Newsroom > DHHS News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2009
Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287
Child Support Enforcement Collects Largest Amount Ever
August is Child Support Awareness Month
Lincoln - The state recently collected the largest amount ever, over $52,000, in unpaid child support from one non-custodial parent, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
“I want to recognize the majority of parents who willingly provide emotional and financial support to their children even if they’re no longer living together,” said Kerry Winterer, CEO of DHHS. “I also want people to know about the efforts of child support staff in helping children get the court-ordered support they deserve.”
Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSE) staff work almost like detectives when tracking down people who owe past-due child support. Much of the information they need comes from shared data bases that track new hires at businesses and new unemployment claims. If that’s not successful, CSE workers check with utility companies, former employers or even neighbors to get information on current addresses for people who are behind in child support payments.
In the case of the $52,000 collection, the Child Support Enforcement Unit put an administrative attachment on various bank accounts and collected about half of the amount owed. The non-custodial parent then voluntarily paid off the remaining balance.
The Child Support Enforcement Unit uses several tools to help collect child support, including intercepting tax refunds. DHHS intercepted more than $13.4 million in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2008 in tax refunds of parents who owed child support but hadn’t paid. The $13.4 million is a 50% increase over FFY 2007, when $8.7 million was collected through intercepts.
Child Support Enforcement staff collected other large amounts of delinquent child support in the past year ranging from several payments of between $3,000 and $5,000 up to several in the $10,000 to $18,000 range.
Winterer said that even though Nebraska collected $196.6 million in child support in calendar year 2008, almost $10 million more than in 2007, there’s still work to do.
“We believe most people want to honor their commitment, and child support is one of the best tools to help create financial stability and prevent children from living in poverty,” he said.
To learn more about DHHS’ child support enforcement program, visit the DHHS Web site at www.dhhs.ne.gov/children_family_services/CSE/Pages/CSEHome.aspx.