Although members of the military and military veterans are a small portion of the child support caseload, their cases often pose unique challenges and require specialized attention. Some of those challenges include multiple deployments, a high divorce rate, reduction in pay when transitioning to civilian life, high arrears, interstate involvement, mental health issues and homelessness. To better serve this population, the Western Regional Administrator has been appointed as the Military and Veterans Liaison for the Division. Since she is often contacted by VA case managers and others to assist in troubleshooting a veteran’s child support issues, you may be contacted by her to ask for assistance in helping a veteran.
CSS also participates in Homeless Veteran Stand Down events usually held each September in Oklahoma City (https://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/events.asp). At this event many public and private entities (DHS, CSS, Salvation Army, VA, SSA, OESC, doctors, dentists, barbers, tribes and others) come together to help homeless and other veterans. After these events you may be asked to follow up and assist a veteran with a case in your office.
At the federal level OCSE has set up a Veteran and Military Liaison Network to bring together staff from the state and local child support community to explore ways we can better serve these individuals. The following is a link to military and veterans resources on the OCSE website: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/css/child-support-professionals/working-with/military-veterans
There are also several state resources for veterans. These include the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, https://odva.ok.gov/, and the Veterans Division of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, https://www.ok.gov/oesc/Veterans/index.html
Below are links to pertinent Quest articles about helping military families and the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
- 5-Minute Overview The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) – The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) was originally enacted in 1918, reenacted in 1940, and updated in 2003 with the enactment of the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Since 2003, the SCRA has been amended several times. It is found at 50 U.S.C. §§ 3901 to 4043. It is not found in state statutes.
- Documents & Resources Helping Military Families – An overview and a link to ‘A Handbook for Military Families’ to help customers and staff when enforcing child support.
- Documents & Resources Veterans Toolkit: Child Support Collaborations to Engage and Assist Veterans – Toolkit components: Practical “how-to” information; Power point presentations, sample forms and templates; and, lessons learned, promising practices, & information helpful for establishing effective collaborations to serve at-risk veterans.
- Training Servicemembers Appearance and Waivers – A service member who wishes to cooperate in a court action may waive any of the rights and protections under the SCRA.
- Training SCRA Section 202- Stays – Service member has been served with a court proceeding and made an appearance.
- Training SCRA Section 201 – Service member fails to appear.
- Training SCRA Default Requirements – SCRA must be met before a default is entered.
- Training SCRA Default Affidavits – Process to file a default affidavit verifying Defendant’s military status
- Training SCRA Interest – SCRA provides interest relief for service members.
- Training Servicemember Cannot Avoid Duty to Pay Support – Regulations requiring service member to honor court orders and pay child support.
- Training Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) Guide – A guide for processing child support cases when the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is applicable.
- Training Who Is Protected by the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA)? – The SCRA protects all service members on federal active duty.
- Training NCP Military Service Verified – Verifying military service for NCP.
- Help and How To NCP Military Service Verified II – Updating OSIS for verification of military service.