Oklahoma Sets New Record for Collections
OKLAHOMA CAPITOL --- Child Support collections in Oklahoma jumped 12 percent from fiscal year 2004 to an all time high of more than $186 million.
“These increased collections will contribute to the financial stability of many Oklahoma families,” said Gary W. Dart, Oklahoma Department of Human Services Child Support Enforcement Division director. “Behind these numbers there are children and every dollar we collect goes to making their lives better. That’s our focus.”
According to Dart, several programs contributed to this record amount. The amount collected through the Financial Institution Data Match (FIDM) increased by more than $280,000. FIDM is a centralized, automated computer system that allows child support enforcement to reach accounts of delinquent parents that were previously unreachable.
New Hire reporting has also increased 20 percent from last year. New Hire Reporting is a process that employers use to report hired employees to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. OKDHS Child Support Enforcement matches this report to their child support records to establish child support orders or enforce existing orders.
“OKDHS has worked to spread the word about New Hire Reporting and build good relations with employers across the state,” said Dart.
Wage assignments also continue to be the largest single source of child support collections. Through wage assignments, employers are notified if portions of an employee’s wages are to be withheld for child support. Employers complete a form they receive from OKDHS Child Support Enforcement that tells them the amount to withhold each month.
“In the coming year we will be reaching out to new parents and educating them on the benefits of establishing paternity and starting payment of child support as early as possible,” said Dart. “We’re proud of these numbers, but we’re more proud knowing the number of children this money will help.”
For information on child support, contact the Child Support Enforcement Customer Service Call Center toll free at 1-800-522-2922.