SAEF Legal Aid logo. Click to return to home pageMobile menu. Click to view page options.
X button. Click to close window.

Child Support Owed to a Parent vs. the State

Please note that the legal information presented on this page is intended only for those living in the state of Illinois.

Child support refers to cash payments made by one parent of a child to the other. These payments are meant to support the cost of raising and caring for a minor child.

However, the amount a parent owes for a child support order may not be owed entirely to the child's other parent. In some cases, child support payment may also be owed to the state of Illinois.

This article explains when child support order is owed to the state. Additionally, we discuss why knowing whether you owe the state child support is important, and how you can find out whom you owe child support to.

When is Child Support owed to the State?

The state of Illinois gets funding from the federal government to enter and enforce child support orders. The state offers these services to parents – free of charge – through the IV-D program.

Why is this important? If a parent in the IV-D program receives Medicaid or TANF, the state has the right to take a portion of child support payments made to that parent. This allows the state to reimburse the cost of providing parents with Medicaid or TANF (PM 24-01-04-a).

Why is this Important to Know?

If you are a parent that owes an unaffordable amount of past-due child support, you may qualify for Project Clean Slate. This six-month program can help qualifying parents erase all past-due child support owed to the state.

Project Clean Slate is available only to those who were unable to pay child support on-time because:

  • you became unemployed
  • you became incarcerated; or
  • you began suffering from a serious illness

Additionally, parents who wish to start a child support case should consider whether the IV-D program will suit their needs. While the IV-D program is free for a parent receiving Medicaid or TANF, the state may recoup a portion of all child support payments received by that parent.

How To Find Out Whom You Owe Child Support To

If you have ever made a child support payment to the Illinois State's Disbursement Unit (SDU), you can call them to ask whom your child support payments are owed to at 1-(877)-225-7077. You will likely have to present them with the PIN number you use to make child support payments online.

Alternatively, if you have an administrative child support order, you can call HFS at 1-(800)-447-4278 to request information about whether you owe the state child support.

See Related