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.