|DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The following list of questions is the most frequently asked by individuals
families inquiring about our services. Please click the subject below and
it will link
you to the answer.
Child Support Enforcement
Q. What is Child Support Enforcement?
A. Child support enforcement staff helps locate non-custodial parents
and assist in
establishing paternity and getting child support payments ordered by
Once court orders have been established, child support payments are receipted
the Centralized Collection Operation. To enforce a court order, child
can initiate legal action against the nonpaying parent, withhold support
from the nonpaying parents' wages and intercept their tax refunds.
Paternity establishment for children born outside of marriage
Establishing a legal father for a child ensures certain rights for the
child, such as a
greater sense of identity, access to paternal medical information,
death and insurance benefits and military benefits.
A child support order cannot be established for a child who is born
parents unless the alleged father acknowledges paternity or is proven
to be the
father. Paternity may be established by voluntary acknowledgment of
by court order.
The most convenient time for parents to establish paternity for their
child is in the
hospital when the child is born. The father must be present and provide
identification to have his name placed on the Affidavit of Parentage. When
document is filed with Vital Records, both parents' names are recorded
on the birth
Genetic testing (DNA) is recommended if there are doubts regarding
of the child. This test is highly accurate in determining the probability
that a man is
the father of a child. Blood or tissue samples may be used for testing.
method uses tissue swabbed from the inside of the cheek. Test results
peace of mind to parents establishing paternity voluntarily, or may
be presented as
evidence in legal proceedings to establish paternity.
If paternity is not established voluntarily, legal action may be filed
with the courts.
A formal complaint is served upon the alleged father, initiating court
action. A court
hearing is held and the court enters an order establishing paternity.
Location of non-custodial parents
The noncustodial parent(s) must be located before any actions to establish
paternity, establish support or enforce a child support order can take
primary source of information that Child Support staff uses to locate
parent is the information given by the customer.
Information such as name, date of birth, social security number, address,
and vehicle ownership information can assist child support staff in
noncustodial parent. With this type of information the Child Support
Unit can access
location information from both state and national computer databases
to assist in
Visit the following link for more information about the Federal Child
Child Support Enforcement Program.
How to get help?
If you want or need help with a child support problem, simply contact
your local the
Atlantic County Department of Family and Community Development, Child
Q. What is the Food Stamp Program?
A. The Food Stamp Program is a federal program that provides a monthly
of Food Stamp benefits issued via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards
The Food Stamp Program is an entitlement program. Food Stamp benefits
used to purchase most foods at participating stores. They may not be
purchase tobacco, pet food, paper products, soap products, or alcoholic
Eligible households must be given the opportunity to receive Food Stamp
no later than thirty days from the date of application. Individuals
circumstances must be given an opportunity to receive Food Stamp benefits
than seven days from the date of application. Food stamps help single
families with little or no income to buy food.
Q. Are food stamps cash?
A. No. Food stamps are benefits that you can use
only for the purchase of food.
Food stamp benefits come on a plastic card that you use like a bankcard.
stores accept food stamps.
Q. Can I get food stamps just for myself if I
live with my family or others?
A. People who live together and buy food and prepare meals together are
as a "household." Husbands and wives and most children under
the age of 22 must
be one household.
Q. Will I have to get a Social Security number?
A. Yes, you must have or will have to get a Social Security number for
Q. Can legal non-citizens get food stamps?
A. You might be able to get food stamps. Talk with a food stamp worker
Even if you can't get food stamps, family members born in this country
food stamps will not hurt you if you want to become a citizen.
Q. Can I get help if I'm not working?
A. Yes. However, in most cases, once enrolled in the Food Stamp Program
are able to work, you must look for work, go to training, or attend an
Q. How many assets can we have?
A. Households with a member aged 60 or older may have up to $3,000 in countable
assets. Other households may have up to $2,000 The Food Stamp Program does
count the house you are living in and up to $9,500 of the fair market value
Q. What are the allowable deductions?
A. Allowable deductions are:
- 20% of earned income
- A standard deduction of $314
- Medical expenses over $35 a month for elderly or disabled members
- Certain dependent childcare costs: no more than $200 for each child
age of two and $175 for each other dependant
- Legally owed child support
- A percentage of shelter costs
Q. How do I get food stamps?
A. You must apply for food stamps. Office locations and phone numbers
below. When you apply, you should bring with you: identification, Social
numbers for all household members, proof of all income, documentation of
resources, alien status, proof of shelter costs, disability documentation,
medical expenses for elderly and disable household members, and the name,
address and telephone numbers of your childcare provider(s).
To learn more about the Food Stamp Program, please visit the United States
Department of Agriculture's web site.
Although you can apply for food stamps at the Atlantic County
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) offices, the Food Stamp
Program is separate from cash assistance. Applying for food stamps does
not count toward the five-year lifetime limit on welfare benefits .
Q. Is Emergency Assistance available to families?
A. Families who are experiencing a financial emergency
may be eligible for financial
help to pay for housing and utilities. Families that meet the following
criteria may be eligible for Emergency Assistance:
- The family must have a child under age 21 who lives with a relative as
for Work First.
- Total income must be at or below 200% of poverty level.
- Family members must meet the same citizenship requirements as for WFNJ