What Does It Mean To Assign My Support Rights?

CalWORKS and Medi­Cal recipients must assign their support rights. When you assign your support rights to the county, you are giving the county the right to keep any child and spousal support and medical support money that was owed to you at the time you began receiving public assistance and any money it collects for you. The county will use that money to pay back any CalWORKS payments, foster care payments or Medi­Cal services given to you or paid on behalf of your child. Any support money collected that is more than the CalWORKS benefits you receive will be paid to you.

Parents of children placed in foster care do not assign their support rights. When a child is placed in foster care, his/her support rights are automatically assigned to the state under law. Support that is collected and in excess of the aid paid for a foster care child is placed in trust or used in the best interest of the child as determined by the county Welfare Department.

Regardless of whether you agree or not, support rights are assigned by operation of law when you and /or your child(ren) receive CalWORKS and/or Medi­Cal. If you do not agree to assign your support rights you will not get any CalWORKS money or Medi­Cal benefits for yourself. Your child(ren) will still be able to get a smaller CalWORKS grant and Medi­Cal, but instead of sending the check to you, the county may have another person manage the payments to meet your child(ren)`s needs.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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