The director of Iowa’s Department of Human Services says a new fee imposed by the federal government in child support cases is "family unfriendly" and "misguided." D.H.S. chief Kevin Concannon is calling on Congress to repeal the 25-dollar fee. It applies only to custodial parents who have never received welfare and for whom the Iowa Child Support Recovery unit collects at least $500 annually in court-ordered support payments from non-custodial parents.
D.H.S. spokesman Roger Munns says the fee may not sound like a hardship to some, but it can be crippling to a family in need. Munns says, "To people who are living on the edge, $25 is a prescription co-pay, it’s new clothing for school." The fee goes into effect in October. Munns says many Iowa families will be affected by it.
Munns says, "There are 30,000 custodial parents (in Iowa) who will have this fee taken out of their payments that’s been collected for them from the non-custodial parents." Munns goes into more detail about exactly who will be impacted.
Munns says: "The people who are effected are custodial parents who are not now receiving welfare and never did and for whom the Iowa Child Support Recovery unit, which is operated by the D.H.S., collects at least $500 annually in support payments from the non-custodial parents." The fee is mandated as part of the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act.
In Iowa, Munns says the fee will raise about $756,000, with the federal government’s share at about 500,000. He says much of the state’s share will be spent on administrative costs.