BALTIMORE, MD (January 23, 2013) – Beginning this month, the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) is making it easier, faster and safer for families to receive monthly child support payments by eliminating the paper check option and depositing payments directly into a bank account or onto the new Electronic Payment Issuance Card (EPiC).
Timely and accurate child support is a critical linchpin for ensuring the fiscal stability of many Maryland children, and DHR has long offered clients the option of direct deposit. EPiC is a Bank of America-issued debit card that families can use to access their child support funds anywhere Visa® cards are accepted. Families are not required to have a bank account to use EPiC. Payments will be deposited to the EPiC card as they are received, eliminating delays families experience waiting for a check to arrive by mail. By switching to EPiC, families without bank accounts won’t need to rely on check cashing businesses that charge onerous fees.
“Families shouldn’t have to wait for a check to arrive by mail to receive child support payments we collect on their behalf. EPiC enables us to better fulfill our obligation to Maryland children by providing a fast, convenient and secure method for receiving timely child support payments,” said Maryland Department of Human Resources Secretary Ted Dallas. “Many families will also benefit by eliminating check cashing fees, giving them a little extra money each month to support their children.”
The card may be used to make purchases everywhere Visa® debit cards are accepted; retrieve cash from ATMs, bank tellers and credit unions that accept Visa; and get cash back with purchases at many grocery and convenience stores. By moving to an automated system, the state will save an estimated $1.4 million in check printing and mailing costs.
More child support payments were collected and disbursed to Maryland families in the federal fiscal year ending September 30, 2012 than at any time in state history. DHR’s Child Support Enforcement Administration collected over $544.4 million in child support, a $25.1 million increase compared to the previous federal fiscal year, benefiting more than 220,000 families.
The Child Support Enforcement Administration is responsible for operating a statewide child support program and provides services to both noncustodial and custodial parents, which include the establishment of paternity and child support orders, the collection of support payments, and the distribution of such funds. CSEA distributes funds to custodial parents and helps custodial parents enforce the legal child support obligations of noncustodial parents.
For more information on child support visit http://dhr.maryland.gov.
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The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) is the state’s primary social service provider serving over one million people annually. DHR, through its 24 local departments of social services, aggressively pursues opportunities to assist people in economic need, provide preventive services, and protect vulnerable children and adults in each of Maryland’s 24 counties.