Human Resources Administration311Search all websites

Custodial Parents

To enroll in the child support program, any mother, father, or guardian who cares for a child can go to the Family Court in the borough they live in, regardless of immigration status and where the NCP resides. Parents who receive cash assistance are automatically referred to our Borough Offices for services and must comply to avoid losing some of their benefits.

Our services include:

  • Locating the other parent
  • Establishing legal fatherhood (parentage)
  • Establishing child support and medical support orders
  • Collecting and distributing support payments
  • Enforcement of child support orders
  • Connecting NCPs to jobs
  • Offering debt reduction
  • Providing summons service

Even if you believe the noncustodial parent cannot afford to pay child support right now, you should still get a child support order. Establishing legal fatherhood or parentage just by itself can benefit your child.

Establishing custody & visitation orders is done in a separate part of the New York City Family Court. Learn more on the Court's Custody & Visitation webpage. If you would like to discuss whether custody & visitation orders are right for you, OCSS can refer you and the other parent to mediation services. Custody & visitation orders are not required to establish a child support order.

Family Legal Care can support your technology needs with computers, internet access, phones, scanners, printers/fax, and assistance with Court navigation support. Visit the Family Legal Care Tech Hub page for more information.

If you need to contact us, please use one of the methods listed on our contact list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal the details.

How can I receive child support services?

The NYC Child Support – ACCESS HRA Mobile App can help you enroll in child support services or submit a referral if you are receiving public benefits (watch the video). Alternatively, you can download an application using the links below. You can also call the Child Support Helpline at 888-208-4485 to have an application/referral mailed to you or to request assistance with completing an application/referral. Learn more about how to apply for child support

Alternatively, you may be eligible to participate in the Child Support Stipulation Agreement Program (CSSAP). CSSAP can simplify the child support process and may reduce the time you spend in Family Court.

To determine if child support is right for you, please review: Information for all potential child support applicants about getting child support safely. Learn more about Domestic Violence.

Family Safety Questions (LDSS-5226)
Also available in:

I Have a Child Support appointment - for Cash Assistance Applicants and Recertifications

Not responding to a child support notice or missing a child support appointment may result in your Cash Assistance benefit being reduced by 25%, loss of Medicaid coverage for yourself, and loss of eligibility for some rental assistance programs. For assistance, please call the phone number on your appointment notice or email OCSS at

I want to stop a sanction

To lift (stop) a sanction, custodial parents need to comply with the requests of the Child Support Program. Watch Cash Assistance: Why Comply with NYC Child Support. Contact the local OCSS Borough Office to get more information on how to comply.

Child Support Borough Offices serve as the point of entry into the NYC Child Support Program for parents and guardians applying for or receiving Cash Assistance. They are automatically referred to OCSS for child support services and are required to comply with the Child Support Program in order to receive full Cash Assistance benefits and medical benefits for themselves. Those that do not comply because they do not keep their appointment, provide required documentation/information, or appear for a parentage hearing are referred for sanctioning. These clients lose 25% of their cash benefit, Medicaid for themselves, and may not be eligible for some rental assistance programs.

How much child support will I receive?

The amount of child support income received is based on the child support obligation set by the Court. Provided the noncustodial parent pays, the full amount of child support income is distributed to custodial parents, unless they are receiving cash assistance. Cash assistance clients receive up to $100 in child support income with one child and $200 with two children, above their cash assistance benefit amount. In those situations where a child resides in Foster Care, all of the child support income is retained by the DSS.

Use the child support calculator to see how much you might receive.

Did I get the right amount of child support while on cash assistance?

While on cash assistance you get the first $100 of child support payments made by the other parent and $200 if you have two or more children. The rest is sent to the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to pay back your family's cash assistance benefits. The amount that you receive is called a “pass-through” payment. You receive it in addition to your cash assistance benefits on your EBT card.

For example, you have one child, and your cash assistance benefit is $400 per month. The other parent pays $100 in child support income. Your child support order is $100 or more monthly. You receive a total of $500 per month - $400 cash assistance plus $100 in child support.

You can ask the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) if you received the right amount of pass-through payments anytime. OCSS can also confirm if HRA kept more child support payments than what you received in cash assistance benefits. This process is called a “desk review”.

For example, if you received a total of $10,000 in cash assistance benefits and the other parent paid $12,000 in child support, you will receive the additional $2,000 child support paid. ($12,000 child support income minus $10,000 cash assistance benefits)

Review the examples. They may help you understand the amount of the payment you received or why you did not receive a payment.

Steps to request a desk review:

If you still have questions or think a mistake was made, fill out the Desk Review Request Form. Here are the instructions.

Submit the completed Desk Review Request form by email, in person, or by mail. Refer to the contact flyer for more information:

Learn more about the Desk Review process at You can speak to OCSS Customer Service staff by email, by phone appointment, or in person. You can also call the New York State Helpline at 888-208-4485.

Advance Child Tax Credit

To help families during COVID, the U.S. government made changes to the Child Tax Credit (CTC). Families can get half of the fully refundable credit–worth up to $3,600 per child–as monthly payments in 2021 and the other half as a refund in 2022. Child Tax Credit payments began on July 15, 2021.

Translated CTC Posters and Flyers are available online.


Brochures and Other Information