WAG 10-01-04: Court Ordered Support Payments

PM 10-01-04

Court ordered support payments (paid to another household) by a parent must be figured by the FCRC and entered in the correct place for the system to figure eligibility and compute the TANF cash amount.

Before considering this deduction, verify compliance with the court order. View canceled checks, money order receipts, or other similar evidence that payments are actually being made according to a court order.

ACM Entry

For ACM, enter the amount on the Comparison of Income to the Payment Level Screen for the payment month and the budget month (Screen 6).


For submittal through IPACS, enter the amount on Form 2943 to figure eligibility prospectively against the Payment Level. If court ordered support was paid in the budget month, and therefore needs to be considered when figuring the payment month benefit amount, enter this amount in Item 80 of Form 552 under code 466 DCOS - Diverted Court Ordered Support.

Example: Cook County Case 4 persons

$474 Payment Level
$600 Wages
$100 Court Ordered Support Payments

The TANF Cash amount is figured as follows:

$600 Gross pay
-450 3/4 deduction

The $100 court ordered support payment is then added to the total needs of the TANF benefit unit.

$474 Payment Level
+100 Court Ordered Support

Subtract the budgetable earned income from the total needs to arrive at the TANF Cash amount.


Support Paid to the Family - Active Cases

Budget any non-earmarked support payments kept by the client after disregarding up to $50 for Pass Through purposes.

Budget the income using code 544, Support Received But Not Forwarded to IV-D, in Item 90 of Form 552.

Continue to consider and budget retained non-earmarked support payments as income until:

  • the client forwards support payments to HFS as required; or
  • DCSE obtain an order payable to HFS; or
  • the client verifies the absent parent has stopped making payments. The client may verify that payments stopped by providing a statement or copy of the payment ledger from the Clerk of the Court or providing a statement from the absent parent.

Support Paid to the Family - At Intake or SWAPs from Medical to Cash

Tell the client to forward to HFS, all child support payments received after the date of the application approval notice. Child Support payments received during the IPE period, after the date of the approval notice, are not budgeted when calculating the amount of the IPE check.

To determine prospective eligibility at Intake or in a SWAP action from Medical to Cash, include child support payments in the total unearned income. Allow the Pass Through disregard.

If prospectively eligible, determine the receipt date(s) of the child support payment(s). If any child support payment is received from the date of initial eligibility for cash benefits through the date of approval:

  • allow the Pass Through disregard; and
  • budget child support received during the IPE period but before the date of the approval notice as unearned income against the IPE.

If a child support payment is received and budgeted for the IPE period:

  • allow the Pass Through disregard for each full or partial month of the IPE; and
  • compare the remaining child support amount to the IPE:
    • If the child support is equal to or greater than the cash benefit amount, do not authorize the regular check but do continue the case progression.
    • If the remaining child support is less than the case benefit amount, proceed with authorization.

Eligibility Determination

When determining continued eligibility, disregard the following:

  • Any earmarked support paid to HFS and redirected to the client. Earmarked support is not reported on Form 1661 and is not included in the collection amount shown on the form.
  • Up to $50 of the child support on Form 1661 for Pass Through purposes. Use the remaining amount to determine continued eligibility. If the case is still eligible, no additional action is required. If the case is ineligible, send Form 157 and discontinue TANF benefits. revised textIf support type is spousal (alimony), determine eligibility for a medical extension. If support type is child support, SWAP to Family Health Plans using MAGI budgeting methodology (see PM 18-02-02). 

    When determining eligibility for TANF, disregard up to $50 of the current non-earmarked child support payments anticipated to be received by the applicant. The amount to be disregarded cannot be more than the amount of the support order. If eligibility exists do not budget current child support payments anticipated to be received during the IPE period or the first regular roll. 

  • A periodic extra child support payment. To determine a periodic extra payment review the frequency and the amount of child support, as shown on Child Support Terms (Form 1760), or the Key Information Delivery System (KIDS).

Consider all non-earmarked support payments made by an absent parent(s), including payments from an alleged father and payments made by military allotment.

revised textAfter a case is determined ineligible for TANF benefits, determine eligibility for Medical only. If eligible, Swap the case (see WAG 18-02-02). Always determine continued eligibility for Medical in the following circumstances:

  • revised textwhen the only change in case circumstances for the month being examined is the receipt of, or increase in, non-earmarked child support paid to HFS, 
  • revised textwhen there is a change in circumstances in addition to the initial or increased non-earmarked child support received by HFS, and 
  • revised textwhen the amount of the non-earmarked child support paid to HFS does not change but another change in circumstances causes  ineligibility.