7124 Child Support and Alimony Income

 

7124.1 Child Support and Alimony Income (Food Assistance and Child Care Only) - Child support and alimony income, including arrearages, will be calculated by using a three month average (no conversion) to determine a monthly amount unless the child support/ alimony court order went into effect in one of the months that would be used in the average (or less than three months of support are available to average - see examples that follow) or the court ordered payments are less frequent than monthly and are intended to cover a certain period of time (i.e., intermittent income). Counting of arrearages includes arrearage payments made to TANF recipients who are approved on or after 10-1-09.

 

Voluntary child support (not court ordered) will be considered as child support for budgeting purposes and the provisions of this section will apply. If voluntary support was received prior to the three months that would be used in an average, then voluntary support received in the last three full calendar months prior to the month the budget is being created is used for the average. If receipt of voluntary support started in one of the three months that would be used in an average, then the voluntary support will be projected based on verified information and not averaged. Alimony shall be treated the same as child support, and averaged or prospected using the following guidelines.

 

Please note that the averaging income budgeting method is different and distinct from prospective budgeting. When averaging, all income (in this case alimony and child support) received in the calendar months being used for the budget is used when determining the average, with the exception of child support/alimony lump sum payments. See 6410. Making a determination of whether a payment is representative, or what month the payment is for, does NOT apply. For example, child support received in January, February and March is being averaged. Payments received were: Jan 15th - $350, February 1st - $350, March 10th - $350 and March 31st - $300. The March 31st payment is for April, however since it was received (i.e. dispersed, see NOTE that follows) in March, it must be included in the average. If the April, May, June were being averaged, no support would be countable for April.

 

In another example, child support has been ongoing and January, February and March are being averaged. Payments received were none for January, $300 for February and $250 for March. The average would be $183.33. If however, support payments had just started in mid January, and only one payment of $150 was received, and February was $300 and March $300, an average would not be done since there are not three full months of child support to average (since it just started in mid January). In this case, support would be prospectively budgeted until an average can be established.

 

  1. Averaging Child Support/Alimony - If a court order for child support/alimony income was in effect prior to the three months that would be used in an average (including arrearages), the child support/alimony received in the last three full calendar months prior to the month the budget is being created is used for the average. Child support/alimony income received weekly or biweekly is not converted. The actual monthly amount of current support received per absent parent is averaged. This includes situations where no support is received in the last three full calendar months and the budgeted average is zero.

    For example, an application is filed in August and is being processed in August. Determine the amount of child support to budget by averaging the child support received in the months of May, June and July. If the application is being processed in September, the months of May, June and July would be used for the August benefit month and also may be used for the September benefit month and ongoing. June, July and August may be used for the September and ongoing benefit months if the amount of August child support or alimony is readily available. It is not the intent to request additional information and hold up processing of the application, IR or review waiting for an additional month of verification.

    NOTE: Child support/alimony income received during the application month is determined as described above. When averaging, the three month average amount of support is used for the application month, not the amount of actual support received in the application month.

    NOTE: When averaging child support income, the date of receipt is considered to be the disbursement date on the Kansas Pay Center and KAECSES - CSS . When a client is getting child support through KAECSES - CSS , KAECSES - CSS shall be used to verify child support and not the Kansas Pay Center.

    NOTE: When a TANF case closes and child support will be budgeted for the food assistance case, the child support assigned to DCF will be averaged to determine an amount to count on the food assistance case.

    Child Support/alimony is not averaged in the following situations:
     

    1. Projected Child Support/Alimony - If receipt of a child support/alimony court order went into effect in one of the months that would be used in an average, then the support income will be projected based on verified information and not averaged. When projecting child support/alimony income, follow the rules of 7110. If the child support/alimony is received weekly or biweekly, then monthly current child support is converted up to the amount of the court order. Arrearages payments being received should be projected separately.

              

      This projected amount can continue to be budgeted until the next IR or review. At the time of the next IR or review, the child support/alimony will then be averaged (provided there are three full months of child support to average).
       

    2. Intermittent Support - In rare situations, support payments are ordered to be less frequent than monthly. (For example, payments ordered every six months or yearly for a self-employed person.) In these instances the rules of 7121 apply, and the child support/alimony shall be averaged over the period of time the payment is intended to cover.

     

    Also see 6220 (4) and 6410 regarding countable child support.
     

  1. Child support income/alimony must be calculated (averaged or prospected as appropriate) at initial application, when processing an interim report if a change has been reported or the child support income is available on KAECSES, and at review. See 9122.6 (1)(c)(v).

