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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Welfare Income and Child Support with No Court Order

    My question involves child support in the State of: West Virginia (Payments come from California)

    Hello.

    I currently reside in West Virginia. My child is 7 years old, and his father lives in California. My child's father and I were never married, and the child and I left California in 2007 and moved to Minnesota for 1 year. While in Minnesota, my $400 a month was not accepted as child support and they required a court order. Thus we were denied welfare. Understandable, of course.

    In Sept of 2008, I moved to West Virginia. In the beginning I listed $400 as child support, but they did not require a court order. This $400 was considered a part of our unearned income. It was this way until Jan 2011. In January, we had a new social worker and the lady said that the payments were not considered child support, and she did not list it as our income (but WV also didn't require my child to have court ordered child support to receive welfare so we were still OK to receive SNAP benefits) It has slightly bothered me that we are receiving income that is not listed in order to receive welfare benefits, however I let it pass because preparing our taxes for the past 2 years they said that the $4800 a year did not have to be listed on our tax return.

    We now have a new social worker, and I want to know if I need to tell him that we receive $400 a month as child support even though it's not court ordered. Because ever since the lady removed our $400 a month, we receive $50 more a month in food stamps. We are only reviewed every 6 months.

    I certainly do not want any case of "Fraud" going on. As I understand, ignorance is not an excuse for the law. Is this income considered child support with no court order? Does this income need to be listed as income to the department of health and human resources who manages our welfare benefits?

    (I am a full time student, married with two children. We survive off one income while I finish school, and do not plan on being on welfare for too much longer. )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    13,495

    Default Re: Welfare Income and Child Support with No Court Order

    All sources of money into the household need to be reported.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    26,548

    Default Re: Welfare Income and Child Support with No Court Order

    Quick question:

    Do you actually state that the $400 is child support, knowing that there is no support ordered either by the court or administratively?

    In other words, accepting the money as a gift, so to speak?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Welfare Income and Child Support with No Court Order

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
    View Post
    Quick question:

    Do you actually state that the $400 is child support, knowing that there is no support ordered either by the court or administratively?

    In other words, accepting the money as a gift, so to speak?
    Yes, I state that the money is for child support knowing there is no court order (And it IS the purpose of the money, but I'm not sure how that sits legally?)
    Now I am scared, is that illegal?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    73,174

    Default Re: Welfare Income and Child Support with No Court Order

    It sounds like the case worker classified the money as a gift rather than as income. I won't opine as to whether that classification was proper under the agency's rules, as I don't have them before me; but it seems to me that West Virginia has a pretty broad definition of income for
    Quote Quoting WV Code § 9-9-3(j). Definitions - Income
    (j) "Income" means money received by any member of an at-risk family which can be used at the discretion of the household to meet its basic needs: Provided, That income does not include:
    (1) Supplemental security income paid to any member or members of the at-risk family;

    (2) Earnings of minor children;

    (3) Payments received from earned income tax credit or tax refunds;

    (4) Earnings deposited in an individual development account approved by the department;

    (5) Any educational grant or scholarship income regardless of source; or

    (6) Any moneys specifically excluded from countable income by federal law;
    If you did have a formal support order or if West Virginia chose to seek one, they could unquestionably recover benefits paid to you from the support. Typically the agency will seek a support order; perhaps it's the low amount of aid and the fact that dad's in another state that has caused this agency not to do so.
    Quote Quoting WV Code § 9-3-4. Assignment of support obligations.
    Any recipient of financial assistance under the program of state and federal assistance established by Title IV of the federal Social Security Act of 1965, as amended, or any successor act thereto, shall, as a condition of receiving assistance funded under this part, assign to the Department of Health and Human Resources any right the family member may have (on behalf of the family member or of any other person for whom the family member has applied for or is receiving such assistance) to support from any other person, not exceeding the total amount of assistance so paid to the family, which accrues during the period that the family receives assistance under the program.

    Each applicant for assistance subject to the assignment established in this section shall (during the application process) be informed in writing of the nature of the assignment.

    Any payment of federal and state assistance made to or for the benefit of any child or children or the caretaker of a child or children creates a debt due and owing to the Department of Health and Human Resources by the person or persons responsible for the support and maintenance of the child, children or caretaker in an amount equal to the amount of assistance money paid: Provided, That the debt is limited by the amount established in any court order or final decree of divorce if the amount in the order or decree is less than the amount of assistance paid.

    The assignment under this section shall subrogate the Department of Health and Human Resources to the rights of the child, children or caretaker to the prosecution or maintenance of any action or procedure existing under law providing a remedy whereby the Department of Health and Human Resources may be reimbursed for moneys expended on behalf of the child, children or caretaker. The Department of Health and Human Resources shall further be subrogated to the debt created by any order or decree awarding support and maintenance to or for the benefit of any child, children or caretaker included within the assignment under this section and shall be empowered to receive money judgments and endorse any check, draft, note or other negotiable document in payment thereof.

    The assignment created under this section shall be released upon closure of the assistance case and the termination of assistance payments except for support and maintenance obligations accrued and owing at the time of closure which are necessary to reimburse the department for any balance of assistance payments made.

    The Department of Health and Human Resources may, at the election of the recipient, continue to receive support and maintenance moneys on behalf of the recipient following closure of the assistance case and shall distribute the moneys to the caretaker, child or children.

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