Information for Military Families
When a parent is in the military, it can be difficult for the entire family. Whether or not you make support payments, receive supports payments or do neither, the Oregon Child Support Program provides a range of free or low-cost services to support Oregon veterans and their families. The following is some important information for all parents who have served or are currently serving in the military.
Making sure that your child has access to your veterans and other benefits
Children of veterans are entitled to certain portion of their parents veterans benefits. However, if the father is a veteran but is not listed on the child's birth certificate, the child may not be able to access the legal and social benefits they are entitled to. If parents were unmarried and the father was deployed when your child was born, your child may not have access to all the rights and benefits to which they are entitled.
Establishing legal paternity will put the father's name on the child's birth certificate and allow the child access to all of their rights and benefits including the father's veterans benefits.
Free services are available to help qualifying parents through the process of establishing paternity for their child contact your local child support office or www.oregonpaternityproject.org for more information.
How veterans benefits may lower your child support payments
Veterans' benefits paid directly to your children count as a payment toward your child support obligation. This means a dollar-for-dollar credit toward your current obligation and any past due child support. Applying veteran's benefits can lower the amount of support that you pay out of pocket every month. Contact your case worker to make sure you are taking full advantage of your veterans' benefits.
There is no time limit on receiving this credit. If you believe that you have not been given adequate credit for past support, your child support case worker can help you start a “credit for veteran's benefits process.” Credit can be given for lump sum payments.
Note, in order for your children to receive this benefit directly, you must identify them in the application process. Contact your County Veterans Services Officer to make sure that you and your children are receiving all of the available benefits.
How the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) may affect your child support order
The purpose of the SCRA is to postpone or suspend some of the civil obligations of military personnel to allow them to give full attention to their military duties. Such obligations may include:
Establishing a child support order
Modifying a child support order
The collection of past and/or present child support
If you are facing deployment contact your case worker to learn more about how the SCRA may affect your order.
Other services offered by the Oregon Child Support Program
Locating parents: Child Support has a variety of tools to help locate parents in Oregon and other states.
Establishing and modifying child support orders: Child support orders include both cash support and medical support coverage.
Collecting and distributing child support: Over $360 million is collected and distributed every year to ensure that children receive the support they need from both of their parents.
Enforcement: When a parent fails to pay his or her child support, steps will be taken to help single parents receive the support to which they are legally entitled.
Who to Contact
Oregon Child Support Program
From the Salem area: 503-373-7300
Toll Free in Oregon: 800-850-0228
From outside Oregon: 503-378-5567