FAA5.I Determining Benefits : 03 Expenses : C NA Child Support Expense
NA Child Support Expense
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program
Child support expenses are payments made by a participant in the NA budgetary unit to a person outside the home.
Policy
Allowable Deductions
The following payments are allowable child support expenses:
Court-ordered child support or cash medical support payments made by a participant to an agency (such as the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)) or to the court.
NOTE When the participant pays less than the monthly court-ordered amount, only the amount paid is allowable. The allowable child or cash medical support expense cannot exceed the monthly court order unless the excess amount is due to DCSS adding arrearages to the court order.
Recurring arrearage amounts that are being paid for additional child or cash medical support arrearages added to the court order by DCSS.
NOTE Recurring legally owed child or cash medical support arrearages are allowable only when the expense has been verified as paid.
Nonrecurring lump sum child or cash medical support expenses are allowable in the month the expense is paid. When the nonrecurring lump sum payment is more than the court order, only the court-ordered amount is allowed unless the expense includes recurring child or cash medical support arrearages or clearinghouse fees.
The participant may pay their legally owed child support or cash medical support payment to a third party in place of the cash payment in accordance with the court order. When this occurs, the payment is allowable as a child support expense for NA. Third party payments include the following:
Mortgage payments
Insurance payments
Car payments
Medical insurance and bills
The deduction amount is the lesser of either of the following:
The court-ordered amount
The verified amount actually paid
NOTE The deduction amount may be reduced when it includes payment that is not allowable.
Deductions That Are Not Allowable
The child support expense is not allowed when all of the following are in the same budgetary unit:
The parent paying the child support.
The child for whom the child support is being paid.
The parent receiving the child support.
The following is not allowable as a child support expense and is removed from the payment amount:
Any portion of the child support payment that is paid with income that is considered not countable.
Employer charges for garnishment that are not part of the court-ordered child or cash medical support expense.
Verification
The court-ordered child support amount and the pay history must be verified before allowing the child support expense.
Verification of the last 30 calendar days, or longer when needed, is required when the child or cash medical support expense is paid consistently by the participant on a monthly or more than monthly basis.
Verification of the most recent prior three consecutive months is needed to average the expense when one or more of the following occurs regarding the child support payment:
Paid less often than monthly
Paid with no established frequency
Unpredictable
One or more months had no payment (zero paid month)
Verification of the court-ordered child support amount that can be used includes the following:
Court records
Pay records from the Clerk of the Court in Arizona or another state
Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) documents showing the amount of support required to be paid
SSA or SSI pay history from the HEAplus State Online Query Internet (SOLQI) screen or the SSA award letter when the child support is taken out of the benefit
Verification of the pay history that can be used includes the following:
Pay records from the Clerk of the Court in Arizona or another state
DCSS documents showing the amount of current support paid
Copies of cancelled checks or money order receipts made out to the custodial parent
Receipts and pay histories from any state’s child support centralized payment processing center
Paycheck stub with garnishment amount
Written statement from a person not in the budgetary unit to whom payments are made
Screenshots of verification from the AZ Child Support Services Portal
SSA or SSI pay history from the SOLQI screen or the SSA award letter when the child support is taken out of the benefit
Legal Authorities
7 CFR 273.2(f)(8)(ii)
7 CFR 273.9(c)(17)
7 CFR 273.9(d)(5)
last revised 03/28/2022