COVID-19

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) CHILD SUPPORT FAQs

General Questions | Stimulus Payments | Questions About Payments | Employer QuestionsParenting Time and My Child Support | Safety Concerns

Last updated 3:04 p.m., August 3, 2020.

General Questions

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Will the deadlines for requesting hearings or responding to notices/proposed orders be extended? (posted 3-23-2020)

At this time, deadlines to request hearings or respond to notices have not been extended. However, if you need an extension due to reasons outside of your control, contact your case manager as soon as possible to discuss available options.

I am trying to file an appeal, but the courthouse is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How can I get a copy of the forms to file my appeal? (posted 6-2-2020)

You can find a Petition for De Novo Review form here. This form should be accepted by all Oregon courts.

My 18-year-old child graduated early from high school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Can I file an objection and stop paying support because they are not currently attending school? (posted 6-5-2020)

An objection can be filed by a parent at any time. If the child has informed the Oregon Child Support Program they intend to attend school in the fall, the objection will be denied because the timeframe is a scheduled summer break. If the program has not received notice of continued schooling, the Child Attending School Team will complete additional research to determine if support should be suspended. This research includes contact with the adult child and contact with the school to determine the student’s school status. Students are no longer considered a student on the date the school provides as their official graduation date.

As the parent who pays support, am I allowed to check in with the school to confirm enrollment? (posted 6-5-2020)

If the student has provided the school with a “Written Consent for Disclosure,” the school has permission to disclose information about their status. If you cannot reach the school registrar, please contact the Child Attending School Team at CAST@doj.state.or.us for assistance.

I received a notice about a bank garnishment. Whom can I contact with questions? (posted 6-5-2020)

Funds in an account at a financial institution are subject to garnishment for past-due child support. We will not garnish stimulus payments. If you have questions about a garnishment, call Customer Service at 800-850-0228 or email GarnQuestions@doj.state.or.us with your contact information to discuss your situation.

I need to meet with my case manager, but I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19—is it still okay for me to come into your office? (updated 3-27-2020)

Our office lobbies are currently closed to the public. Instead, you can communicate with us about your child support case by phone, email, or through your online account.

I haven’t been diagnosed with COVID-19, but I have symptoms—is it still okay for me to come into your office? (updated 3-27-2020)

Our office lobbies are currently closed to the public. You can communicate with us about your child support case by phone, email, or through your online account.

Is the office that manages my child support case open? (updated 3-27-2020)

Our office lobbies are currently closed to the public, but we are still open for business. Check the COVID-19 Closures & Contact Information or the Office Access & Closure Updates on OregonChildSupport.gov. You can communicate with us about your child support case by phone, email, or through your online account.

Can I still take a paternity (DNA) test? (updated 5-1-2020)

Yes. Genetic testing appointments in Oregon Child Support Program offices have been suspended at least through the end of June. However, we can schedule an appointment for you at another collection site. Contact us to request genetic testing so we can update your case.

Can I get information about my child support case online?

Yes. We offer online account services to participants. You can sign up for an account at OregonChildSupport.gov/CustomerPortal.

I need to discuss something with my case manager—can they answer all my questions over the phone?

Yes, most questions can be answered by phone.

Will it take longer than usual to receive a return phone call from my child support case manager?

Possibly. As we all know, this is an unsettled time for our country and all business. At this time, our offices are staffed and work is continuing. The Oregon Child Support Program is committed to getting support to families. We have a plan in place to make sure critical services continue. If we have office or workload impacts due to the COVID-19 virus, we will post updates on our website at OregonChildSupport.gov

Can I discuss my case through email?

Yes. We encourage electronic communications.

I’m starting or modifying my child support case—will this process take longer because of COVID-19?

We are not currently experiencing many work delays. The Oregon Child Support Program is committed to getting support to families. We have a plan in place to make sure all critical services continue. If we have office or workload impacts due to the COVID-19 virus, we will post updates on OregonChildSupport.gov.

