Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities




Cooperating with Child Support and Good Cause

When receiving services from a public benefit program, you must cooperate with child support unless you have good cause not to.

What is


In order to cooperate, you must:

  • Give the child support agency the information they ask for about your child's other parent.
  • 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 benefit case worker.
  • Appear with your child for scheduled genetic tests.

Cooperation and specific benefit programs

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. Your children will continue to receive BadgerCare Plus benefits.

If anyone in your household who gets W-2 services does not cooperate, no one in the household may get W-2 services. You may begin getting getting W-2 services again as soon as you or others in your household start to cooperate with child support. If anyone in your household is sanctioned three times, you will not get W-2 services until everyone in your household cooperates, or for a period of six months, whichever is later.

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.


Good Cause

If you believe you or your children would be harmed if you cooperate, you should talk with your benefits case worker and file a good cause claim. The benefit agency will decide whether or not good cause exists. You may be asked to give written evidence to support your good cause claim.

Good cause exists when:

  • You believe that cooperating might cause physical or emotional harm to you or your child.
  • Your child was conceived as a result of incest or sexual assault.
  • An adoption petition has been filed with the court.

If a release of your address, phone number, employer, or other information would put you or your children in risk of harm, ask your child support worker for privacy protection. Download the privacy protection request form here.

Appealing a Decision about Child Support Cooperation or Good Cause Claims

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 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 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 you do not agree with the decision of the agency fact finder, you may request an appeal.

  • BadgerCare Plus: The appeal is called a Fair Hearing. A Fair Hearing must be requested within 10 days of the action's effective date.
  • Cash Benefits programs: The appeal is called a Departmental Review. A Departmental Review must be requested within 15 days of the fact finding decisions.

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