WAG 24-02-05.

A person requesting benefits may claim a valid reason for not complying with the child support process. A client's claim of valid reason is not the same as a claim for good cause. The Family Community Resource Center determines if a reason is valid.

Valid reasons include, but are not limited to:

  • illness or incapacity;
  • death in the family;
  • another court appearance or in jail;
  • family crisis;
  • an emergency;
  • breakdown in child care plans;
  • child care not available; or
  • breakdown in travel arrangements or lack of available transportation.

A person may claim valid reason:

  • before a scheduled interview takes place;
  • after missing a scheduled interview, but before being sanctioned;
  • after being sanctioned.

Accept the statement of the person claiming valid reason unless:

  • the person failed to cooperate with child support at least one other time within the past 30 days; or
  • other facts cast doubts on the person's claim (e.g., repeated claims of illness, lack of child care, etc.).

Do not take any action against the benefit unit if a valid reason exists before the scheduled meeting, blood test, or court appointment:

  • Downstate: Ask the FRC to contact DCSE to report the client has a valid reason and to schedule another meeting, blood test, or court appointment.
  • Cook County: Contacts DCSE Cook County Intake Unit to report a client has a valid reason and to schedule another meeting, blood test, or court appointment.

If the client wants to contact DCSE to reschedule a meeting, blood test, or court appointment, give them the phone number.

If a valid reason does not exist, tell the client that a sanction will be imposed if they do not keep the scheduled meeting, blood test, or court appointment.

If a sanction has been imposed and a valid reason exists, immediately restore all benefits, beginning with the effective date of the sanction. Then:

  • Downstate: FRC reports to DCSE that the client is willing to cooperate.
  • Cook County: FRC contacts DCSE Cook County Intake Unit.