A new law passed by the United States Congress is making all states collect a $25 annual fee each year for certain child support cases. This applies to child support cases that never received cash assistance benefits, have an open child support case in Pennsylvania, and collect at least $500 in child support annually. The fee is collected to cover some of the federal government’s costs of providing child support enforcement services. (Pub. L. 109-171; § 7310.)
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Public Welfare will:
• Pay the fee for families with annual child support
collections between $500 and $1,999.99, and
• Deduct the fee from the custodial parent if $2,000
or more of child support is collected in a year from the
noncustodial parent. (Act 2008-16; 23 Pa. C.S. § 4351 (a.1).)
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(J) 2. Who pays the fee?
The custodial parent pays the $25 yearly fee after $2,000 of child support is collected.
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(J) 3. How often must I pay the fee?
The $25 is collected once each federal fiscal year. The federal fiscal year is the period between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30 of the following year (for example, Oct. 1, 2008 to Sept. 30, 2009 is a federal fiscal year). In 2008, the $25 fee will be collected by Sept. 30, 2008. In following years, the $25 fee will be collected between Oct. 1 to Nov. 30 and March 1 to Sept. 30 of the following year. The fee will not be collected in the months of December, January, and February.
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(J) 4. What if I have more than one child support case in Pennsylvania?
The fee is charged for each child support case when $2,000 or more is collected.
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(J) 5. What if I receive cash assistance benefits after the fee has been deducted?
The fee will never be collected from you again in Pennsylvania.
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(J) 6. What if I have a child support case that opened in another state?
Please contact that state about how the $25 fee is collected.
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(J) 7. Who can I contact with questions about the fee in Pennsylvania?
Please contact the Department of Public Welfare Bureau of Child Support Enforcement at 1-800-932-0211, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.