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COVID-19 FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS CONCERNING COVID-19
 
Ø  I have an upcoming court date for which I received a notice stating that I must attend.  Do I need to attend in person? 
 
Ø  What is the best way for me to contact you? 
 
Ø  I am a custodial parent who has a case with the Department and is owed child support.  Will I get the noncustodial parent’s COVID-19 recovery stimulus check?
 
Ø  If the other parent’s COVID-19 recovery stimulus check is intercepted and applied toward the balance due on my child support case, will it be direct deposited to my account?
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Ø  I am a noncustodial parent who has a case with the Department and owes child support.  Will my COVID-19 recovery stimulus check be intercepted? 

Ø  How does the Child Tax Credit (CTC) change under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021?

Ø  Can my advance payments be reduced if I owe Child Support payments, back taxes, Federal or State debt, or money to creditors or debt collectors?

 
Ø  The other parent and I equally split custody of our child(ren) and every other year we take turns claiming our child(ren) on our taxes.  The other parent claimed our child(ren) in 2019; will they receive COVID-19 recovery stimulus check for them?
 
Ø  The noncustodial parent who owes me child support is unemployed/laid off due to COVID-19.  If they receive unemployment benefits, will child support still be sent to me?
 
Ø  I have had my hours reduced, am laid off, or am no longer employed.  Is there something that can be done to change the amount of child support that I owe, or am owed?
 
 
 
Question:   I have an upcoming court date for which I received a notice stating that I must attend.  Do I need to attend in person? 
 
Most hearings are occurring via electronic means at this time.  If your hearing will occur electronically, someone will contact you to let you know how you can attend the hearing from home.  If you do not receive this direction, you must attend in person.
 
Question:  What is the best way for me to contact you? 
 
To review case and payment information, or send a secure email to the Department, click here.  Using the online account feature, customers can:
             create an online account for reviewing payments and case information;
             easily access your child support case by entering your RIN and PIN;
             get assistance with your RIN and PIN;
             apply for child support services;
             securely email specific questions related to their case; and
             check on undelivered payments 
 
If you do not want to set-up a secure online account with the Department, you can send an unsecure email to HFS.ChildSupportHelp@illinois.gov or HFS.webmaster@illinois.gov.  To expedite handling of inquiries, include your name, RIN (if you know it), the last four digits of your Social Security Number, date of birth, and a telephone number where we may reach you, if necessary.
 
Question:  I am a custodial parent who has a case with the Department and is owed child support.  Will I get the noncustodial parent’s COVID-19 recovery stimulus check?
 
Payments from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental (CARES) act, that was signed into law on March 7, 2020, are subject for offset towards past-due child support.  If the noncustodial parent owes past-due support and the criteria for offset is met, we will intercept the COVID-19 recovery stimulus payment and apply it toward your case.  
 
Economic Impact Payments (EIP), from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, signed into law on December 27, 2020, will not be offset for any Federal or state debts and is protected garnishment for past-due child support.  These are the payments that began being sent in January of 2021. 
NOTE:  COVID-19 recovery stimulus payments will be held for 30 days for singly filed returns, or 180 days if a jointly filed return, before being mailed to allow for any IRS adjustments.
 
Question:  If the other parent’s COVID-19 recovery stimulus check is intercepted and applied toward the balance due on my child support case, will it be direct deposited to my account?
 
No. These payments are sent to the Department and will be issued as a paper check from the Illinois Office of the Comptroller
 
Question:  I am a noncustodial parent who has a case with the Department and owes child support.  Will my COVID-19 recovery stimulus check be intercepted?  
 
Payments from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental (CARES) act, that was signed into law on March 7, 2020, are subject for offset towards past-due child support.  If the noncustodial parent owes past-due support and the criteria for offset is met, we will intercept the COVID-19 recovery stimulus payment and apply it toward your case.  
 
