Frequently Asked Questions


Question: How and where do I make child support payments?

How to Make a Payment

Unless otherwise directed, you should submit payments to:

Illinois State Disbursement Unit (SDU)

P.O. Box 5400

Carol Stream, IL 60197-5400

When directing payments to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit, you must provide the following information for each payment for each separate order:

  1. The Illinois court where the order was entered

  2. The case/docket number

  3. The obligor’s name

  4. The obligor’s Social Security Number

  5. The payment amount for each case/docket number if there is more than one order

All checks should be made payable to the Illinois State Disbursement Unit.

If you are making a payment because you have a received a notice that we are pursuing additional enforcement such as suspending your Driver’s License, Passport, or due to a Lien, etc., please submit your payment to:

Illinois State Disbursement Unit (SDU)

Attn:  (insert Enforcement Remedy such as Driver’s License, Passport, Lien etc)

P.O. Box 4614

Carol Stream, IL 60197-4614

Question: How can I Pay Electronically?

  1. Credit Card payment on the e-childsPay.com - The Child Support Payment Center Web site 

An easy and secure way for child support obligors to make their required child support payments online using a credit card. Obligors will have to register to use this service. Visa, MasterCard and Discover are accepted. A processing fee will be charged. The fee schedule is: Payments of $0 ‐ $500.00 – a Flat Rate fee of $14.95. Payments of $500.01 or more – a Percentage Rate of 2.95%. It can take up to 7 business days before your payment is posted to your child support account. 

  1. Automatic Deduction on the ExpertPay - Online Child Support Payment Center Web site

An easy and secure way to allow you to make your child support payments through automatic deduction from your savings or checking account (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc). You will have to register to use this service and pay a one-time registration fee of $2.50. There is a validation period to verify the checking or savings account. Payments may take up to five business days to be posted to your child support account.

  1.  Pay by Phone, calling 1-866-645-6348  

There is a registration process for first time users. Once registered, obligors can make payments on-line using Visa, MasterCard or Discover. A processing fee will be charged. The fee schedule is: Payments of $0 ‐ $500.00 – a Flat Rate fee of $14.95. Payments of $500.01 or more – a Percentage Rate of 2.95%.It can take up to 7 business days before your payment is posted to your child support account.

  

The support order shown on your Web site does not match what I have and I disagree with the balance you indicate I owe. What do I need to do to have this corrected?

If you disagree with the balance we show you owe, or are owed, you must request an account review. Your request must be in writing and should include all support orders, payment ledgers and any other documentation to support your claim. Also, include the reason for the request.

If you have a judicial order, you should contact the Circuit Clerk where the order was entered and obtain copies of payment ledgers and support orders.

If you have an administrative support order that was entered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), we will already have all complete SDU payment records and administrative support orders.

The Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) has access to all SDU payment records so you will not need to obtain records from their office.

Please include with your claim, your name, Social Security number and your case number(s) on each document that you submit. Also send a copy of the court order that you believe our department may not have on file, particularly if the order was obtained exclusively with private attorneys because the department would not necessarily know about those support orders. Also include in your letter that you are requesting an account review, and include the reason why you are requesting one, i.e., I have a court order that does not match your website and/or the withholding amount does not match my most recent support order.

Send your request to:

Data Gathering Unit (DGU)

P.O. Box 19152

Springfield, IL 62794-9152

Also include in your letter and on each of the supporting documents:

  1. Your name;

  2. Support order, including the docket number;

  3. Child support case number (which begins with the letter C)

  4. Your Social Security number; and

  5. The other parent’s name.

If you are requesting a review on more than one case, make sure the information for each case is written correctly on the supporting documents.

Question: I received a notice from the state saying they are taking my tax refund or other money. What is it for and what can I do about it?

Answer: If you received the Notice of Intent to Pursue Collection Remedies and:

  • Agree that your child support case or cases are delinquent in the amounts indicated in Section 5 of the notice, you must submit payment by the date indicated in Section 1 to prevent the department from taking any enforcement action listed on the notice.

