Local Child Support Offices

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19

Stimulus payments

Will the federal stimulus payments be subject to intercept by the Child Support Program?
Yes. In the federal stimulus bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress did not exempt the stimulus payments from federal offset for child support arrears.
If I owe child support, will my federal stimulus payment be used to pay my child support arrears?
Maybe. Federal law and regulations set thresholds to determine when federal payments (such as tax refunds and stimulus payments) are intercepted and applied to child support arrears. If you received a notice in September 2019 indicating that you may be certified for the Federal Tax Refund Offset program, and you did not pay the full amount of past-due support or successfully challenge the certification, your name and amount of past-due support owed was certified to the federal government in October. If so, your stimulus payment and any tax refund you may be entitled to may be intercepted and applied to your child support arrears.
Will I be notified that my stimulus check is being intercepted?
Yes, the federal government will send you a notice when your stimulus payment has been intercepted. The notice will tell you that your stimulus payment has been applied to your child support debt, and to contact the New York State Child Support Helpline if you believe this was done in error.
What if I am married to someone who owes child support—will my federal stimulus payment be applied to the child support arrears they may owe?
If you are receiving your economic impact payment jointly with your spouse and only the spouse owes the child support debt, you can file an injured spouse form with the IRS. Please visit the IRS website, Injured Spouse Allocation to file your claim. However, if you already filed an injured spouse form with your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven't filed your 2019 tax return), you do not need to file another injured spouse claim for the payment.
I think the amount of my Economic Impact Payment is incorrect. What can I do?
Additional information is now available on the Economic Impact Payment Information Center page of irs.gov.

Custodial Parents

Will I continue to receive child support during the pandemic?
The Child Support Program continues to process all payments received. Thus, should the noncustodial parent make payments through an employer, unemployment insurance benefits, or self-payment, the funds will be distributed and disbursed as usual. You may check your payments online.
What will happen if a parent lives in another state and everything has shut down? Will child support payments continue?
We are open and continue to process payments as usual. However, if a parent is unable to pay, such as due to loss of employment, then this could affect the distribution of child support payments and the amount you receive. If there has been a change in a parent's employment, please send an email to the district handling your child support account. You will find the email addresses for each district on our Local Offices page.
When will I be receiving any additional payments due to tax refund intercept?
The federal tax filing deadline has been extended from April 15 to July 15 for this year. Tax refund intercept occurs when a tax filing is completed. Due to the tax filing extension, intercepted tax refund payments may be delayed.

Noncustodial Parents

I am unable to work because I have lost my job and cannot pay my child support. What can I do?
There are immediate steps you can take. First, check if you are eligible to file for unemployment at the New York State Department of Labor, Unemployment Insurance. Many requirements have been waived and benefits extended. Second, reach out by email to the district handling your child support case to advise of your change in circumstance. We can review your case and discuss next steps with you, including filing a request for modification of your support order with the court.

Due to your change in circumstance you may file a modification petition with Family Court. Note that the courts are experiencing operational changes in response to the impact of COVID-19. As such, all completed petitions must be submitted to the court by mail. For the latest information please visit the New York State Unified Court System or call (833)-503-0447 (Toll Free) for general questions and answers. Specific information related to child support is available by selecting option #2.
Since child support will be automatically taken from unemployment insurance benefit payments, what protection is in place? If my current income withholding order is $500 biweekly and I only get $800 biweekly from unemployment, does that mean that I will only have $300 left?
New York State's Social Services Law Section 111-j allows the Child Support Program to withhold child support from unemployment insurance benefits (UIB). In New York, the maximum UIB that will be withheld for child support is 50% of the weekly benefit amount. Thus, $400 of your $800 UIB payment will be withheld every two weeks; the $100 of your biweekly obligation that is not withheld from UIB will be added to your past-due amount. Note that if you are eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) benefit of an additional $600 per week, we will withhold just your biweekly child support obligation of $500 and any past-due amount owed (as long as it is not more than 50% of the total benefit you receive).
If I am laid off because I have the COVID-19 virus and cannot work, how can I get assistance with my child support payments?
You should email the district handling your child support case immediately to advise them of your current situation and file for unemployment benefits with the New York State Department of Labor. You may be able to make a request to the court for a modification of your order. You may also be eligible for assistance programs such as SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid.
I am out of work due to my place of employment closing and I am not eligible for unemployment benefits. How do I pay my child support payments? Are my payments still due?
During this time, you are still obligated to pay your child support according to your order until the obligation amount is modified by the court. Until income withholding through your employer resumes, you should make your payments on your own. More information about options for making payments is provided on the Noncustodial Parent Services page under "How do I make a payment?"

