If you are a parent who receives child support and receive government benefits in West Virginia, the state handles your child support payments. While this may seem helpful, it may actually hurt you and the parent who pays the support. The system is not necessarily good for anyone except the state. 

According to the New York Times, when you receive government benefits, the state becomes the owner of your child support payments. If you did not have an order prior to collecting benefits, then the state steps in and creates one. This enables the state to recoup some of the money that it pays you in benefits. It also allows it to set an order that may not reflect the other parent’s ability to pay because it may not use the same formulas as the court would. 

When the other parent pays child support, it goes to the state, not you. The state will then keep some of the money to repay the benefits it gives you. Then, it will pay you up to $100 if you have one child or up to $200 if you have more than one child out of what the other parent paid. That means the most you can get in child support if you receive benefits is $100 to $200 dollars. 

The good news in West Virginia is the state will not count that money as income, so it does not affect your benefits. In other states, the state does count the money as income. This information is for education and is not legal advice.