Applying for or receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Adult Medicaid
- In order to receive TANF or Adult Medicaid, you must provide information about the absent parent to your HHSC eligibility advisor AND you will be required to cooperate with the OAG in obtaining child or medical support from the other parent of your child(ren), unless you are granted good cause from this requirement.
- The OAG will contact you to obtain information in order to open a child support case. It is important to complete all forms and submit them back to the OAG within the time limit stated, or you risk losing your benefits.
- You will have to provide the OAG with information on the absent parent. If you feel that you cannot provide information about the other parent of your child, for any reason, click here.
- If no child support order exists, an order will be established, which may include financial and medical support, as well as custody and visitation. Paternity will also be established at this time, if necessary.
- Paternity must be established before a court can order child support. If your child's paternity has to be established and you would like genetic testing, notify the child support office that is handling your case as soon as possible after the child support case is opened. Click here for more information on genetic testing.
- In a case where an order already exists for the child, the OAG assess the case to determine if child support is set at an appropriate amount and enforce any back child support that has not been paid.
If you have safety concerns about the child support process or if there is a history of family violence, it is important to contact the child support office that is handling your case to share your safety concerns.
If you have safety concerns about the child support process or if there is a history of family violence, you have options
- Option 1: Victims of family violence who believe receiving child support services will put them or their children in danger may ask HHSC to grant them permission to not cooperate with the OAG. To request this permission, you must submit a request for HHSC to find that you have “good cause” to not cooperate with the OAG for child support establishment and enforcement services. As the custodial parent, if you are granted good cause, this will stop the child support process completely. If you later determine that you need or want child support services you will have to ask HHSC to remove the “good cause” finding, or if you are no longer receiving benefits, you will have to apply for OAG child support services.
- Option 2: You can inform the Office of the Attorney General about your safety concerns and request that a Family Violence Indicator on your case, all you need to do is inform the Office of the Attorney General – Child Support Division about your safety concerns. The OAG will ask you to complete and submit an Request for Nondisclosure, which is a form that documents your safety concerns. You could also provide a copy of your protective order against the other parent (if one exists) or any police or medical reports that could help document family violence.
- Once the Family Violence Indicator is on your case, your contact information, such as your physical address, will not be printed on court documents unless required by the law, and if the court agrees, your address will not be made available to the other parent. Your case will also be set for a court hearing, instead of a negotiation meeting with the other parent in the local child support office when it is necessary to file a legal action with the court.
- If you do not inform the Office of the Attorney General about family violence, there will not be a Family Violence Indicator placed on your case. Your contact information will be printed on public court documents and your child support order, which are available to the other parent unless the court orders this information restricted. Your case will most likely be scheduled for a negotiation meeting with the other parent in the child support office (Child Support Review Process: CSRP).
- You are legally required to appear in court on your court date. If you do not appear, a default judgment may be entered anyway. If you have safety concerns about appearing in court, contact the child support office to discuss these concerns.
- During a CSRP or court hearing, an order will be established, which may include financial and medical support, as well as custody and visitation. Paternity will also be established at this time, if necessary.
- Go to the Preparing for Court and Court Process section to find out more information on safety precautions that can be made available to you for your court date, and what the court process will be like.