I have a hearing coming up. Will it be cancelled?

As of now, phone hearings through the Office of Administrative Hearings are continuing as scheduled. If your upcoming hearing is with the circuit court, please check the county court’s website for any closure or rescheduling information.

Can I still request a hearing on my child support modification?

Yes.

I’m the parent who pays support. If I’m laid off due to COVID-19, what happens to my child support obligation?

A court order for child support continues until it is modified or terminated. That means your child support is still due.

Depending on the length of the lay-off, a modification may be appropriate. Contact us to discuss your circumstances.

If you receive unemployment compensation, your child support may be withheld from the benefits.

We are evaluating what actions we can take to help families affected by COVID-19, as is the federal child support program. We will post any child support related information on our website, OregonChildSupport.gov.

Will there be an Oregon stimulus check?

We don’t know. That’s a decision and action the Oregon legislature must take.

Stimulus Payments

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When will the federal stimulus payments be distributed by the IRS? (updated 5-5-2020)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury began distributing federal stimulus payments for Oregon residents beginning the week of April 13, 2020. They will continue through the summer. For more information, visit the IRS website here.

Can my federal stimulus payment be intercepted for child support? (updated 4-20-2020)

Yes, according to federal law. In the CARES Act (federal stimulus bill), Congress did not exempt the stimulus payment from the federal tax offset program for past-due child support.

The Governor’s Executive Order 20-18 prohibiting garnishment of stimulus payments from financial institutions does not change the federal law. The interception of stimulus payments for past-due child support occurs before the payments are deposited into a bank account.

I heard there may be another stimulus payment coming. Will it be intercepted for past-due child support? (posted 5-15-2020)

Congress has not authorized a second stimulus payment. If a second round of stimulus payments is issued, we will provide information at that time.

If I owe child support, will I be notified that my federal stimulus payment will be applied to my past-due child support? (updated 4-24-2020)

Yes. The U.S. Department of the Treasury should 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 Oregon Department of Justice Division of Child Support if you believe this was done in error.

When will the Oregon Child Support Program receive federal stimulus payments intercepted for past-due child support? (updated 5-5-2020)

We started receiving intercepted federal stimulus payments for past-due child support the week of May 3, 2020, and they will continue through the summer.

I received a notice from the U.S. Department of the Treasury that it applied my federal stimulus payment to delinquent debt for child support through the Oregon Department of Justice Division of Child Support. I have already paid off my past-due child support. When will the Oregon Child Support Program refund my stimulus payment? (updated 7-22-2020)

The DOJ Division of Child Support / Oregon Child Support Program began receiving the federal stimulus payments on May 4. There is lag time between when the U.S. Treasury sends payments to citizens and when we receive the payments. The payments have been continuing over the subsequent weeks and will throughout the summer. The U.S. Treasury may not have had your updated balance when it intercepted your stimulus payment. Once we receive your payment, we will refund the stimulus money to you as soon as possible.

You have already intercepted the paying parent’s federal stimulus payment. When will you send me my child support payment? (updated 7-22-2020)

The DOJ Division of Child Support began receiving the federal stimulus payments on May 4. There is lag time between when the U.S. Treasury sends payments to citizens and when we receive the payments. The payments have been continuing over the subsequent weeks and will throughout the summer. When the funds are received, we must review and process all the payments.

For standard interception of tax refunds, the Oregon Child Support Program holds them for 30 days from receipt. For paying parents who file a single return, we will release the intercepted stimulus payment as soon as possible, but no longer than 30 days after we receive it. For a stimulus payment interception for paying parents who file a joint tax return, it can be held for up to six months for potential “injured spouse” claims in the same way as tax refunds.

How will my intercepted federal stimulus payments be distributed? (updated 5-21-2020)

The Oregon Child Support Program will apply intercepted federal stimulus payments first to past-due child support owed to the other parent or party. Any remaining amount will be applied to past-due support you owe to the state, if any. If your past-due balances are paid in full, any excess funds will be returned to you.

