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Child Support Laws for Medical Support
Federal and state laws require all new or modified child support orders to provide some form of medical support for the child at all times. The new laws were created to ensure that cash is available to assist with the child’s medical nee
ds any time the child is not covered by private health insurance. Click here for more information.
Payment Inquiries can be obtained by calling SETS, the automated 24-hour computer system at:
*Note: SETS is always down on the first day of each month
Your Child Support payment information is available online.
The Ohio Office of Child Support's Case/Order Payment Information website is a secure site that provides child support payors and payees with payment and balance information including the last payment and date received, and a total balance.
Para utilizar nuestro sistema de telefono automatizado para la informacion de pago y balance en Espanol, marque el 1-800-860-2555.
Payment Information Mail Child Support payments to:
OHIO CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT CENTRAL
P. O. BOX 182394
COLUMBUS, OHIO 43218
SETS & Ohio Child Support Payment Central (CSPC) F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why was S.E.T.S. created?
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) developed the automated Support Enforcement Tracking System (SETS) to effectively manage the Child Support Enforcement Program in order to meet requirements mandated by the Family Support Act of 1988 (and other mandated or revised requirements implemented since 1987).
The main objective of SETS is to provide a fully integrated, online centralized enforcement tracking system accessible to local enforcement agencies in all 88 Ohio Counties. SETS supports front-line enforcement professionals in a wide variety of tasks, including collection, allocation and disbursement of support payments, as well as maintaining demographic information for each case participant.
How does S.E.T.S. determine the amount of my support checks?
Incoming payments, (collections), are allocated in a pre-determined order (hierarchy). "Hierarchy" means a set of rules with higher or lower priorities. The allocation of monies is based on the type of money received, (from obligor, employer, lump sum, Federal or State tax refunds, Unemployment Benefits, Workers Compensation, Pensions, etc.).
How this money is allocated is determined by the source of the money and is regulated by state or federally mandated rules and regulations. For the most part, current child support and child support arrears are paid before all other obligations. Spousal support and associated arrears are paid next. Medical orders usually come next. After all of the above are paid, other obligations are paid, such as paternity testing fees, attorney fees, clothing and day care costs or other special payments. Finally, current and past administrative fees are paid.
Are there exceptions to these priorities?
Yes. Payments received from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be allocated to reimburse past public assistance received by the custodial parent. Court orders may affect allocations, the most common occurrence being payments received from the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation (OBWC). Attorneys representing non-custodial parents who receive a worker's compensation settlement often obtain a court order for payment of their fees from the settlement.
Why are withholding orders issued for a monthly amount?
A withholding order or Notice to Income Provider to Withhold Obligor Income/Assets is issued in a monthly amount because Ohio law requires monthly administration of all orders. To determine how much support should be withheld from each payroll/income cycles, the following formulas are used:
Weekly Payment = Notice Amount x 12 months divided by 52 weekly payrolls.
Biweekly Payment = Notice Amount x 12 months divided by 26 biweekly payrolls.
Semimonthly Payment = Notice Amount x 12 months divided by 24 semimonthly payrolls.
Monthly Payment = One (1) payroll per month.
What if I have an order for a weekly or biweekly support payment?
CSEA administers weekly or biweekly support orders on a monthly basis. To determine your monthly support amount, the following formulas are used:
Monthly Amount = Weekly Amount x 52 weeks divided by 12 months.
Monthly Amount = Biweekly Amount x 26 weeks divided by 12 months
Why is the total amount of my weekly support checks less than the monthly amount ordered?
There are actually 4.3 weeks in each month, not just four as most people assume. You will receive the difference in support during those months each year when there are 5 weeks in a month. Just as you are not being "overpaid" when you receive that fifth check during those months, you are not being "underpaid" in the remaining months.
How often should I receive a support check?
Keep in mind, upon receipt of the collection of support payments, Ohio Child Support Payment Central (OCSPC) has 2 business days to process the collection through SETS. Your check is then printed and mailed from the Central Collection Center in Columbus, Ohio.
When a withholding order is first issued, the income provider or employer has fourteen (14)days from the date the CSEA issued the withholding notice to begin making deductions from their payroll/income cycle.
Once the cycle has been completed, the OCSPC has seven (7) days to receive the payment. This period allows for the issuance by the administrative process and handling schedules of the employer and postal delivery services.
How soon you receive the check may vary due to the location of your mailing address from Columbus Center, or the delivery schedule of the postal service. A reasonable allowance for U.S. postal delivery is four (4) days.
A guide to determine if a collection is past due is to use the following formula: Date payroll/income cycle ended + 9 days + postal delivery = approximate date you will receive your support check.
Do holidays affect when I should receive a support check?
Yes. Both the U.S. Postal Service and the State are closed on New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. These holidays may delay the receipt or disbursement of a collection. U.S. Postal Service delivery may also be slow during the Christmas season, from late November through December.
