Budget Cuts Force Fee on Child Support Customers
Library: News Release
Phone: (405) 522-0034 Cell: (405) 514-1233
OKLAHOMA CAPITOL -- Starting in February, Oklahoma Child Support Services will collect an annual $25 federal fee from many of its customers.
The Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 requires states to pay $25 per qualifying case each year. OCSS paid the fee for its customers until Sept. 30, 2009. OCSS can no longer afford to cover the federal fee on its customers’ behalf.
“Oklahoma agencies were ordered to cut five percent from their operating budgets when state revenue fell below estimates,” said Gary W. Dart, division director for OCSS. “We hope the $25 federal fee is easier on the families we serve than cutting services would have been.”
OCSS has the most cases per employee within the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Oklahoma is one of the last states to pass the federal fee onto customers.
The fee will be charged to custodial persons receiving state child support services after OCSS has collected and sent at least $500 to the case’s family each federal fiscal year. By law, current and former TANF and AFDC recipients are exempt.
OCSS will review cases going back to October 2009, the start of the current federal fiscal year. In qualifying cases, the fee will be taken from the next child support payment and sent to the federal government. Many customers can expect to see this year’s fee on their first payment after programming is implemented in February. The fee is expected to impact 44,000 cases for a total of $1.1 million.
OCSS is sending notices to custodial persons with open OCSS cases before the fee’s implementation. Mailing costs are covered by federal funds designated for that purpose. Customers may learn more by visiting the annual fee FAQ page or calling CARE toll-free at 1-800-522-2922.
Oklahoma Child Support Services is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. OCSS enhances the well-being of children through its mission to establish, monitor and enforce a reliable source of support for the families it serves. The division is responsible for more than 190,000 active child support cases.