    NOTE: If the client reports that child support/alimony income has terminated, then the child support average can be removed and a prospective estimate of no child support income would be used. (Examples: AP has been incarcerated, AP is deceased, AP has been disabled and cannot work). However, if the client sometimes receives child support and sometimes does not, this is considered fluctuating, irregular income and the child support average stays in place. Each case has to be determined on a case-by-case basis and carefully documented as to the reason the child support average was removed, or kept in place when a change of this nature has been reported.

 

7124.2 Child Support and Alimony Income (TANF and Grandparents as Caregivers only) - At the time of the TANF opening, any current court ordered child support received between first day of month of application and date the application is processed will be budgeted as income for those month(s). Anticipated court ordered child support payments that have not been received at the time of TANF approval will be exempt for TANF purposes and will be budgeted as CS EX on the KAECSES UNIN screen. If the anticipated child support will exceed the TANF budgetary guidelines, the TANF application will be denied. If the case passes the gross income test, the TANF case will be approved, then the anticipated child support will not be counted against the TANF payment. If the client eventually receives child support for the initial month, after the TANF has been approved, it will not be considered an overpayment.

 

7125  Child Support Arrears (TANF only)- Child support arrearages will be calculated by using a three month average (no conversion) to determine a monthly amount unless the child support court order went into effect in one of the months that would be used in the average (or less than three months of support are available to average - see examples in Section 7124) or the court ordered payments are less frequent than monthly and are intended to cover a certain period of time (i.e., intermittent income). Counting of arrearages includes arrearage payments made to TANF recipients who are approved on or after 10-1-09.

Please note that the averaging income budgeting method is different and distinct from prospective budgeting. When averaging, all child support arrears received in the calendar months being used for the budget is used when determining the average, with the exception of lump sum payments. See 6410 (10) . Making a determination of whether a payment is representative, or what month the payment is for, does NOT apply. For example, child support received in January, February and March is being averaged. Payments received were: Jan 15th - $350, February 1st - $350, March 10th - $350 and March 31st - $300. The March 31st payment is for April, however since it was received (i.e. dispersed, see NOTE that follows) in March, it must be included in the average. If the April, May, June were being averaged, no support would be countable for April.

In another example, child support has been ongoing and January, February and March are being averaged. Payments received were none for January, $300 for February and $250 for March. The average would be $183.33. If however, support payments had just started in mid January, and only one payment of $150 was received, and February was $300 and March $300, an average would not be done since there are not three full months of child support to average (since it just started in mid January). In this case, support would be prospectively budgeted until an average can be established.

  1. Averaging Arrears - If a court order for child support arrears was in effect prior to the months that would be used in an average, the arrearage received in the last three full calendar months prior to the month the budget is being created is used for the average. Arrearage income received weekly or biweekly is not converted. The actual monthly amount of child support arrears received per absent parent is averaged.

    For example, an application is filed in August and is being processed in August. Determine the amount of child support arrears to budget by averaging actual arrearage payments in May, June and July. If the application is being processed in September, average arrearage payments received in June, July and August.

  2. Child support arrears must be calculated (averaged or prospected as appropriate) at initial application, when processing an interim report for food assistance, and at review.

    NOTE: When averaging child support arrears, the date of receipt is considered to be the disbursement date on the Kansas Pay Center and KAECSES - CSS . When a client is getting child support through KAECSES - CSS , KAECSES - CSS shall be used to verify child support and not the Kansas Pay Center.

  3. Child Support arrears are not averaged in the following situations:

    1. Projected Arrearage payment - If receipt of child support arrears went into effect in one of the three months that would be used in an average, then the support income will be projected based on verified information and not averaged. When projecting child support arrearage income, follow the rules of 7110. If the child support arrears is received weekly or biweekly, then the anticipated arrearage payment is to be converted to a monthly amount.

      This projected amount can continue to be budgeted until the next IR or review. At the time of the next IR or review, the child support arrears will then be averaged (provided there are three full months to average).

    2. Intermittent Support - In rare situations, arrearage payments are ordered to be less frequent than monthly. (For example, payments ordered every six months or yearly for a self-employed person.) In these instances the rules of 7121 apply, and the child support arrears shall be averaged over the period of time the payment is intended to cover.

Also see 6220 (4) and 6410(10) regarding countable child support.

NOTE: If the client reports that child support arrearage income has terminated, then the average can be removed and a prospective estimate of no arrearage income would be used. (Examples: AP has been incarcerated, AP is deceased, AP has been disabled and cannot work). However, if the client sometimes receives arrearage payments and sometimes does not, this is considered fluctuating, irregular income and the average stays in place. Each case has to be determined on a case-by-case basis and carefully documented as to the reason the average was removed, or kept in place when a change of this nature has been reported.

NOTE: Arrearage payments counted for TANF are to be budgeted the same for the food assistance case.