Open a Case
Are you receiving Welfare? If yes...
If your child is currently receiving CalWORKs (cash) benefits you do not need to complete an application form; we will automatically open a case for you because the public social services agency must send us a referral. If your child is not receiving CalWORKs because you have exceeded the maximum family grant (you have other children who are receiving CalWORKs), we will also automatically open a case for you.
Are you receiving Welfare? If no...
If your child is not receiving public assistance (“welfare”), and you are the parent or legal guardian of the child, you may apply for services by completing an application, which is available in the following ways:
You may apply online
for free. There is no fee to apply online. A quick and easy interactive web-based system guides you through the child support application process and allows you to electronically submit your forms free of charge.
- You may request an application by telephone by contacting our Customer Contact Center at (866) 901-3212. Please follow the instructions provided by the interactive voice response system. You will be connected to a voice mailbox where you can leave a message. Include your name and address and we will mail you an application. The best time to call to speak with a child support representative is Tuesday through Friday, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.
You may e-mail
a request for an application, with your name and mailing address, to our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org
- You may download the application.
Important: If you complete a paper application (i.e., not online) you must be sure to sign the application. Send the completed application and all accompanying forms to:
Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department
Case Initiation Division
5701 S. Eastern Avenue, 2nd Floor
Commerce, CA 90040-2924
Cost of Services
If your child is receiving CalWORKs benefits, we are required by law to open a case. You do not need to apply for child support services and there is no cost to you.
If your child is not currently receiving aid, you may open a case with our office by submitting an application for services. Although there is no cost to apply for child support services, there may be a minimal annual cost to you if we are successful in collecting support for you. Beginning October 1, 2011, if your child has never received aid, California charges an annual service fee of $25 once we have sent you payments totaling $500 or more in the previous federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). This fee is based on federal law and state policy. The fee will automatically be deducted from your next payment(s) until the full $25 is paid. If you have more than one case open with our office or any other local child support agency, the payments and fees will be calculated separately for each case. The California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) began sending one-time notices to existing case participants in May 2011. DCSS will send a notification letter on October 1 of each year to custodial parties who have qualifying cases and are being charged the annual service fee. To learn more, please click on $25 Annual Service Fee.
Important Information We Need From You When You Open a Case
If you have an existing child support order, please provide:
If you are not the parent of the child, please provide:
Please keep in mind that you should provide the most complete, reliable, and accurate information possible. This should make it easier and faster to obtain and enforce a child support order.
To learn more about the Child Support Process, please click on one of the following links:
Overview / Locate a Parent / Establish Paternity / Establish a Court Order / Enforcing a Court Order / Out-of-State / Close a Case / Open a Case FAQs