States to get less to recoup child support

Feb. 15, 2006 at 11:13 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Starting October 2007, states relying on a federal plan to match funds aimed at collecting overdue child-support payments will get less money.

A program started in 1975 matches state funds spent on recouping these payments with federal money.

It has been so successful states are collecting $4.38 for every dollar spent on getting the back payments.

Since 1998, when the federal government started giving money for improving the states programs as well, the success rate has jumped from 23 percent to 51 percent.

But, reports, Congress thinks it's footing too much of the bill now, and is repealing the 1998 program.

California officials say that will leave a $90 million gap in their program, possibly resulting in $160 million less collected in back payments.

State Rep. Dave Jones said this will have a negative effect, putting more people on welfare.

But Nick Young, the head of Virginia's child-support recoup program, said the state is so effective in getting back child-support payments, it will probably just plug the hole left by missing federal funds with state dollars.

A stipulation in the federal cuts allow states to direct up to $100 of child support payments -- usually given to the federal government to repay services like welfare -- back to the families.

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