Parents receiving some forms of public assistance, including TEA cash assistance, SNAP benefits, and Medicaid (including ARKids 1st or insurance through ARHOME) for themselves and their children must cooperate with the child support program as a condition of those benefits. Parents who receive SNAP benefits and have a child under age 18 who does not live with them must also cooperate with the child support program.
If you are required to cooperate because of public assistance you receive and believe that it is not possible to safely receive child support services because of domestic violence or other safety concerns, contact your DHS office and ask about claiming “good cause.”
Cooperation with OCSE may include providing information and documents, completing and returning paperwork, or showing up for appointments or court hearings. If you are required to cooperate with OCSE and don’t do so, your benefits may be reduced. This reduction in benefits is sometimes called “sanctions”. OCSE will send you warning letters before your benefits are sanctioned.
If you are not receiving public assistance and open a child support case, your help and cooperation is needed. You may be asked to update information about yourself, the children, or the other parent from time to time. You may be asked to come to appointments. If you fail to keep OCSE updated with your current contact information or do not respond to requests for information, your child support services case may be closed. A warning letter will be mailed to your last known address before your case is closed.