Opening a Case

A: You may apply online by accessing the Online Application, a single state-approved online application process that is easy, secure, and of no cost to you. Please note:  Once this application is submitted and received by the LCSA, they will provide additional forms and information that are needed to move forward in processing your request for child support services. If you receive CalWORKS or Medi-Cal, a case will be opened by referral from the Department of Human Assistance and this packet will automatically be mailed to you at that time.

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Q: I am not receiving Cal​WORKs; how do I apply for your services?

A: You can call our office to have the forms sent to you through the mail. Our phone number is (866) 901-3212. Our street address is 3701 Power Inn Road, Sacramento. Once you have completed all of the forms, please come in to our office to meet with a case worker anytime during our office hours of Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.. While you are highly encouraged to come in to meet with a case worker, if you are unable to do so, please mail your completed Application for Services to Sacramento County DCSS, P.O. Box 269112, Sacramento, CA 95826, or drop it off at 3701 Power Inn Road, Sacramento, CA 95826.

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Q: What is the cost of your services?

A: Our services are free.

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Q: What documentation or information will I need to open the case?

A: The most important piece of information is the non-custodial parent's Social Security number; it is key to accessing locate sources. Also important is information regarding the non-custodial parent's employment, home and work addresses, date of birth, any prior court order information and, if you're not receiving CalWORKs, a copy of your pay stub. The more information you supply in your application, the quicker we will be able to help.

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Q: How long will it take to open a case?

A: Within twenty days of receipt of a completed application or welfare referral we will open a case, we will start verifying information received, such as addresses and employment information, and mail a case opening letter to the custodial and non-custodial parent.

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Q: Will you open a case for spousal support only?

A: We collect spousal support obligations when current child support is also ordered in the court order or if the non-custodial parent resides in another state and that state’s child support laws allow for the collection of spousal support.

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Q: My children and I are receiving CalWORKs benefits, but I did not apply for your services. Why was a case opened?

A: If you are receiving CalWORKs benefits, State and Federal law require recipients to participate in the child support program. The Department of Human Assistance must send the Department of Child Support Services a referral to open a case to establish paternity and child support for the child (ren) receiving the benefits. When you are approved for these benefits, your rights to child support are assigned to the county for the time period you are on aid. The Department of Child Support Services is required to establish paternity, child support, and medical insurance court orders and obtain payments for these orders. Child support collected for the periods you are receiving aid will be forwarded to the Department of Human Assistance.

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Q: The non-custodial parent and I already have an agreement regarding child support. Why are you pursuing him/her?

A: This office must legally establish paternity and a court order for child support in a court order for children receiving CalWORKS​ or MediCal benefits. An agreement, even a notarized agreement, is not an enforceable court order, which is what we are required to obtain.

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Q: If I discontinue from CalWORKs, will you close your case?

A: We will continue to collect child support on your behalf unless you request in writing that we close the non-welfare portion of your case. Even if we do close your non-welfare portion of the case, we will continue to pursue for the child support owed for the time period you were receiving CalWORKs benefits.

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Q: How long before I start receiving child support payments?​

A: It varies from case to case depending on the information provided and the cooperation from the non-custodial parent.

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