Translation Disclaimer

VDSS Bulletins and Closures
staff of hermes icon VDSS COVID-19 Resources | VDSS Alert DSS Closures
An Agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Click Here for Additional Resources
Child Support Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for services?

To open a case you must complete and submit an application for services. Please complete, sign, date the application and attach all of the required documents so that processing will not be delayed. You can either fax or mail your completed application packet to the district office that proudly serves the locality in which you reside.

Who can apply for services?

Parents or guardians with physical custody of a child, as well as agencies with legal custody may apply. If you are receiving public assistance (TANF) or child care subsidy assistance your case is automatically referred to DCSE. A case may also be referred to the Division when a child is placed in foster care. Putative fathers seeking to establish paternity can apply for services and non-custodial parents who wish to pay their child support through DCSE may apply.

Can I apply for services if the other parent resides out of state?

When the other parent resides out of state, you may still apply for services. We work cooperatively with other states, U.S. territories and certain foreign countries to help provide child support services.

Is there a fee for applying for services?

DCSE charges the following fees:

  • There is no fee for an initial application
  • A $35 annual fee deducted once $550 has been collected on a case in which no TANF benefits have been paid. The $35 fee is deducted once per federal fiscal year.
  • A $25 reapplication fee when an applicant reapplies for services after requesting case closure and then elects to reapply within six months of closing the case.
  • The annual fee can be paid by the easy to use kiosks located in the local child support offices or mailed to: Treasurer of Virginia P.O. Box 570 Richmond, VA 23218.

How will I receive my child support payments?

Parties receiving child support payments have three options that include:

  • Direct Deposit: Your payment is automatically deposited into your checking or savings account
  • EPPI Card: Similar to an ATM or debit card. When a payment is received and processed, it is then applied to the Way2Go card.
  • Check: Mailed to your listed mailing address.

How do I make child support payments?

If you are not paying through an income withholding order or you want to pay an additional amount towards your arrearages, several options are available:

  • Online: Payments can be made by utilizing our online payment portals. Please visit the MyChildSupport portal at https://mychildsupport.dss.virginia.gov/. Payments are credited within 2-5 days. After the payment has processed the payor will see a printable receipt or the receipt can be emailed if the email address has been provided. You also have the option to set up automatic reoccurring payments to a single case or multiple cases to include the frequency (i.e. weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.) and the end date of reoccurring payments.
  • Kiosks: The easy-to-use kiosks are located in the lobbies of the child support offices and selected courts. They accept cash bills in denominations from $1.00 up to $100 along with credit and debit cards. The kiosk will not accept coins and cannot make change so any overpayment will be applied to your DCSE case(s). Kiosk transactions have associated convenience fees collected by Touchpay, not DCSE. These fees will not be applied to your case. The kiosk does not accept money orders.
  • The Touchpay Payment Portal: You can visit Payvadcse.com at https://payvadcse.com/. Touchpay accepts credit and debit cards has a convenience fee, which is collected by Touchpay not DCSE. This fee will not be applied to your case.
  • IVR System: The MyChildSupport system is available by calling 877.670.2941 or you can pay with debit or credit cards via Touchpay at 866.232.1899. Use of the Touchpay system has a convenience fee, which is collected by Touchpay not DCSE. This fee will not be applied to your case.
  • By Mail: Payments should be made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia and sent to the following address: Treasurer of Virginia P.O. Box 570 Richmond, VA 23218. Please include your name and either Social Security Number or a DCSE number on all payments.

What is DCSE's MyChildSupport portal and what are some of its benefits?

The MyChildSupport portal provides customers, employers and third parties with access to a variety of online child support services. Customers have the ability to view and update case information, obtain and manage payment information, make payments and submit income verifications to authorized parties. Employers and third parties have the ability to manage and make payments on behalf of parents. There is also a "guest" registration for those wanting to make payments on behalf of someone else.

You may utilize this portal to provide customer feedback. We truly value your input and opinions.

How can I find out if a payment has been applied to my case?