Economic Impact Payments (EIP), from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, signed into law on December 27, 2020, will not be offset for any Federal or state debts and is protected garnishment for past-due child support.  These are the payments that began being sent in January of 2021.
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: Healthcare and Family Services, Division of Child Support Services, has been made aware that, in some cases, the second round of economic stimulus checks may be delayed if H&R Block or Turbo Tax software was used to file a 2019 individual tax return. 
If you used Turbo Tax or H&R Block to prepare your 2019 taxes, and chose the option to pay your tax preparation or filing fees out of your refund, the second round of stimulus payments may be sent by the Department of the Treasury to a temporary account that was used by H&R Block or Turbo Tax for these refunds. These temporary accounts usually accept the funds from the Treasury, the tax preparation and filing fees are deducted, and the balance of the refund is issued to the taxpayer’s bank account.
 
Some tax filers that used one of these two services have found, when checking their stimulus payment status using the “Get My Payment”  tool on the IRS website, that the funds are listed as “not available” and think that the state’s child support agency is offsetting the payments. This is not true. The money is going through to the temporary account used by H&R Block or Turbo Tax. Unfortunately, these temporary accounts are possibly closed and therefore it’s causing a delay in getting the stimulus payment to the taxpayer/NCP.
 
For more information, visit irs.gov.

Question:  How does the Child Tax Credit (CTC) change under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021? 

The ARPA of 2021 offers several important changes to the CTC that will help many families, including advance payments this summer.  The changes include:

•   Expanded eligibility to include children who turn age 17 in 2021;
•   An increase in tax credit for many taxpayers, up to $3600 per child for a young child (under 6 years old), and up to $3000 for an older child (6-17 years old);
•    Fully refundable for qualifying children, which means that taxpayers can benefit from the tax credit even if they don't have earned income or don't owe any taxes;
•   Advance payments to eligible taxpayers (up to 50 percent of their total tax credit) will be made regularly from July through December
   

 The IRS has indicated they will send notices about eligibility for the advance CTC payments in early June 2021. Eligibile taxpayers who do not want to receive advance payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit will have the opportunity to decline the advance payments.

Question:  Can my advance payments be reduced if I owe child support payments, back taxes, Federal or State debt, or money to creditors or debt collectors?

 ​No. Your advance payments won’t be offset to pay past-due child support, back taxes, and Federal or State debts. 

For more information on the ARPA of 2021 and the CTC, visit: irs.gov/credits-deductions/advance-child-tax-credit-payments-in-2021.

Question:  The other parent and I equally split custody of our child(ren) and every other year we take turns claiming our child(ren) on our taxes.  The other parent claimed our child(ren) in 2019; will they receive COVID-19 recovery stimulus check for them?
 
This will depend on your most recent filing status with the IRS. We cannot answer questions related to tax filing. You need to contact the IRS for any further clarification.
 
Question:  The noncustodial parent who owes me child support is unemployed/laid off due to COVID-19.  If they receive unemployment benefits, will child support still be sent to me?
 
Yes. Once the noncustodial parent files and is approved to receive unemployment, we will automatically receive information from the Department of Employment Security. Please be aware that the child support payments may not be the same amount as stated on your order depending on the amount of unemployment the NCP is receiving and the payment amount listed on your child support order.
 
Question:  I have had my hours reduced, am laid off, or am no longer employed. Is there something that can be done to change the amount of child support that I owe, or am owed?
 
For custodial and noncustodial parents whose income may have changed or are no longer employed, you may request a modification of your support order by calling our Customer Service Call Center at 1-800-447-4278, or, if you have set up your online account, by sending a secure email to the Department.  To access your online account and send us a secure email, click here. 
 
If you do not want to set-up a secure online account with the Department, you can send an unsecure email to HFS.ChildSupportHelp@illinois.gov or HFS.webmaster@illinois.gov.  To expedite handling of inquiries, include your name, RIN (if you know it), the last four digits of your Social Security Number, date of birth, and a telephone number where we may reach you, if necessary.
 
Please note, regardless of the method of contact you choose, we are currently receiving a larger than average number of requests for services, including modifications of support order terms.  All requests will be processed as soon as possible given the existing circumstances.  If you prefer not to wait for the Department to process your request and would like to address those issues on your own, you may wish to seek legal advice regarding the issues you want to pursue. Please provide the Department with a copy of the results of any actions that you have chosen to pursue on your own.
 

 
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Illinois Healthcare and Family Services

JB Pritzker, Governor • Theresa Eagleson, Director