    Please complete and mail the payment authorization form on the last page of the notice when remitting your payment. Your payment should be sent to the address listed on the payment authorization form. Payments can be made with your Discover, Visa or MasterCard credit card by calling 1-866-645-6348 or online Credit Card payment on the e-childsPay.com - The Child Support Payment Center Web site.

  • Do not agree with the finding in the notice, you must request a redetermination of your case or cases within 15 days from the date on the notice to prevent the department from taking any enforcement action listed on the notice. Follow the instructions in Section 4 of the notice and submit the notice and any documentation that supports your position in an envelope marked "confidential tax protest," to the address at the top of the notice.

    Please read your notice carefully, as only certain documents will be accepted as payment instruments or records. For judicial orders, send circuit court records. If all of your payments are not included on the circuit court records but were mailed to the State Disbursement Unit or HFS, we have a record of these payments. If payments were made through the State Disbursement Unit please mark the appropriate box on your notice of intent to pursue collection remedies. If partial payments were made through the State Disbursement Unit, please be sure that you have also included circuit court ledgers with your protest. If payments were made on an administrative order we will have records of those payments.

Question: I don’t agree with the results of a review done on my case. How do I file an appeal?

Answer: To appeal a decision of the department, you must submit a written request for a hearing to the department 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.

The types of documents to submit may include, but are not limited to:

  1. New or amended court order, and/or

  2. Circuit clerk payment ledgers that may not have been previously provided.

Indicate in your letter that you wish to appeal the department's findings and include the reason you are appealing. Include in your letter and write the following on each of the supporting documents:

  1. Your name;

  2. The order docket number;

  3. Child support case number, which begins with the letter "C;"

  4. Your Social Security number; and

  5. The custodial parent's name.

If you are appealing more than one case, make sure the information for each case is written correctly on the supporting documents. Do not delay mailing your appeal if you do not have all of the documents to support your request, because you must file your appeal within the specified timeframe from the date on the notice. If you do not provide any documentation prior to your hearing, the department will present your case to the hearing officer with the information that we currently have in our records. Without the documentation to support your appeal, your hearing could be delayed.

Mail your appeal request to:

Appeals/Offset Unit - Attn: Administrative Hearing Request

Division of Child Support Services

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services

P. O. Box 19152

Springfield, IL 62794-9152

Question: What happens at a hearing for child support?

Answer: During the process of establishing paternity and/or child support for your child, you may be required to attend a hearing and testify to a variety of questions. A hearing will be conducted by the department or a judge in court.

The type of questions you will be asked depends on the type of hearing being held. For example: If legal paternity has not been established, you will be asked questions, which may include very specific and personal information regarding the circumstances that led to conception. If the hearing also involves or pertains to some issue of financial support for the child, you will be asked a number of questions which will help determine the amount of child support to be paid. You may be asked questions pertaining to your marital status, the number of children involved in this case, employment, income, living expenses and insurance coverage.

The department's representative will attempt to answer any questions you have about the hearing at the time of your interviews. However, it should be noted that the department's representative cannot provide any type of legal advice.

Question: How do you get money for child support from an employer?

Answer: The department uses the income withholding process in all child support cases when an employer is located for the non-custodial parent. The income withholding process allows the department to collect child support on a routine basis from the non-custodial parent’s wages.

Beginning January 1, 2005, Illinois law allows the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to continue to collect the same dollar amount that the non-custodial parent was previously paying prior to emancipation of the child for current support and any arrearage/delinquency to satisfy any past-due amount that has not been paid. This new process automatically begins when the employer receives an updated Income Withholding Notice and there is a dollar amount on the "other support" line. The employer will continue to withhold until all past-due support is paid in full.

To help identify the non-custodial parent’s employer, the department uses the federal New Hire Reporting program. Once employment is verified, an Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support is served on the non-custodial parent’s employer, who must deduct the child support payments from the non-custodial parent’s wages and send them to the State Disbursement Unit.

