A small weekend fire in Des Moines will mean a delay in child-support payments to custodial parents of many kids in Iowa. Department of Human Services spokesman Roger Munns says the fire on the near north side of downtown Des Moines displaced more than three-dozen workers in that unit. He says those workers physically process checks and other payments sent by non-custodial parents and match them to the custodial parents.
Munns says the 38 workers in the Child Support Recovery Unit collected more than 300-Million dollars last year, and got it to the parents with custody of kids. Munns says fortunately, there was no damage to any of the permanent records in the child-support recovery system. If you’re one of the more than 170-thousand custodial parents who get those child-support payments, Munn says “all of the information about your case is not threatened, there’s no problem with it.”
He says the only issue will be a delay transferring money into accounts of those parents. The agency’s telling custodial parents there’s likely to be a delay of just a few days. He admits they’re “pressing” on that question, and hoping the three days or so estimated delay is “the outside.”
The fire also shut down that unit’s call center. Call Center employees answer questions from the people who pay and receive child support, and while their offices weren’t damaged in the fire, the phone link to it was offline. Munn learned just Monday afternoon that a “patch” had gotten the call center back up and running. Some of the equipment — like a program that tells operators how long a caller’s been waiting on-line — still isn’t working, but they can take incoming calls about child-support cases, and will offer the latest on how soon the money will be transferred to accounts of clients. The call-center number’s toll-free: 888-229-9223