The Department of Human Services says it’s easier to get child-support payments to the families that depend on them, with a new system the state put online this week. Spokesman Roger Munns says “on-line” is the way most clients deal with the DHS. Right now, he explains something like 70-percent of the money collected to be paid to custodial parents is gathered by wage withholding. Employers do that task. To carry it out, he says they had to make phone calls, cut checks, and use the time of their staff to see the payments were sent in. There’s a new secure website that lets employers do all their business on-line with the Child Support Recovery Unit. They can send the wages they’ve withheld on to the state office, which in turn will send it to the custodial parent. Businesses can also send the state information on-line about workers they’ve newly hired or discharged. Employer withholding has proved the most effective way to get child-support money collected and handed over to the state agency, and Munns says there already are signs that employers like using the Internet to accomplish the task. Now they don’t have to cut check, buy postage, send faxes, he says “the signups are just rolling in, people are eager to do this.” The Child Support Recovery Unit has enough cases that it’ll pay to make it easy as possible for employers to collect money and turn it over. The unit’s caseload is about 183-thousand, he says, a 31-percent increase in a decade. The amount it collects is more than 300-million dollars, which he says is more than a 100-percent increase. Munns adds the performance of the unit is also improving, with the percentage of on-time collections much higher than it used to be.
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