed the state first before being sent to the CP
When am I going to receive the NCP’s