If you owe child support, you may never see stimulus money


The stimulus checks should arrive this week -- but not for everyone

(WKBN) – There’s nothing like receiving a check in the mail.  The stimulus check should arrive this week — but not for everyone.

Americans are excited to receive their stimulus checks. The money is important to 17 million Americans out of work.

But some people will never see the money.

“If you are behind in your child support payments, that the child support enforcement agencies can intercept those stimulus monies,” Judge Beth Smith said.

Federal law requires child support agencies to have procedures to collect past due child support from federal tax refunds and the stimulus check is just like a tax refund.

Coronavirus relief legislation allows for stimulus checks to be garnished in certain cases.

“Definitely for child support because it’s so critical for children to receive the support for shelter and food,” Smith said.

If your child support payments are on time, your stimulus check won’t be touched.

“If you’re receiving an economic impact payment or stimulus money jointly with your spouse and only your spouse owes the child support debt, you can file an injured spouse form with IRS but you have to do it timely,” Smith said.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has warned creditors that stimulus checks are protected from bill collectors under state law.

Yost said the stimulus checks were intended to be used during an emergency to put food on the table, keep the lights on and keep a roof over our heads. They weren’t meant to pay off an old bill.

If you owe child support and spousal support, both may be subject to stimulus interception. Just a spousal support order is not subject to the interception.

If your child support goes to the state, you must owe over $150. The balance has to be $500 if you pay it directly.

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