If I am married to someone who owes child support, and we filed our taxes jointly, will you intercept my federal stimulus payment and apply it to the past-due child support my spouse owes? (updated 8-3-2020)

Yes, unless you are eligible for relief. If you do not owe child support but you are married to someone who owes child support, you may file an Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation - Form 8379. Please visit www.irs.gov for filing instructions. If you have already filed that form for your 2019 tax return, you do not need to file it again.

 The IRS has announced that, in some instances, a portion of the payment sent to a spouse who filed an injured spouse claim with their 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return, if no 2019 tax return has been filed) was mistakenly offset by the non-injured spouse’s past-due child support. The IRS is working to fix this issue, but it may not be resolved until the end of August. If you filed an injured spouse claim with your return and received a notice of an offset like this, you do not need to take any action. The injured spouse will receive their unpaid half of the total payment when the issue is resolved. See Question 28 on the IRS website.

My spouse’s federal stimulus payment was intercepted for child support along with mine. Will you return my spouse’s portion and when? (updated 8-3-2020)

Maybe, if your spouse is eligible for relief. If you owe past-due child support but you are married to someone who does not, your spouse may file an Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation - Form 8379. Please visit www.irs.gov for filing instructions. If you have already filed that form for your 2019 tax return, you do not need to file it again.

The IRS has announced that, in some instances, a portion of the payment sent to a spouse who filed an injured spouse claim with their 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return, if no 2019 tax return has been filed) was mistakenly offset by the non-injured spouse’s past-due child support. The IRS is working to fix this issue, but it may not be resolved until the end of August. If you filed an injured spouse claim with your return and received a notice of an offset like this, you do not need to take any action. The injured spouse will receive their unpaid half of the total payment when the issue is resolved. See Question 28 on the IRS website.

As a single filer, I claimed a dependent child on my taxes. Will you intercept the federal stimulus payment I’m supposed to receive for my minor child? (posted 5-21-2020)

Maybe. If you claimed the child on your 2019 return—or your 2018 return if a 2019 return hasn’t been filed—that amount may be intercepted.

I am owed past-due child support. However, I do not want the other parent’s stimulus payment. Can I refuse to receive the stimulus payment so the other parent can receive it? Can you just return it to the paying parent at my request? (posted 5-13-2020)

No, due to the CARES Act, the Oregon Child Support Program must accept and process all stimulus payments we receive from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. However, you may work directly with the other parent to give the funds to them once you receive the payment.

When the stimulus payment is sent to you, the paying parent will receive credit against past-due support. If you choose to give funds to the paying parent, we will not change or update the account balance to reflect your private arrangement. You may wish to consult with a private attorney regarding your options.

I don’t think my stimulus payment should have been intercepted for past-due child support—what should I do? (updated 4-17-2020)

You may dispute the interception of your stimulus payment if you do not believe that you owe past-due child support by requesting an administrative review. The only issues considered in an administrative review are:

  • Whether you are the person owes the past-due support.
  • Whether the amount of past-due support is correct.

You can request an administrative review by sending a written request to the Oregon Child Support Program, PO Box 14680, Salem OR 97309 or by email to ChildSupportCustomerService@doj.state.or.us. Please put “Administrative Review Request” in the subject line.

Questions About Payments

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Can you tell me if my child support payments will keep coming? (posted 3-23-2020)

Processing payments is one of the critical functions of the Oregon Child Support Program. We will continue to process payments as they are received.

We are unable to predict if payments on your case will be affected by COVID-19.

My income has been reduced because of layoffs/closures/quarantines related to COVID-19, and I’m unable to pay my full support amount. Am I at risk for license suspension or contempt? (posted 3-23-2020)

The Oregon Child Support Program understands many people are experiencing a reduction in income related to COVID-19. If you are unable to pay your support, contact your case manager as soon as possible to discuss your situation and available options.