Can my support check be delayed for any other reason?
Computer networks are vulnerable to damaged telephone lines, power outages and other technical problems. SETS is no exception.
How may I obtain information about my S.E.T.S. support checks?
The Voice Response Unit (VRU) is available by calling 1-800-860-2555. This automated system is available 24 hours per day from your touch-tone or rotary telephone. By providing your social security number, you may obtain payment information, check information and balances due. This information is current as of the last completed business day.
What if I do not receive a check within these time frames?
CSEA requests you allow an additional seven days after the receipt of collection date before contacting us. If you still have not received a check that was distributed to you, or if you have a question about a check, please contact Athens County CSEA.
WHAT IS PATERNITY?
Paternity means fatherhood. Establishing paternity means legally naming a father for your child. When a child is born to parents who are married to each other, the mother's husband is assumed to be the father of the child, and paternity is automatically established.
If a baby is born to parents who are not married to each other, paternity is not established automatically. You must have paternity established.
WHY IS ESTABLISHING PATERNITY IMPORTANT?
Paternity gives your child.....
- A sense of identity and belonging.
- Increased likelihood to know about diseases or disorders that exist in the father's family.
- Entitlement to the father's financial and economic benefits, such as child support, health insurance, social security, pensions and veterans benefits.
- The right to inherit from the father in the event of his death.
- Establishing paternity is a must, in order to get a child support order.
HOW AND WHERE CAN PATERNITY BE ESTABLISHED?
Paternity can be established at your local child support agency. Genetic testing will be conducted on all parties involved, by using a buccal swab to collect DNA samples from the inside of the mouth. The samples will then be sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. Test results are usually done within 4 to 6 weeks. The results will be mailed to all parties involved. Results must be 99% or greater to determine the father.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO THE GENETIC TESTING APPOINTMENT?
You must bring a photo I.D. of each adult being tested. Children must be present for testing to be conducted.
WHAT IF I AM NOT SURE WHO THE FATHER IS?
If you are unsure who the father of the child is, DO NOT sign the acknowledgement at the hospital. This is when genetic testing should be done. Contact your local child support agency to inquire about genetic testing.
WHAT DO I DO IF I COMPLETED THE PATERNITY AFFIDAVIT BUT, I NOW THINK THAT I AM NOT THE DAD?
You need to contact the CSEA in the county where the mom resides to sign a recission document as long as it has been 60 days or less since the affidavit was signed. After 60 days you must contact a private attorney.
CAN PATERNITY BE ESTABLISHED IF THE ALLEGED FATHER LIVES IN ANOTHER STATE OR IS INCARCERATED OR DOES NOT APPEAR FOR TESTING?
Yes, paternity can be established in these situations. The agency will initiate the appropriate court action for paternity.
WHAT IF I DO NOT KNOW WHERE THE FATHER OF MY CHILD IS?
Athens County CSEA can assist you in attempting to find the father so paternity can be established, or to get a child support order established.
HOW LONG AFTER A CHILD IS BORN CAN PATERNITY BE ESTABLISHED?
Paternity may be established from birth until 23 years of age.
CAN THE CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY ASSIST ME WITH VISITATION AND CUSTODY?
No, the agency cannot become involved in visitation or custody issues.
You should contact a private attorney to handle visitation and custody.
If you have any other questions or would like to start a case please contact us
Support Establishment Process
If you do not have a child support order established for your children, the local child support agency can provide this service to you. The child's parent, guardian, legal custodian, or the person with whom the child lives can contact the local child support enforcement agency for assistance in having a child support order established formally.
The process is essentially the same as the Review of Child Support or Modification procedure. The agency will follow the same process in establishing the order. The parties will be contacted and requested to send in certain documents and information which are required in order to establish an order of child support. Once these documents are received, the agency will set the amount of child support to be paid. Both parties will be notified of a hearing scheduled to review the calculation and should attend this hearing. If either party disagrees with the amount of support which the agency determines by using the Ohio Child Support Guidelines they can request a court hearing and have their case heard through the court system.
The agency must have both parties' income verification for the past six months or provide their most recent income tax returns.
If the custodial parent or the children receive any type of assistance from the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services, they must cooperate with the Child Support Enforcement Agency in establishing medical and financial support for their children. The agency cannot address custody or visitation issues in any manner. Please refer to a private attorney.
Administrative Review of Child Support
A modification or review of support is a four step process.
STEP ONE: Requesting A Review
A review may be requested by either parent and must always be in writing. Within 15 days of the request, the Child Support Enforcement Agency will determine whether a review should be conducted. The parent requesting the review will be notified if the review will not be conducted and the reason why.
STEP TWO: The Review
Both parties will be sent financial information packets. Both parties have 30 days to complete and mail their packets back to the agency. If the parent requesting the review fails to respond within the 30-day limit, the review shall be terminated for non-cooperation. However, the review cannot be terminated by the requesting parent on or after the date the review was scheduled to occur.
