How Do Tanf Recipients Seek Child Support?

To receive TANF benefits through the Texas Department of Human Services, recipients must cooperate with the Office of the Attorney General`s efforts to identify their child(ren)`s non­custodial parent and collect child support. TANF recipients must also assign to the State the rights to collect child support. Until recently, all payments collected in the case, except the first $50 of each monthly payment (called a disregard payment that goes to the family), were applied toward reimbursing the state and federal governments for TANF benefits received by the family. That has changed due to federal law requiring family first distribution. Now, arrears owed to the custodial parents are paid before arrears owed to the state providing TANF benefits. The exception is the interception of IRS refunds. In accordance with federal law, intercepted tax refunds are earmarked for arrears owed to the state. Once arrears owed to the state have been paid off, intercepted tax refunds will go to the custodial parent.

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