Cooperating with Child Support and Good Cause
In order to cooperate, you need to:
- Give the child support agency the information they ask for about your child's other parent or parents
- Keep your appointments with your child support worker
- Attend any required court hearings about your child support case
- Report any child support paid directly to you by the other parent to your BadgerCare Plus, W-2, Caretaker Supplement, or Kinship Care worker
- Appear with your child for scheduled genetic tests
Cooperation and the BadgerCare Plus program
If you are referred to child support and do not cooperate with your child support agency, BadgerCare Plus benefits will end for you when your baby is two months old. However, your children will continue to receive BadgerCare Plus benefits.
Cooperation and the W-2 Program
If anyone in your household who gets any W-2 services does not cooperate, no one in the household may get any W-2 services (cash benefit, job programs, training programs, or child care). You may begin getting W-2 services again as soon as you or the others in your household start to cooperate with child support. If anyone in your household is sanctioned 3 times, you will not get any W-2 services until everyone in your household cooperates, or for a period of 6 months, whichever is later.
Cooperation and Kinship Care and SSI Caretaker Supplement programs
If the person who applied for benefits does not cooperate, he or she may not get cash benefits from the Kinship Care or SSI Caretaker Supplement program until he or she cooperates.
If you do not agree with the Child Support program's decision that you are not cooperating, you may ask your child support agency for a review. The child support agency will set up a meeting with a "fact finder" to review your case. You may bring a representative (a friend, relative, lawyer, etc.) with you to this meeting. If you cannot travel to this meeting, ask about attending the meeting by phone. The fact finder will mail you a notice of the findings. If the fact finder decides you have not been cooperating, the notice will tell you how to appeal the decision.
If you believe you or your children would be harmed if you cooperate, you should talk with your BadgerCare Plus, W-2, Caretaker Supplement, or Kinship Care worker and file a good cause claim. The aid/benefit agency will decide whether or not a good cause exists. You may be asked to give written evidence to support your good cause claim. If you have problems getting evidence, your BadgerCare Plus, W-2, Caretaker Supplement, or Kinship Care worker can help you. The agency will consider the evidence you present, and determine whether or not you will have to cooperate with the child support agency under these circumstances.
Good Cause exists when:
- You believe that cooperating might cause physical or emotional harm to you or your child, or
- Your child was conceived as a result of incest or sexual assault, or
- An adoption petition has been filed with the court, or
- You are being helped for three months or less by a social services agency in deciding if your parental rights should end.
If you do not agree with the final decision about good cause, you may ask for a good cause fact-finding review from your BadgerCare Plus, W-2, Caretaker Supplement, or Kinship Care agency. The good cause fact finder will mail you a notice of the findings. If the fact finder decides you do not have good cause, the notice will tell you how to appeal the decision.
If a release of your address, phone number, employer, or other location information would put you or your children in risk of harm, ask your child support worker for privacy protection. Click here to download the privacy protection request form.
Appealing a Decision about Child Support Cooperation or Good Cause Claims
If you do not agree with the decision of the Child Support Agency Fact Finder, you may request an appeal. For BadgerCare Plus that appeal is called a Fair Hearing. A Fair Hearing for BadgerCare Plus must be requested within 10 days of the action's effective date. For Cash Benefit programs, a Departmental Review from the State of Wisconsin must be requested. The Departmental Review must be requested within 15 days of the Fact Finding Decisions. Late requests will not be accepted.
To ask for a Fair Hearing or a Departmental Review:
- Put your request in writing
- Include a copy of the decision with your request
- Send the request to:
Department of Administration
Division of Hearings and Appeals
PO Box 7875
Madison, WI 53707-7875