If you have employment information regarding a non-custodial parent, you may:

  1. Fax the information to 217-557-5538

  2. Or visit Online Services

    (Please include the non-custodial parent’s name, Social Security number and/or any other identifying information.)

Question: I received a notice from the Department of the Treasury stating that my federal payment was reduced. What does that mean and what can I do about it?

Answer: If you have specific questions based upon the content of the notice you received from the Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service, please call the 800 number listed on the bottom of the notice. If you are disputing that you owe this amount and believe that the offset was not valid, you need to provide documentation to this office so that we may review your claim. Send your documentation, such as court orders and/or payment ledgers along with a copy of the notice to: Child Support Program, Attention Treasury Notice, P.O. Box 19152, Springfield, Illinois 62794-9152. If you recently provided us with documentation supporting your claim, you do not have to provide it again. If you already have an appeal scheduled with the department's Bureau of Administrative Hearings, you should take the notice to your hearing.

Question: What do I need to do when my name and/or address has changed?

Answer: If you are receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or a medical card, it is necessary that you notify your caseworker at the Department of Human Services of your address change. It is also critical that you change your address with the Post Office serving your ZIP code, so the Post Office can forward your mail to your new address. To prevent fraud and protect your identity, you must mail or fax the following information:

  1. A copy of your driver's license or state I.D.;

  2. Your name and Social Security number;

  3. Your old street address, Post Office box number or box number, city, state and ZIP code;

  4. Your new street address, building and apartment number, Post Office box number, city, state and ZIP code;

  5. Your daytime and home phone numbers with area codes;

  6. The "in-care-of name", if someone is accepting mail for you;

  7. Your signature and the date you began receiving mail at the new address.

If you wish to change your name, you must mail or fax a written request that includes your previous name and your new name along with legal documentation of your name change.

Fax the above information to the attention of the Information Processing Unit, at 217-524-1218 or mail the information to:

Information Processing Unit

P. O. Box 19405

Springfield, Illinois 62794-9405

Question: How do I get my child support order changed?

Answer: A review to change or modify your support order is conducted to determine if the financial or medical support needs to be adjusted. A modification review can be requested if there has been a significant change in the circumstances of your case. For example, if there has been a significant change such as the income of the non-custodial parent, or the availability of health insurance, a modification review can be requested. For families receiving public assistance, a modification review is performed every three years. To request a modification review:

  1. Mail your request to the:

    DCSS Modification Review Team

    PO Box 64900

    Chicago, IL 60664

  2. Or fax the information to:

    312-803-0873

  3. Or visit Online Services

Question: What are the legal outcomes, rights and responsibilities associated with signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity?

There are legal outcomes, rights and responsibilities associated with signing and filing the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (here after called the “Acknowledgment”). Individuals signing and filing the form are strongly encouraged to thoroughly read all instructions and information prior to signing and filing, including the parents’ rights and responsibilities printed on the Acknowledgment.

If the biological mother is or was married to or in a civil union with a person who is not the biological father when the child was conceived and/or born, a Denial of Parentage (hereafter called Denial) must be signed, witnessed and filed in conjunction with the completion of the VAP by the biological mother and biological father.

  1. Number 1: The Acknowledgment is a legal document, and when signed, witnessed and filed with HFS, is the same as a court order determining the legal relationship between a biological father and child.

  2. Number 2: Minor biological parents have the right to sign and have the Acknowledgment witnessed without a guardian’s permission.

  3. Number 3: Signing the Acknowledgment includes the responsibility to provide financial support for the child that may include child support and medical support starting from the child’s birth until the child is at least 18 years old.

  4. Number 4: Signing the Acknowledgment does not give parental responsibility allocation or parenting time to the biological father.

  5. Number 5: Either the biological father or biological mother, after signing the Acknowledgment, may withdraw his or her action by signing a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity or Rescission of Denial of Parentage. The rescission must be signed, witnessed and filed with Healthcare and Family Services within 60 days from the effective date of the Acknowledgment or the date of a proceeding relating to the child, whichever occurs earlier.