The revised order shall be included in an Administrative Adjustment Recommendation. The support amount shall not be changed unless it varies more than 10% from the current order.
The recommendation shall include a notice that either party may request an administrative hearing within 14 days of the date of the adjustment, if they do not agree with the adjustment. If either party still disagrees, they have the right to request an administrative hearing. If no hearing is requested, the revised amount of support will be submitted to the court.
STEP THREE: The Objection Period
If an administrative hearing is to be set, the hearing shall be scheduled within 15 days after receiving the request. The parties shall be mailed a notice of the hearing at least 10 days prior to the hearing. One good cause continuance may be granted to each party, provided the request is received prior to the hearing. However, the new hearing must be set within 15 days of the initially scheduled hearing.
STEP FOUR: The Administrative Hearing Decision
The decision shall be issued within 10 days of the hearing. Either party may request a court hearing by submitting a written objection to the CSEA within 14 days of the issuance of the administrative hearing decision.
Once a support order is established, there are several methods the Athens County Child Support Enforcement Agency uses to enforce the order. The most common is by wage withholding, which is mandatory. This is implemented as soon as an employer is verified. Other sources of "income" that are attachable include but are not limited to:
- Personal earnings
- Workers' Compensation payments
- Unemployment benefits
- Private or governmental retirement benefits
- Disability or sick pay
- Lottery prize awards
- Lump sum payments
- Assets in a financial institution
An obligor/payor who is self-employed, is required to send in the payments on their own. If they fail to do so, they may be held in contempt of court.
If an obligor/payor lives in another state and an employer is verified, a wage withholding order can be sent to the employer who is bound by law to follow the order. If we are unable to verify employment, the custodial parent can proceed with an action under UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) which will allow the other state agency to enforce the order, See Interstate Cases for more information.
To enforce payment on arrears, Obligors are submitted for federal and state tax offset. This allows their tax refund to be intercepted and applied to arrears balances. See Tax Offset Program for more information.
If the agency is unable to verify an employer after exhausting all efforts, the non-custodial parent will be placed on a Seek Work Order signed by the judge. The obligor/payor must attempt to find employment. If they do not comply, the case will be referred to our Legal Department for contempt.
UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act) is the law that allows for the establishment of paternity, establishment of support, and enforcement of an existing order when one party lives in Ohio and the other party lives in another state. This service can be requested by either party. The CSEA Investigator will ask the party requesting our services to complete a questionnaire along with attaching copies of certain documents that may apply (birth certificate, divorce decree/support order, financial information, etc.) Once this information is gathered, we will send a petition (which is filed through our courts) to the other state's central registry and they will send the case to the agency who has jurisdiction. We then work with that agency in getting the case enforced. UIFSA cases do require much paperwork and the whole process can be quite lengthy. For more detailed information on interstate cases, call your Investigator at the Athens County CSEA : (740) 593-5046 or 1-800-436-8933
TAX OFFSET PROGRAM
The Federal and State offset programs are designed to enforce past due support obligations. Under this process, support arrearage is satisfied through the offsetting of Federal and State income tax refunds payable to obligors owing past due support. The "SETS" system will automatically submit obligors to the offset program, if their arrearage is over $500 owed to the obligee, or if over $150 is owed to the state for Public Assistance arrears. Obligors will receive a notice in the mail if they are being submitted to the program.
If there is an arrearage owed to the state and to the obligee, the IRS tax refund will be applied towards the state arrears first and once that balance is satisfied, the refund will go towards the arrears owed to the obligee.
If the obligor files a joint tax return with his/her spouse, that spouse may claim his/her portion of the refund by completing an "injured spouse form" through the IRS within six months of the agency receiving the tax refund. If this form is not completed, the whole tax refund will be applied towards arrears. In the event that the spouse wishes to apply their portion to the arrearage before the six month waiting period is up, the spouse must complete an “Injured Spouse Waiver” form. Please contact the CSEA for a copy of the waiver.
Due to federal tax safeguarding requirements, CSEA is not authorized to provide information about intercepted tax funds to custodial parents or caretakers. The CSEA can discuss tax offset with the obligor. However, this information cannot be exchanged by telephone. If an obligor has any questions about the interception of tax refunds, the CSEA can provide the information to the obligor, in person, or by mail.
Children benefit when both parents work together to take care of their children's emotional and financial needs, even when the parents are not married to one another. Children have the right to support from both parents. They do not lose this right even if their parents divorce or never marry.
When children do not get support, they may:
- Suffer emotionally and physically
- Have a reduced standard of living
- Not have their basic needs met
- Not support their children when they become parents
- Parents must work together with the children's best interests in mind so children get all the financial, medical, and other benefits they are need.