Payment information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: Parents, Guardians and Employers can visit the MyChildSupport portal by visiting the following URL: https://mychildsupport.dss.virginia.gov or by visiting the Virginia Department of Social Services website, clicking on "Child Support" on the top ribbon and "My Child Support" from the drop down list. Once registered as a user, parents/guardians have the ability to:

  • View up-to-date case and payment information at anytime
  • Schedule child support payments that can be drafted from a bank account
  • Manage payments by viewing, cancelling and/or reporting payment made through the portal

Who should I contact for income verifications?

The MyChildSupport portal has an Income Verification page that allows users to request child support payment information to be sent to an authorized party. Users have the ability to enter the business name, recipient's email address and the reason for the request. A copy of the income verification payment history will be emailed to the recipient and a copy will be sent to the user. The user will then be given the opportunity to submit another income verification request if needed.

Why didn't I receive the full support order amount?

When a support payment is received the payment is distributed according to State and federal guidelines. Reasons you might not receive the full amount include:

  • If child support is owed to more than one family, the payment is divided amongst the families
  • If child support payments are being garnished by an employer, CCPA (Consumer Credit Protection Act) limits the amount that can be withheld, between 50% and 65%, when the payor is unable to meet the full obligation amount.
  • If the payment is more than what is owed to the family and an amount remains owed to the state, the remainder will be applied to the amount owed to the state.

Should payments be made directly to the payee?

No. Once you have received directions to pay through DCSE, any payments made directly to the payee and not through the State's Disbursement Unit are considered gifts and will not be credited to your official payment record.

Are there any programs that are designed to assist individuals with barriers to paying their support obligation?

Yes. Through the Division's Family Engagement Services, the Division is committed to offering progressive, holistic, family centered approaches that promote the success of families. The Division helps parents to overcome obstacles hindering their ability to provide emotional and financial support for their children through the proactive collaboration with community partners and other governmental agencies. The Division actively seeks grants to support existing programs and to test and implement new approaches to helping parents and support their children. The Division also provides outreach services, Intensive Case Monitoring Programs and many other services that may assist individuals with barriers.

Who are some of the Division's Family Engagement Services partners?

The Division has secured governmental partnerships to offer Family Engagement Services. The Division's governmental partners include:

  • Virginia Department of Corrections, Probation and Parole District Offices
  • Virginia Employment Commission
  • Local Departments of Human Services
  • Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts
  • Community Colleges throughout the Commonwealth

The Division's partners also includes faith-based and non-profit organizations as well as fatherhood initiatives to help better equip fathers to be more intentionally and proactively engaged in their children's lives. In addition the Division also partners with re-entry councils and Community Collaboration Councils, helping individuals that are leaving correctional facilities and returning to society to secure housing, employment and resources.

How do I contact DSCE?

We encourage you first to visit the MyChidSupport portal as it provides valuable information and resources that will assist you with your case. Customer service representatives are available Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. if the portal is unable to address your issue. Please give us a call at 1.800.468.8894. You may also utilize the AskDCSE@dss.virginia.gov email account to send messages to the appropriate caseworkers for assistance.

What is the TANF Debt Compromise Program?

The TANF DEBT Compromise Program provides an incentive for NCP's to discharge a portion of debt owed to the Commonwealth based upon criteria set by the Division and the NCP's ability to pay. NCP's can receive a reduction in TANF arrears when in full compliance with the program's criteria. If the NCP owes a TANF debt and the order is a Virginia order but the NCP does not reside in Virginia, the NCP can still participate in the program. You must contact the agency Division and set up an appointment to apply for the Program.

I am unable to work because I have lost my job. What can I do about not being able to pay child support?

Losing one's job can seem overwhelming. However, there are immediate steps you can take. First, see if you are eligible to file for unemployment at the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). The Governor has waived many requirements.

Second, reach out to us if you are a parent who is obligated to pay child support through any of the contact methods at the beginning of this document. We may be able to review your child support obligation based on your change in circumstance. You may also be eligible to participate in our Family Engagement Services.

For more information about Family Engagement and helpful resources, see Family Engagement Resources.

I am self-employed and cannot get unemployment benefits; is there a program that can help me?