  6. Number 6: Signing the Acknowledgment waives the right to genetic testing.

  7. Number 7: For more information, please contact the Child Support Customer Service Call Center at 1-800-447-4278.

Where can I find more information on the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Process?

Only the parents of a child, or an attorney on behalf of a parent of a child, may request a certified copy of the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and/or the Denial of Parentage. 

Parents must complete the HFS 3416H, Request for a Certified Copy of the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and/or Denial of Parentage. The parent’s signature must be an original and must be notarized. 
Attorneys making a request on behalf of a parent must do so on their letterhead.  The parent’s signature authorizing release of information to the attorney must be affixed to the attorney’s letter or the completed HFS 3416H must be attached to the attorney’s letter.  The parent’s signature must be an original and must be notarized. 
Only original documents will be accepted. 
All requests must be sent to:
Healthcare and Family Services
Administrative Coordination Unit (ACU)
110 West Lawrence Avenue
Springfield, Illinois 62704
 
If you received a letter indicating your Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (Acknowledgment) was rejected and a new form was included, it is necessary that you complete all of the documents sent to you as instructed as soon as possible. If the letter rejecting the original Acknowledgment was addressed to the other parent and a new form was not included with the copy of your letter, there is nothing you need to do.
If you are the biological mother, biological father or presumed parent, you have 60 days from the date the Acknowledgment is filed with DCSS to “rescind” (void, cancel) the legal father and child relationship.  The HFS 3416E, Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and/or Rescission of Denial of Parentage (Rescission), must be signed, witnessed and filed with DCSS within 60 days from the effective date of either the Acknowledgment or the date of a proceeding relating to the child, whichever occurs first.  Once the 60 day period has passed, you can only challenge paternity in court. Only one of the parents needs to sign the Rescission.
If the biological mother is or was married or in a civil union at the time of conception, and/or upon the birth of the child, to a person other than the biological father, that person is presumed to be the legal parent. The presumed parent and biological mother must sign the HFS 3416D, Denial of Parentage (Denial), and the biological mother and biological father must sign the HFS 3416B, Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (Acknowledgment), to establish legal paternity and place the biological father’s name on the birth certificate. If the presumed parent and the biological mother do not sign the Denial in conjunction with the Acknowledgment, the presumed parent is considered to be the legal parent of the child and that person’s name, by law, must be placed on the birth certificate.
You may obtain all of the Paternity forms from Hospitals, Registrars, County Clerks, Illinois Departments of Healthcare and Family Services and Human Services, or by clicking the links below:

HFS 3416B
   Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity
HFS 3416BS  Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (Spanish – For Information Only)
HFS 3416D    Denial of Parentage
HFS 3416DS Denial of Parentage (Spanish – For Information Only)
 
HFS 3416E    Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and/or Rescission of Denial of Parentage
HFS 3416ES  Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and/or Rescission of Denial of Parentage (Spanish – For Information Only)
HFS 3416H    Request for a Certified Copy of the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and/or Denial of Parentage


Question: What do I do if I get a Notice of Intent to Pursue Collection Remedies?

Answer: If you received the Notice of Intent to Pursue Collection Remedies and agree that your child support case or cases are delinquent in the amounts indicated in Section 5 of the notice, you must submit payment by the date indicated in Section 1 to avoid interception of your tax refund and to prevent other enforcement actions. Complete and mail the payment authorization form printed on the last page of the notice when remitting your payment. Your payment should be sent to the address listed on the payment authorization form. Payments can be made with your Discover, Visa or MasterCard credit card by calling 1-866-645-6348 or online Credit Card payment on the e-childsPay.com - The Child Support Payment Center Web site.

If you do not agree with the finding in the notice, you must request a redetermination of your case or cases within 15 days from the date on the notice to avoid interception of your tax refund, and to prevent other enforcement actions. Follow the instructions in Section 4 of the notice and submit the notice and documentation that supports your position in an envelope marked "confidential tax protest," to the address at the top of the notice. Please read your notice carefully.

