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Remitting Payments - Answers to Employers’ Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Published: January 12, 2016

Employers withhold about 74 percent of all child support payments collected nationwide and often have questions about how to submit payments. The questions and answers below offer helpful information to employers about sending payments for child support. If you have questions about the income withholding process, Income Withholding – Answers to Employers’ Questions provides answers to many questions.

  1. Is there a standard electronic format for submitting child support payments that all states accept?
  2. Can I combine child support payments from several employees into one check?
  3. What information must I include for each employee if combining several payments into one check?
  4. What should I do if the wrong amount is withheld from an employee’s paycheck?
  5. How soon must I send the child support payment that was withheld from an employee’s paycheck?
  6. Where do I send child support payments?
  7. Do I send spousal support payments to the SDU?
  8. Can I charge a processing fee to the employee?
  9. What if the fee plus the child support payment exceeds the maximum allowable amount under Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)?
  10. I received an income withholding order from a child support agency in another state.  Must I send payments directly to the other state?
  11. If I have additional questions, where can I find answers?

  1. Is there a standard electronic format for submitting child support payments that all states accept?

    Yes (except South Carolina), the standard format for submitting child support payments by electronic funds transfer or electronic data interchange is the DED Child Support Addendum Record.  Your state child support agency can provide this layout or see National Automated Clearing House Association’s User Guide for Electronic Child Support Payments (PDF).

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  2. Can I combine child support payments from several employees into one check?

    Yes.  You can send one check each pay period to cover all child support withholdings for that pay period if:

    • all the payments are sent to the same State Disbursement Unit (SDU).
    • you itemize the amount and date withheld from each employee and include a required identifier such as the case number.

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  3. What information must I include for each employee if combining several payments into one check?

    You must provide the following:

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  4. What should I do if the wrong amount is withheld from an employee’s paycheck?

    You should contact the state child support agency that received the payment and ask about the requirements and timeframe for a refund.  The State Disbursement Unit Contacts and Program Information matrix provides state-specific information.

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  5. How soon must I send the child support payment that was withheld from an employee’s paycheck?

    You must send the payment within seven business days of paying wages to the employee.  The state where your employee works may set a shorter time limit for submitting the payment.

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  6. Where do I send child support payments?

    You must send all payments to the SDU unless the income withholding order was:  

    • issued by a tribal child support agency.
    • entered before January 1, 1994, and with no arrears, never modified, or is not a child support case enforced by the state child support agency.
    • issued by South Carolina. 

    This applies to income withholding orders issued by a child support agency and orders issued by a court, attorney, or other party.

    If a tribal child support agency sent the order, send the payments to the payee shown on the order.  What Employers Should Know When Working With Tribes gives more information about how to direct payments for tribal orders.  If South Carolina issued the order, send the payments to the payee on the order until South Carolina establishes an SDU.

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  7. Do I send spousal support payments to the SDU?

    You must send payments for spousal support combined in a child support order to the SDU.  Spousal only payments are usually sent to the payee on the order; however, some states will accept and process those payments.

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  8. Can I charge a processing fee to the employee?

    Yes.  Most states allow you to charge the employee an administrative fee for processing the income withholding order.  You can find state fees on the State Income Withholding Contacts and Program Information matrix. 

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  9. What if the fee plus the child support payment exceeds the maximum allowable amount under Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA)?

    If the fee plus the child support is more than the maximum amount allowed under the CCPA, you may take the entire amount of the administrative fee and make the child support payment less than the amount in the income withholding order.  The amount of support that was not paid (because you deducted the administrative fee) becomes part of the arrears owed by the noncustodial parent.

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  10. I received an income withholding order from a child support agency in another state.  Must I send payments directly to the other state?

    Yes.  You must send payments to the SDU in the state that issued the income withholding order. 

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  11. If I have additional questions, where can I find answers?

    We’ve answered additional questions on the Employers website.  You may also e-mail the Employer Services Team at employerservices@acf.hhs.gov.

Last Reviewed: May 31, 2017

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