We are finishing up our discussion of a federal regulation set to take effect in March 2013. The rule could have a dramatic effect on noncustodial parents who receive federal benefits and who owe child support payments. The rule comes from the Department of the Treasury, because it writes the checks. The rule will affect clients of the Department of Health and Human Services, though, and advocates are saying the two should talk.
It is hard to argue that there is no child support crisis in Illinois. The most recent data available shows that the Office of the Attorney General collected $190 million in child support from 89 of the state's 102 counties. The question is, how much of that money goes to the families, and how many support payments go into the state's coffers?
The Department of the Treasury recently announced that federal benefits will not be paid by paper check after March 2013. Instead, the funds will be directly deposited into beneficiaries' bank accounts or loaded onto prepaid debit cards. Over the next 10 years, the move to paperless could save the government $1 billion ... and impoverish almost a quarter of a million people.