COVID-19 Impact on Child Support and Stimulus Payments

An adult and a child hold hands

Thousands of parents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may face lost jobs or reduced income. This can be a financial loss for two households. However, the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) wants you to know there are steps you can take and information you should know to help navigate the child support process and any necessary changes.

Submitting Payment

Walk-in payments are not being accepted at this time. Please consider the following alternative ways to pay your monthly child support payment:

  • Income withholding,
  • mail,
  • credit card,
  • checking account debit,
  • and MoneyGram.

For details, visit our website.

Unemployed and/or unable to pay

If you are unable to pay child support because of a change in your employment status, it is important to notify OCSS. Under certain conditions, you may request an Administrative Review of your child support case to possibly modify the child support obligation amount. If you receive unemployment compensation, deductions will continue towards your child support obligations. The amount may vary based on the benefit amount and whether you are behind on payments. Note, when applying for benefits, you should affirm that you make child support payments, but it is not necessary to provide specific information (order number, case number or weekly amount).

Economic Impact Payments

Economic Impact Payments may be subject to child support deductions. The CARES law that authorized the issuance of stimulus checks does not exempt stimulus checks from being intercepted to pay past due child support because of a financial hardship. The IRS may intercept the entire amount of your stimulus check to pay past due child support obligations. Visit the Ohio Child Support website for more details. If you receive a joint stimulus check with your spouse and only the spouse owes the child support debt, you may file an injured spouse form with the IRS. Please visit the IRS website about Form 8379 to file your claim.

Genetic Testing

At a time of uncertainty, unmarried parents may want to establish legal paternity to ensure both parents’ legal and financial rights. Because of the pandemic, genetic testing has been suspended and will be scheduled at a later date. If you have an upcoming genetic testing appointment, you will be contacted to reschedule. If you have additional questions or concerns, feel free to send an email.

Contacting the Office of Child Support Services

Cuyahoga County buildings are closed to the public, but OCSS employees are available by calling 216-443-5100. Representatives are available Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. You can also access the Child Support Customer Service Web Portal or email cuycsea@jfs.ohio.gov.

Administrative Hearings

Administrative hearings will be held over the phone. The hearing officer will call you at your scheduled hearing time.

For answers to more of the frequently asked questions about child support visit the OCSS website or call 216-443-5100 for help.