What YOU should know about the
Illinois Child Support System

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Illinois Child Support has collected over one billion dollars in child support for the Fiscal Year 2008. They have a team of professionals who will work hard for the custodial or non-custodial parent to ensure that the payer or receiver gets the help they need.

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Child support enforcement services are available to any parent who needs assistance in establishing legal Paternity, child support, medical support, or enforcing support. You can also contact a Illinois child support attorney as well.


Establishing paternity


The first step in collecting child support is Establishing paternity. When legal paternity is established, a child has the right to the father's:


  • Social Security benefits
  • veteran's benefits
  • medical coverage
  • pensions
  • Inheritance


Illinois Child Support law makes it possible for both parents to sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form in the hospital. Signing this form eliminates the court process and could save you thousands of dollars in lawyer and court fee’s. Parents who do not sign the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form at the hospital may sign it later at any local registrar of vital records, county clerk's office, local Department of Human Services office or child support enforcement office. Genetic tests are used when an alleged father is in doubt about being the father or whenever paternity is contested. Paternity can be established by default when an alleged father fails to attend a scheduled interview or to go for a scheduled genetic test and has been properly served with a notice to appear. Paternity can be established in court using the standard judicial process for persons not receiving services from the Division of Child Support Enforcement or for alleged fathers of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families clients when they request it.



How do I apply for Child Support?


Illinois Child Support Agency has several ways you can apply for service. One way is to contact one of their Regional Offices and their Child Support Customer Service call center representative will assist you. The second way to apply for child support services is via internet.


Collection


To collect child support, the division can intercept state and federal income tax refund checks, withhold state benefits -- such as unemployment benefits and lottery winnings, place liens on property, freeze accounts and refer cases to the Illinois Department of Revenue and private collections agencies. Also, a person who does not pay child support can have an Illinois driver's license suspended by the Secretary of State's office. Driver’s license suspension program has resulted in over $1 million in collections from thousands of parents.


Enforcing child support


Non-payment of child support is a primary reason almost half a million children in Illinois receive public assistance. HealthCare, Family Services and Illinois Child Support Enforcement Program serves Illinois residents regardless of income. The programs are listed as:


  • parent locating services
  • genetic testing
  • establish paternity
  • child support order establishment
  • modification reviews
  • medical support
  • wages withholding
  • withholding federal and state income tax
  • computerized accounting and billing


DNA testing has become the standard in Illinois. State of the art technology is used when establishing paternity. Since the program started in 1976, the Department has collected more than 3 billion dollars for needy children.


Non-Custodial Programs


Illinois Child Support Enforcement agency along with The Department of Healthcare and Family Services has Non-Custodial Parent Services. These programs located in Cook, Peoria, Winnebago, Champaign, Kane, Lake and St. Clair counties, address issues facing non-custodial parents.


Non-custodial parents can be eligible for the following:


Earnfare is a six-month program of training for persons with little or no work record. Jobs are based upon individual's skill levels, interests and location.


Rules: Earnfare participation is restricted to non-custodial parents who have children receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families or individuals receiving food stamps, who volunteer for the program.


Goal: Permanent employment for participants


Important


Participants who receive food stamps work up to a maximum of 80 hours a month. The first $50 goes to the custodial parent as child support. After working the hours needed to cover the value of the monthly food stamps ( up to 26 hours ), workers receive $5.15 per hour for additional hours and can earn up to $244 a month. Participants who do not receive food stamps work up to a maximum of 57 hours a month. The first $50 goes to the custodial parent as child support. Workers then receive $5.15 per hour for additional hours and can receive up to $244 a month.


Customer Service Department


The Child Support Customer Service Call Center is also available. This is an Automated Voice Response System (AVRS) that will answer in both English and Spanish, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Call 1-800-447-4278 or TTY: 1-800-526-5812. If you receive child support checks from the State Disbursement Unit you can choose to be transferred to the SDU or you can call 1-877-225-7077 directly.


If you have an active child support case with HFS, you can receive General information on the following:

  1. Information about payments processed by HFS.
  2. Account Balance Information.
  3. Income Withholding Information.
  4. Appointment Information.
  5. Tax Refund or Other Offsets.
  6. Instructions on how to change your name and/or address.

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