In the way of a reminder—or perhaps notification-- court-ordered child support payments in Ohio are going to be mandatorally “electronic” throughout the state by early next year.
An announcement by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services last summer stated that there were more than 920,000 child support cases in Ohio, being the fourth largest such caseload in the nation. Ohio is also second in the amount of total payments ($1.92 billion in 2003).
Individuals responsible for support payments, now, typically send their checks to Columbus, where a record of the payment is made and then a second, state check, is then sent to the recipient. That second step is now being eliminated. In addition to paying 55 cents to process & mail each paper-based transaction now, the state receives as many as 11,000 returned checks each month because of incorrect addresses.
In July 2004, the ODJFS initiated a pilot program called “Ohio e-QuickPay” which offered recipients in Clermont, Fairfield, Franklin, Greene, Holmes, and Richland counties the option of having their support payment directly deposited into bank or checking accounts, or on debit cards. That program was voluntary.
After October 1st., as part of the provisions of HB 66, mandatory electronic payments are going to be phased in a few counties at a time until the full state is complied.
Recipients will be given the option of either “direct deposit” or the state-issued debit card, but if no choice is made by the individual receiving support payments, the debit card option will be effected.
Hamilton County’s Job & Family Services department is in the process of putting together a “fact sheet” on the new electronic disbursements which will be posted on their website shortly. (press release) Information, applications, and online access options relative to Butler, Clermont, and Warren (under “related links”) counties will also be available.