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TANF Benefits and Child Support

TANF Benefits and Child Support

As a condition of eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Federal law requires that the TANF recipient assign to the state any child support owed to the recipient during the month(s) in which TANF benefits are received.
The amount of child support assigned to the state each month will be the lesser of the following:

  • The amount of TANF benefits received for that month; or
  • The amount of child support due to the recipient during that month.

Any child support payments collected while the recipient receives TANF benefits will be kept by the state.  When the recipient no longer receives TANF benefits, the assignment terminates, with respect to current child support; however, any assigned child support that was unpaid during the TANF benefit period will remain assigned to the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Did I Receive a “Monthly Notice of Child Support Collections Received” Letter?
This monthly notice is for informational purposes and no action is required. The Indiana Child Support Bureau sends a monthly accounting of child support collected to individuals who:

  • Receive or have received TANF benefits in the past;
  • Are owed child support for months in which the individual received TANF benefits;
  • Have not had their TANF benefits repaid from child support collected on their behalf; and
  • Have child support payments that have been collected during the timeframe identified in the notice.

I currently receive TANF benefits. How does the Child Support Bureau determine when TANF benefits are repaid from child support collections?
State and federal law provides for the order of distribution of child support collections received. If you are currently receiving TANF benefits when child support is collected, the state will keep the child support for repayment of TANF benefits.

I formerly received TANF benefits. How does the Child Support Bureau determine when TANF benefits are repaid from child support collections?
State and federal law provides for the order of distribution of child support collections received. If you are no longer receiving TANF benefits, but have in the past, child support collected will be paid per these rules of distribution:

  1.  Any unpaid current monthly support due to the former TANF recipient is paid to the former TANF recipient first;
  2.  After the current month’s child support is paid, past due child support for months when TANF benefits were not received will be paid directly to the former TANF recipient;
  3.  After the above child support is paid to the former TANF recipient, past due child support for months when TANF benefits were received will be kept by the state, as assigned.
  4.  Finally, any other amounts will be paid out of child support collections after the above balances are paid.

How do I Dispute Repayment of TANF Benefits?
Individuals receiving a Monthly Notice of Child Support Collections Received can contest the withholding of collected child support for repayment of TANF benefits based on the issue of proper distribution (see IC 31-25-4-17 and IC 31-25-4-26). To contest the manner of distribution, make your request for an administrative hearing in writing and include:

  • A copy of the Monthly Notice of Child Support Collections Received; and
  • The reason(s) the repayment of TANF Benefits is being contested.

Mail your request to:
Indiana Department of Child Services
Child Support Bureau
402 W. Washington Street, Room MS11
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

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