How to Identify Treasury Checks

Role of Treasury's Bureau of the Fiscal Service

Publication Date: December 29, 2015

Table of Contents

Role of the Bureau of the Fiscal Service

While federal agencies send most child support payments electronically, there are still some cases when checks are issued to child support agencies.  The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Fiscal Service, sends most checks to state child support agencies.

The Kansas City Financial Center, one of two financial centers, processes all of Treasury-disbursed payments, both domestic and international, including printing and mailing responsibilities.  Disbursement of paper checks is split between the Kansas City Center and its sister site, the Philadelphia Financial Center.

Payment Management Call Center

The Payment Management Call Center can answer questions about Treasury-sponsored programs and Treasury-disbursed payments.

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How to read a U.S. Treasury check

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The image above will help you identify specific information printed on the Treasury check.  Find the corresponding number or letter below.

Information contained on a U.S. Treasury check:

  • 1 = Issue Date
  • 2 = Payee Name
  • 3 = Fiscal Service Financial Center
  • 4 = Issue Type
  • 5 = Check Symbol
  • 6 = Check Serial Number
  • 7 = Issue Amount

Information on the Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) line of a U.S. Treasury check:

  • A = Check Symbol
  • B = Check Digit
  • C = Routing Number unique to U.S. Treasury checks
  • D = Check Serial Number
  • E = Check Digit
  • F = Federal Agency Code
  • G = Issue Date (MM/YY)
  • H = Paid Amount, if the financial institution encodes the amount

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What if the check should not have been sent to your State Disbursement Unit (SDU)?

If you are certain that your SDU should not receive the payment, contact the Payment Management Call Center to determine which federal agency authorized the payment and arrange for its return.  For identification purposes, the city and state of the Financial Center is printed on the top center of the check.  A U.S. Treasury check, with the exception of a check returned from the Social Security Administration (SSA), will have the return address of the Financial Center on the envelope.

If your SDU needs to return a payment to the SSA by paper check, please use the following procedure:

  1. Make the check payable to the Social Security Administration (not the U.S. Treasury)
  2. Include the noncustodial parent/SSA beneficiary’s SSN on the check
  3. Mail the check to the SSA:

    Mid-Atlantic Program Service Center
    PO Box 3430
    Philadelphia, PA 19122

What if you cannot identify a U.S. Treasury check?

There are several reasons why you cannot identify a Treasury check, including:

  • Non-IV-D or private orders sent by county clerks of court may not include necessary information, such as an SSN, to identify the payment in your automated system and SDU.
  • You did not provide the unique case/order identifier to the federal agency.
  • The U.S. Treasury check does not include the county identifier (for example, FIPS code).

For information to match the U.S. Treasury check payment with the child support case, contact the Payment Management Call Center.  The customer liaison will ask for the check number and check symbol as well as other payment information, such as the date of payment, amount, and account number (for example, the noncustodial parent's SSN).  The liaison can provide a point of contact to the issuing federal payment agency that withheld the child support payment and can help explain the various codes on the face of the check.

Contact the noncustodial parent's federal payroll agency or the agency where they work for information on the underlying income withholding order.

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