Since you will not be collecting unemployment insurance benefits, you should file a petition requesting a downward modification of your child support obligation with the court. Note that the courts are experiencing operational changes in response to the impact of COVID-19. As such, all completed petitions must be submitted to the court by mail. For more information please visit the New York State Unified Court System or call (833)-503-0447 (Toll Free) for general questions and answers. Specific information related to child support is available by selecting option #2.
How am I supposed to get my signature notarized on a document the Child Support Program requires during this pandemic?
Executive Order 202.7 permits remote notarization. For more information about this process, please see Remote Notary Guidance on the New York Department of State website.
Can I have an extension on making my child support payments due to the pandemic?
Your child support payment is still due according to the terms of your order. If you are having trouble making the required payment because of reduced work hours or a furlough, please email the district handling your child support to advise them of your current situation.

Please also see the response above regarding application for unemployment insurance benefits and filing for a modification of your support order.
Will interest on my child support arrears be waived if I am unemployed because of COVID-19?
Your current support, arrears, and any interest is still due. If you are unemployed or working reduced hours, please see the previous responses for information on applying for unemployment insurance benefits; possible eligibility for a modification of your child support order; and applying for other forms of assistance.
I am self-employed and cannot get unemployment benefits. Is there a program that can help me?
Certain workers who are not eligible for unemployment under current state law such as gig economy workers, self-employed individuals, or independent contractors may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the CARES Act. For more information about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), please visit the New York State Department of Labor.

Please note that if you are a self-employed individual and you are no longer in business due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for a modification of your child support order based on a change in circumstances. However, until your order is modified by the court, you must continue to make payments.

Employers

How should an employer process an income withholding order if the named employee has been laid off or sent home without pay? Will there be a penalty or will interest accrue if child support cannot be withheld or paid?
It is the responsibility of the employer to notify us when an employee has been laid off, sent home without pay, or terminated. If an employee is still employed but not receiving payment for reasons such as a furlough, please advise us of this change. If you were remitting payments under an income withholding order, you must complete the Notification of Employment Termination section on that order and return it by mail to:

New York State Child Support Processing Center
PO Box 15368
Albany, New York 12212-5368
I am an employer and received a noncompliance letter. The employee was laid off due to the Coronavirus. What should I do?
You are required by law to notify us of this event. If you were remitting payments under an income withholding order, you must complete the Notification of Employment Termination section on that order and return it by mail to:

New York State Child Support Processing Center
PO Box 15368
Albany, New York 12212-5368

New York City Walk-in Center closed

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, the New York City Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) Borough Offices and Customer Service Walk-In Center at 151 West Broadway will be closed.

Contact OCSS for assistance or to schedule a phone appointment at dcse.cseweb@dfa.state.ny.us. For a phone appointment, enter "Requesting a Customer Service Appointment" in the subject line of your email. Include your name, Child Support case number, a description of your concern(s), phone number, and the best time to reach you.

Hours of operation are Monday–Friday unless noted. To receive a response to email, be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and account number.

The Child Support Helpline (CSH) is available Monday–Friday, 8:00 AM–7:00 PM.

CSH1-888-208-4485
TTY: 1-866-875-9975
VRS:  (https://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/trs-providers)

Use the interactive map or the drop-down menu to select a link to local district contact information.

   

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