West Virginia

Department of
Health & Human Resources

Loss of Unemployment Benefits May Modify Child Support Obligation

2/11/2014

CHARLESTON, W.VA. – In light of the recent decision by Congress to end some 
unemployment benefits, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet 
Secretary Karen L. Bowling today reminded residents that individuals owing child support may 
be eligible for a modification in the amount owed. 
 
If there is a substantial change in circumstances due to loss of employment, unemployment 
benefits, or other involuntary causes, individuals may petition the Court for this modification,” 
Bowling said. “However, individuals are still responsible for paying all child support unless the 
amount is changed by the Court.” 
 
Petition forms are available in county Circuit Court Clerk offices and should be completed and 
submitted to the Family Court. The DHHR Bureau for Child Support Enforcement is also 
available to assist in reviewing and filing petitions and can be reached by calling a local child 
support office or the Bureau’s hotline at 1-800-249-3778. 
 
“If you qualify for a modification, the sooner a petition is filed, the better,” said Garrett Jacobs, 
Commissioner for the Bureau. “Modifications may only be made retroactive to the filing date 
and that affects the amount of support that would be owed for a particular time period.” 
 
Additional information on the modification process can be obtained by emailing the Bureau 
at https://www.wvdhhr.org/bcse/problems.cfm. An instructional slide show is also available at 
http://www.wvdhhr.org/bcse/slideshows/changingyourorder/changing_your_order_files/frame.ht
ml.

Contact Information

Kim Rider, Assistant to General Counsel, (304) 356-4730, E-mail: Kim.S.Rider@wv.gov