Oil spill aid diverted to child support

Aug. 1, 2011 at 1:52 PM   |   Comments

BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Louisiana says it is intercepting millions in oil spill payments to collect back child support.

Lisa Andry, head of child support enforcement at the Department of Children and Family Services, told the Baton Rouge Advocate $5.5 million in payments for last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster has been intercepted.

"Business is booming," she said.

Andry said the state had found the names of 9,458 people owing $101 million in child support on the list of applicants to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. The biggest individual diversion was $33,817.

"They owe the money, so we've gotten very few complaints," she said.

The agency also is beginning to implement a law passed last year that lets the state confiscate casino winnings of $1,200 or more from people behind on their support payments.

Andry said the program will begin at Hollywood Casino in Baton Rouge this month.

Another avenue for enforcing child support is suspending drivers and hunting and fishing licenses.

"It's great for some of these families that haven't gotten anything for a very long time to get payments," Andry said.

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