Certain workers who are not eligible for unemployment under current state law such as gig economy workers, self-employed individuals, or workers paid by 1099 may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits under the CARES Act. Please check the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) website and VEC COVID-19 Resources page for updates.

If you are a self-employed individual and you are no longer in business due to the COVID-19, you may be eligible for review of your child support order based on a change in circumstances. While that process is pending, you must continue to make payments. You may qualify for Family Engagement Services. See Family Engagement Resources.

Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible for assistance programs. Visit CommonHelp for more information. If you would like to learn more about services in your local area, visit 211 Virginia.

If I am laid off because I have COVID-19 and cannot work, how can I get assistance with my child support payments?

You should contact us immediately to discuss details about your current situation and file for unemployment benefits with the Virginia Employment Commission. You may be eligible for review and modification of your order, or be referred to our Family Engagement Services. You may also be eligible for our other Social Services' programs for assistance such as SNAP, TANF and Medicaid.

Will my child support payments still be due if I am unable to work because of COVID-19?

Yes, your child support payment is still due according to your order. If you have been laid off or your work hours have been reduced due to COVD-19, contact us for assistance. You may be eligible for review and modification of your order or assistance through our Family Engagement Services.

If I am unable to pay because of COVID-19, will DCSE continue to take enforcement actions?

We realize this is a difficult time and we are evaluating where we can offer flexibility. However, the law often requires us to take enforcement action with limited flexibility. As noted earlier in this FAQ, you can request review of your order and ask about enrollment in our Family Engagement Services. If you owe TANF arrearages, you can also ask about our TANF debt compromise program.

Will I continue to get my child support payments to take care of my children?

We will continue to distribute child support payments within 48 hours of the parent or employer sending us payment. However, if a parent is unable to pay, such as due to a loss of employment, then this could affect your child support payments. If there has been a change in a parent's employment, please contact us.

My child's graduation has been extended; will I continue to receive my child support payments?

Support continues until the child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs first. Virginia public schools are closed for in-person classes, but there are plans for online learning. As with many other aspects of this situation, plans for graduation and formal end of the school years are subject to updates.

You can follow updates from the Department of Education at Virginia Department of Education's Spring 2020 Guidance on Graduation Requirements, Awarding of Credits, and Continuity of Learning.

At this time if a child has neither turned 19 or graduated, support should continue.

When will a custodial parent receive additional payments due to a tax refund intercept?

The federal tax filing deadline has been extended from April 15, 2021 to May 17, 2021. Tax refund intercept occurs when a tax filing is completed. Due to the tax filing extension, intercepted tax refund payments may be delayed. If you are a parent paying child support and owe arrearages, the tax intercept will still occur.

Will tax refunds be held once they are received if there is a joint tax return?

There is 180-day hold that applies for Federal tax offsets where the intercepted refund is for a joint tax return. The 180-day hold has been extended through June 30, 2021. Any Federal tax offsets held beyond the 180-day hold will not be held longer than June 30, 2021. This hold preserves the interests of the spouse.

If I have to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on my tax return, will DCSE intercept my refund if I owe past-due child support?

Yes. If the IRS issues you any refund based on your 2020 tax return, the entire amount of the refund, including any portion of the RRC, will be subject to intercept for past-due support.

Why is DCSE treating the RRC differently if I received an Economic Impact Payment directly from the IRS?

This decision was made by Congress and the IRS that any RRC refund received as part of a 2020 return is subject to intercept by any authorized debt being collected by a government agency, including a state's child support agency. You can find more information on the IRS Recover Rebate Credit page.

I have been approved for unemployment benefits; will child support payments be withheld?

Yes, child support payments will be withheld from your unemployment benefits. You are responsible for the remainder of the support payment due each month, if the full amount of your child support obligation is not withheld from your unemployment benefits.

What is needed from me to have child support deducted from my unemployment benefits?

Contact us to keep us informed of your employment status and your unemployment benefits. We will automatically connect with VEC to inform them of your child support obligation.

I am a noncustodial parent who pays child support. How can I help?

Continue to support your child or children in every way that you can -- your child may need emotional support as well during this challenging time. Keep your contact information updated so we can reach you and do not hesitate to reach out to us if your circumstances change.

Top