The Nebraska Child Support Payment Center, a division of the State Treasurer’s Office, ranked third in the United States for the percent of child support payments received electronically, State Treasurer Don Stenberg announced today.
A report released by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement showed that electronic funds transfers in Nebraska accounted for 70 percent of all child support payments from employers, direct payers, interstate payments, and unemployment insurance payments. States with higher electronic funds transfer rates were Pennsylvania at 79 percent and Indiana at 77 percent. The national average was 56 percent.
“The Nebraska Child Support Payment Center has been at the forefront of adapting technology to improve the efficiency and security, as well as to lower the cost, of receiving and disbursing child support payments,” Treasurer Stenberg said. “Significant efforts have been made over the decade to encourage non-custodial parents and their employers to submit payments electronically and to encourage custodial parents to receive payments electronically as well, reducing the expense of paper, printing, and postage.”
Troy Reiners, director of the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center, said the percent of payments received through electronic funds transfers averaged about 70 percent for most of 2011, but jumped to 74 percent in December after the Social Security Administration began remitting child support payments through electronic means on behalf of its recipients. Reiners expects the rate to stay at 74 percent or go even higher.
Nebraska law requires employers with more than 50 employees to submit child support payments on behalf of their employees through electronic means, and the Nebraska Child Support Center’s outreach staff, along with a staff member from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, hosts workshops to assist employers. Fifteen other states and territories also require employers to remit child support payments electronically.
In 2011, the total amount of child support payments coming into the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center electronically was more than $186 million. The most common ways of making electronic payments are ACH (Automated Clearing House) credits, ACH debits, credit cards, and online bill pay. In addition, more than $101 million came into the center in 2011 through checks and other paper payment methods.