Child Support & Benefit Programs


When applying for benefits or services from benefit programs, families automatically get child support services. These families must cooperate with their child support agency in order to get these benefits and services unless they have good cause not to cooperate.

These programs include:

Cash benefit programs

Parents receiving cash benefits will be referred to a child support agency and will receive full child support services without filling out an application. Families must cooperate with the child support program unless they have good cause not to cooperate. A part of the support paid will be assigned to the state to pay for cash benefits received.

These cash benefit programs include

Assigned Child Support

When signing up for cash benefits you assign (sign over) your rights to child support payments as a condition of receiving cash benefits. The assigned support is the support owed during the period of time you get benefits. Federal rules control how much of the assigned support may be passed through to families that receive cash benefits. For W-2 and Caretaker Supplement programs you do not sign over any past-due support. The Kinship Care program has different rules than other cash benefit programs.

What this means for you

If you are now receiving cash benefits from a benefit program:

  • You will get all your cash benefits from the benefit program.
  • You will get 75% of the child support paid.

W-2 services without cash benefits

Not all W-2 programs receive cash benefits. You get all of the child support paid if you:

  • Get help paying for child care
  • Get W-2 case management services
  • Get emergency assistance
  • Work in a W-2 trial job
  • Are in the W-2 Custodial Parent of an Infant program, but never got W-2 or AFDC cash benefits in the past

While receiving these benefits, you automatically get child support services. You must cooperate with your child support agency in order to continue to receive these W-2 benefits unless there is good cause not to cooperate.

BadgerCare Plus program

Many single, separated, and divorced parents applying for the BadgerCare Plus program will be referred to a child support agency. When referred to the child support program, parents will get full child support services and do not have to apply for them. You will have to cooperate with child support unless you have good cause not to cooperate.

If the parents are not married when the mother applies for BadgerCare Plus and the mother is referred to child support, the court may order the father to repay birth costs. Birth costs include health care costs related to the pregnancy, as well as the birth of the child.

Families who have received cash benefits in the past

You get all the current support paid as long as you are not currently receiving cash benefits. As of October 1, 2010, all past-due support owed to you before you began getting cash benefits is still owed. You also get all of the assigned past-due support that is paid if you no longer get cash benefits.