My income has been reduced because of layoffs/closures/quarantines. Can I request a modification due to a change of circumstances? (posted 3-23-2020)

Yes, you may request a modification when there is substantial change in circumstance. OAR 137-055-3420 and OAR 137-055-3430.

If the child support office that manages my case closes, will I still get my payment? (updated 3-27-2020)

At this time, our office lobbies are closed, but staff are still working, some of them remotely. The Oregon Child Support Program is committed to getting support to families. Processing payments is one of our critical services. We have a plan in place to make sure critical services continue. If we have office or workload impacts due to the COVID-19 virus, we will post updates on our website at OregonChildSupport.gov.

If the child support office that manages my case is closed, do I still have to make my payment? (updated 3-26-2020)

Yes.
See the COVID-19 Closures & Contact Information on our website homepage for information about making payments.

If my employer temporarily closes, will they still send in my child support payment?

Your employer is responsible for withholding child support from any earnings you receive and sending those withheld payments to the Oregon Child Support Program. If you are experiencing unpaid time off, we recommend you make other arrangements to pay your support obligation.

I need to pay my child support directly because my employer has closed and I am not being paid. What are my options? (updated 3-27-2020)

You can mail your payment to:

PO Box 14506
Salem OR 97309

You can pay online through MyPaymentPortal.com

You can make cash, credit, or debit card payments at TouchPay kiosk locations.

Can I still make a payment in person at your Salem office or at one of your payment kiosks? (updated 3-27-2020)

Yes. However, for everyone’s safety, we recommend you:

  • Mail your payment to:

PO Box 14506
Salem OR 97309

Employer Questions

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As an employer, am I required to withhold child support payments from leave benefits paid under the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act? (Posted 6-8-2020)

Yes, child support should still be withheld.

My employee is not working enough hours to continue medical insurance, but they have a National Medical Support Notice. What do I do? (posted 3-23-2020)

If an employee isn’t working enough hours to qualify for health insurance, we do not require you to continue providing insurance pursuant to the National Medical Support Notice. If the children are unenrolled, notify us so the case can be updated.

My business has temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Will we be sanctioned if we don’t respond within a required time?

No, but you need to respond as soon as possible.

My employees are working reduced hours. How do I withhold child support if their paycheck is reduced?

Withhold the full amount based on the pay period frequency, subject to the withholding limits explained in the income withholding order.

Parenting Time and My Child Support

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Quarantine, school closures, or travel restrictions due to COVID-19 has changed the amount of time my child spends with both parents. Does that change the amount of child support? (posted 4-9-2020)

Monthly court-ordered support amounts cannot be changed unless a modification is completed. However, you and the other parent may wish to make a private arrangement or work with a mediator for additional assistance beyond child support. More information about mediation is available from the Oregon Judicial Department and the Oregon Mediation Association.

Where can I get information about parenting time and child custody information related to COVID-19? (posted 3-27-2020)

The Oregon State Family Law Advisory Committee (SFLAC) issued guidelines for child custody and parenting time during COVID-19. See the SFLAC page on the Oregon Judicial Department website for more information.

My child will be staying with me for the extended school break—does this change how much child support I owe? (posted 3-23-2020)

If your child stays with you for a full month, independent of a parenting time order, you may be entitled to request a credit against your unpaid support arrears for that time period. Contact your case manager to discuss your circumstances.

Safety Concerns

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What do I do if I’m afraid for my safety, or the safety of my child, during a quarantine for COVID-19? (posted 3-23-2020)

There are resources available to help families facing domestic violence or safety issues.

The Oregon Child Support Program has resources available on our website at OregonChildSupport.gov/Safety.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline (24/7, free, confidential, in over 200 languages) is 800-799-7233.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has resources on preparing your family for the spread of COVID-19 in the community.