Families owed child support will receive funds intercepted from stimulus payments

LANSING — As a result of a federal requirement, stimulus payments to noncustodial parents who owe child support will be directed to custodial parents and children, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced.

“The Office of Child Support wants to make sure parents understand what is happening with stimulus payments to people who owe child support,” said Office of Child Support Director Erin Frisch.

As federal stimulus payments – officially known as Economic Impact Payments – authorized by the CARES Act are sent to Michigan parents who owe child support and qualify for enforcement, all or a portion of this payment will be intercepted by the IRS through the Tax Offset Program. The funds will then go to the MDHHS Office of Child Support to be applied to the child support debt owed – as required by the CARES Act.

Funds will be distributed to the custodial parent or guardian in the same way the Office of Child Support distributes all yearly federal income tax refunds that are intercepted.

The CARES Act authorized stimulus payments to address economic issues and unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The law requires stimulus payments to apply to child support debt when distributing the funds. In some cases, the stimulus payments also will cover debt owed to the state based on specific case circumstances.

The Office of Child Support does not know how much Michigan will receive from the IRS, but expects to receive weekly payments until the stimulus payments discontinue.

Families will begin receiving the intercepted stimulus payments this week.