Child Support debit cards faster, money saver
by Shaka S. Lias
Jan 20, 2011 | 2112 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bartow County parents help in saving the state an estimated $6 million per year, according to Department of Human Resource spokesperson Dena Smith. The Cherokee Judicial Circuit is comprised of Bartow and Gordon counties with 4,445 child support cases in the circuit.

The savings are in conjunction with the use of debit cards for child support payments; by using the cards and forgoing paper checks it saves in postage, printing and administrative costs.

In 2003, Georgia became the second state to replace checks with debit cards and direct deposit.

Smith said the cards are very beneficial. "It provides custodial parents a safe, fast and easily accessible way to receive their child support payments."

She said custodial parents who previously waited several days from the date of payment to receive a paper check can now receive a payment electronically in less than two days.

According to Smith, the cards provide standard banking services for many custodial parents who are unable to obtain a commercial bank account and allows them to leave their funds in a safe environment until they are ready to use them. The money is loaded electronically.

Unlike the EBT Food Stamps debit cards, which only allows food items to be purchased, there are no restrictions on child support cards. All custodial parents who receive a child support check are eligible for this service. The custodial parent must have a checking or savings account at a local bank.

According to the Division of Child Support Services website, Georgia law prohibits DCSS from disbursing child support payments to anyone other than the custodial parent. Payments will only be disbursed to a state-issued debit card belonging to the custodial parent or by direct deposit to the custodial parent's bank account. Documentation must be provided to DCSS with the parent's personal bank account information. Additional information may be requested to verify the account holder.

For more information on the card or any child support questions, visit www.dhr.georgia.gov and click on the Child Support Services Division or call 1-877-423-4746.