The Nebraska Child Support Payment Center was ranked third in the United States in the percent of payments received electronically in 2014, according a report issued by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, State Treasurer Don Stenberg said today.
This is the fourth consecutive year that Nebraska has ranked third, Stenberg said. He noted that efforts are underway to raise the state’s ranking even higher by continuing to encourage employers to use electronic payments and to make the process easier for individuals who make payments.
The Nebraska Child Support Payment Center is a division of the State Treasurer’s Office.
“These figures are significant because they reflect Nebraska’s steady efforts to encourage the use of electronic payment, both by individuals who pay child support and by businesses that make the payments on behalf of their employees,” Stenberg said. “Greater use of electronic means to pay child support results in greater efficiencies in the system, including speedier payments to custodial parents and lower processing costs for the state payment center.”
Electronic payments also save money and make good business sense for those making the payments, resulting in lower costs for envelopes, postage, printing, and record-keeping, Stenberg said.
Electronic payments accounted for 77 percent of all payments received by the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center in 2014, up from 76 percent received in 2013 and up substantially from just 22 percent of the payments received in 2004, the earliest year for which figures were provided.
In all, more than 1.5 million payments were received in 2014, including the 1.15 million received electronically. The total amount of money received by the center in 2014 was $297 million. About 70,000 non-custodial parents are responsible for making child support payments, either by themselves or through their employers, to the Nebraska Child Support Payment Center.
“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,” 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.”
The report released by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement showed that electronic funds transfers in Nebraska accounted for 77 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 and Indiana, both at 80 percent. The national average was 61.8 percent.
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 in the summer to assist employers.
The most common ways to make electronic payments are through ACH (Automated Clearing House) services, including credit cards, online bill pay, and the PayNearMe electronic cash transaction network.