Important Information for Parents regarding CARES Act federal stimulus checks
While there has been discussion at the national level of a second COVID-19 stimulus payment to families, there has been no law passed by Congress. At this time, the Child Support Services Division has no way of knowing if there will be a second stimulus payment or if the federal government will direct our agency to intercept the stimulus payments for past due child support. We will update this message if the second stimulus payment is passed into law and when we become aware of the intercept rules for that payment.
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (the “Act”). The Act, in part, provides qualifying individuals with a recovery rebate of up to $1,200 (or $2,400 if married and filing jointly), plus up to $500 for each qualifying child.
Please be advised…
The economic impact payments (stimulus payments) made to eligible noncustodial parents who owe past-due child support and who are subject to intercept under the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program will be offset by the amount of past-due child support.
The CARES Act does not provide states the option to suspend federal interception.
This action takes place prior to the funds being received by the state Child Support Services Division.
Children do better when both parents are involved in their lives. Non-custodial parents who support their children financially are also more likely to see them regularly and provide emotional support, which leads to better life outcomes for the family. Sometimes families need formal agreements paid through the court to make sure children are supported financially. There are about 225,000 child support cases in South Carolina that are paid through the court. 70% of these cases are assisted by the Department of Social Services. DSS serves 1 in every 4 children in South Carolina through Child Support. For those cases served by DSS, $300 million was collected on behalf of children in Federal Fiscal Year 2018.
How Does DSS Help?
Child support services are available to anyone in South Carolina regardless of how much money you make. In fact, only about 10% of families receiving services for child support are on TANF. DSS provides services through regional offices and at the county Clerks of Court offices.
DSS can help:
- Establish paternity
- Locate absent parents
- Establish a Child Support Order through the Court
- Collect child support payments from the parent owing support and distribute payments to the parent receiving support.
- Through the Fatherhood program, DSS can also help parents owing support:
- Seek employment
- Overcome barriers to employment
- Develop better parenting skills
- Improve relations with the other parent