CalWORKS Cases

Receiving CalWORKs and Child Support

A CalWORKs child support case is opened when a custodial party applies for and receives CalWORKs benefits. The Department of Social Services informs the Department of Child Support (DCSS) when CalWORKs benefits are granted, and a child support case is opened by the DCSS. As a condition of receiving CalWORKs benefits, the custodial party automatically assigns (or gives) all rights to child, spousal and medical support to the county up to the amount of aid paid. This includes all current and past-due support and continues as long as a family is receiving aid. 

By law, CalWORKs recipients must cooperate with the DCSS to establish parentage and to obtain child support payments. CalWORKs recipients will be required to provide information about the noncustodial parents.

Distributing Support in CalWORKs Cases

If you receive cash assistance for your child or children through the CalWORKs program, the amount of the current month’s child support payment that is “passed through” to you is $100, if you have one child, and up to $200 if you have two or more children living in the home. Any amount in excess of the "pass through" will go toward paying back the county, state and federal governments for CalWORKs payments.

Stoppage of CalWORKs

If the custodial party is receiving CalWORKs and then stops, by law the DCSS must continue to enforce the support order. If the custodial party does not want the continued services of the DCSS, they must notify the office that they no longer want DCSS assistance. At that time, the DCSS will only pursue assigned arrears (past-due support.)