Only certain documents will be accepted as payment instruments or records:

  1. For judicial orders, send circuit court records. If all of your payments are not included on the circuit court records, but were mailed to the State Disbursement Unit or HFS, we will have a record of those payments. If payments were made through the State Disbursement Unit, please mark the appropriate box on your notice of intent to pursue collection remedies. If partial payments were made through the State Disbursement Unit, please be sure that you have also included circuit clerk ledgers with your protest.

  2. If payments were made on an administrative order, we will have records of those payments.

Question: What are the remedies available for pursuing past-due child support?

Answer: We have several remedies available to pursue past-due child support. Among these are:

  1. Submittal to the:

    U.S. Department of the Treasury for federal tax refund interception administrative offsets paid out by the federal government.

    State Department if $2,500 or more is owed, for pursuit of passport denial, revocation, restriction or limiting.

  2. Illinois Comptroller. Submittal to the Consumer Reporting Agencies.

  3. Illinois Department of Revenue for state tax refund interception.

  4. Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services' Collection and Asset Recovery Unit. 

  5. Illinois Department of Professional Regulations or other state licensing agencies.

  6. Private collection agencies.

Question: I am a custodial parent. When am I going to receive the tax offset applied to my case?

Answer: If the federal tax refund that has been offset is a result of a jointly filed tax return, it is held for up to six months in accordance with federal regulations (45 CFR 303.72(h)(5)) and departmental policy. This six-month period is allotted for the non-custodial parent's current spouse to file an injured spouse claim with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or for the non-custodial parent to file an amended return. If the IRS determines any portion of the refund belongs to the current spouse, they will return that portion to him/her. Only the balance of the offset remaining at the end of the six-month period can then be applied to child support delinquency. Due to confidentiality, the amount of the offset may not be provided until the monies have been released.

If the federal tax refund that has been offset is a result of a singly filed tax return, it is held for one month in accordance with federal regulations (45 CFR 302.32(b)(3)(ii)) and departmental policy.  This one-month period is allotted to provide the IRS with the time necessary to verify the validity of the tax return. 

Finally, federal regulations (45 CFR 303.72(h)(3)(i)) entitle the department to retain any monies from an IRS offset as reimbursement of assistance benefits. When applying for cash assistance, custodial parents are required to read and sign an assignment of rights document that explains this requirement in full.

You can receive up-to-date information regarding payment information by calling our automated voice response system at 1-800-447-4278 or visit Customer Service.

Question: Who do I contact if I have questions regarding income withholding, new employer information and/or employer non-compliance, Unemployment Insurance benefit offsets, National Medical Support Notices or Cook County modification issues?

Answer: Please call 1-800-447-4278 and follow the prompts. A customer service representative will assist you.

Question: How do I cancel my child support case with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services?

Answer: If you are not receiving medical benefits or TANF, you can write a letter to your local regional child support office asking for your case to be canceled.

Question: I am not the custodial or non-custodial parent, how can I obtain information on their case?

Answer: If you are not the custodial parent (CP) or non-custodial parent (NCP), a notarized "Consent to Release Information" or "Power of Attorney (POA)" must be received in our offices authorizing you to obtain confidential information. If there is no expiration date on the Consent to Release Information, the consent will automatically expire 120 days from the date notarized.

Please note: The consent does not authorize the release of all case information. Only information pertaining to the participant that signed the release may be disclosed. No information about the other party will be released.

Consent is not the same as "Power of Attorney," therefore, if consent is on file the caller cannot request that any action be taken on behalf of the participant. The authorized person can only be provided with case information.

A "Power of Attorney" allows the authorized representative to receive information and act on behalf of the participant for whom they have authorized. The POA does not authorize the release of all case information. Only information pertaining to the participant that signed the release may be disclosed.

To ensure confidentiality of your personal information, we are prohibited from releasing specific case information. Only general information will be released via the Internet.

Consent To Release Confidential Information HFS 3692 (pdf)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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