Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF)

Federal law requires applicants for, and recipients of the cash assistance program Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) to assign their rights collect child support to the State in order to receive benefits. In addition, each applicant or recipient must cooperate with the State to establish the paternity of a child born outside marriage and to obtain child support payments.

When a child receives public assistance monies, Department of Human Services (DHS) refers the matter to the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) to obtain a child support order requiring the noncustodial parent to pay child support. Current child support collected while a child receives TANF goes to reimburse the State for monies paid to support the child.  Under certain conditions current support collected over and above State reimbursement may be paid to the custodial parent.

When the CSEA receives the DHS referral, it begins the administrative process to locate the parents, obtain income information and generate a proposed child support order using the Hawaiʻi Child Support Guidelines.