Effect of Economic Stimulus Payments on Florida Child Support
In the last year, the federal government has authorized the distribution of economic impact, also known as stimulus payments, to citizens in need. These payments included stimulus for adults who make under a certain income level as well as additional payments for eligible children. For parents that owe or are owed support, questions naturally arise about whether these stimulus payments are subject to offsets for child support payments. At the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa Bay our office has helped many clients navigate the complexities of economic impact payments and child support payments. To learn more, call or contact our office to schedule a consultation.
What Payments are Subject to Offset?
According to federal guidelines, the first stimulus payment authorized on March 27, 2020 that provided $1,200 to eligible adults as well as $500 for each eligible child are subject to federal offset for parents who owe past-due child support. This means that the U.S. Department of Treasury should have taken any amount of child support in arrears from the economic stimulus payment and send it to the Florida child support program for distribution.
The second payment, which was authorized on December 27, 2020, provided another $600 in stimulus. Generally speaking, this payment was not subject to offset for past-due child support payments. However, if the $600 payment was claimed as a recovery rebate credit on a parent’s 2020 tax return then the economic impact payment is subject to offset for child support payments.
Most recently, a third round of economic stimulus was approved on March 11, 2021 for $1,400. As of now, this payment is also not subject to federal offset for child support in arrears.
For Parents Owed Support
If you are owed support, the government will offset child support in arrears so long as it totals more than $150 in public assistance cases and $500 in cases with no public assistance in order to qualify for offset. If you see a payment that has not been made to you yet, the federal government has authorized state support programs to withhold payments until March 31, 2021 as there has been a delay in processing offsets at the federal level.
For Parents Who Owe Support
If you owe past-due child support, that amount may be pulled from the $1,200 stimulus check. If the amount owed is less than $1,200 only the amount in arrears will be subtracted from the impact payment. Any offsets will be documented by the U.S. Department of Treasury and notice will be sent through the mail detailing the child support arrears withholding. If you believe that an offset was made incorrectly, an official contest must be submitted within twenty days of receiving notice of the federal offset. An experienced lawyer can help answer all your questions or file a contest with the federal government regarding a child support offset.
Talk to Our Office
For more help with all your child support needs, contact the Tampa child support attorneys at the law office of Blair H. Chan, III for a free consultation today.