Apply for Child Support Services
The Child Support Services Department (DCSS) provides child and medical support services to the community.
If you are the parent and have custody of a minor child or legal guardianship, you can apply for a case with San Luis Obispo County DCSS. Once an application is received, it will be processed within 20 calendar days through our Intake unit and a case number will be assigned.
What is the process?
Apply: Apply for Child Support Services
You can apply for services in several ways:
- Submit an application online, available in English or Spanish. This new state approved online application process is simple, secure, and free.
- Print and complete an Application for Child Support Services Packet in English or Spanish and mail to our office at 1200 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.
- Contact our office by phone at 866-901-3212 or email at [email protected] and request an application be mailed to you.
- Come into our local office between office hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and request an application.
*If you are receiving California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and a parent is absent from the home or establishment of legal parentage is necessary, a referral for child support services will automatically be sent by the Department of Social Services to DCSS.
California's Child Support Services Program works with parents and guardians to ensure children and families receive court-ordered financial and medical support. Either parent (the person paying support or the person receiving support), or the caretaker/ guardian of a child may open a Child Support Case by completing an application. DCSS will also open a case for any individual receiving California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) who has been referred by the county Department of Social Services. Court ordered legal guardians of a child, who do not receive Calworks may also open a case for support against both parents.
Under federal law, the California Department of Child Support Services is required to charge a yearly service fee for certain, non-assisted cases. If the fee applies to you, you will receive an annual service fee assessment notice in October for each case to which the fee applies. This annual $35 fee is for cases that receive payments equal to or more than $550 when assessed on October 1.
This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are located at 1200 Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo, California between Johnson Avenue and Santa Rosa Street. The office is located on the corner of Monterey and Toro Streets, with the entrance on Toro Street.
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Individuals currently receiving California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) are automatically referred to their local child support agency for services. If you are a CalWORKS beneficiary and have questions about your case, please contact your local child support agency.
Child support is defined by law as the ongoing monetary expenditures and payments necessary to cover a child’s living and medical expenses. Both parents have a legal duty to provide financial support for their children. The Court may order either or both parents to make ongoing payments to cover a child’s living and medical expenses.
There are 51 County and Regional Child Support Agencies throughout California. The Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) is the organization through which the public can apply for help in obtaining child support. Find the San Luis Obispo LCSA.
Customers with private child support cases must complete and provide the State the FL-191 (Child Support Case Registry) and FL-195 (Income Withholding for Support) when entering into a court order with family, or child and spousal support. Often the court will provide the FL-191 to the State.
- After serving the FL-195 to the employer, mail a copy of the FL-195 to the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU) at:
CA State Disbursement Unit (SDU)
P.O. Box 980218
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0218
Under federal law, the California Department of Child Support Services is required to charge a yearly service fee for certain, non-assisted cases. If the fee applies to you, you will receive an annual service fee assessment notice in October for each case to which the fee applies. This annual fee changes from $25 to $35 on cases that received payments equal to or more than $550 when assessed on 10/1/2020, and annually thereafter.
There are several ways to apply for a Child Support Case:
- You can apply online using the Online Application (OLA)
- You can download an application in English or Spanish
- You can have an application mailed to you by calling 1-866-901-3212
- Applications are also available at the Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) in your county of residence. Find your local agency here.
Completed applications with an original signature can be mailed to, or dropped off at your LCSA to be processed. For more information, see these Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a private child support case, it is considered Non IV-D and means that your case is not being enforced by the State or the Local Child Support Agency. In private cases, the State only processes payments made by wage withholding order through the employer of the parent paying support.
Child support case information is confidential and not open to the public, but documents in court files or county recorder files are public records.
The services provided by the State through the Local Child Support Agencies (LCSA) include:
- locating parents
- establishing parentage
- establishing and maintaining support orders
- working with other states to enforce support orders
- collecting and processing payments
Child support services do NOT include divorce, custody, or visitation. These services must be resolved in a court of law.
Parents, guardians, and caretakers of minor children can receive services from a Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) regardless of marital status and income. Individuals with children receiving California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) benefits are required to cooperate with the LCSA in establishing paternity and collecting child support. If you have applied for services, or if an application has been filed on your behalf with the LCSA, your case is considered IV-D.
Apply for services below.