1. Who pays the fee?
The custodial person. You owe $25 after OCSS collects and sends you $500 of child support in a federal fiscal year. OCSS will take $25 from your next child support payment. The fee goes to the federal government.
2. Do all child support cases pay the fee?
No. Your case is only charged $25 if you get at least $500 in child support during a federal fiscal year. Also, the fee does not apply to cases getting cash assistance through TANF or AFDC now or in the past.
3. When will OCSS start collecting the fee?
It begins in early 2010. OCSS will review cases going back to October 2009. In qualifying cases, the fee will be taken from the next child support payment.
4. Why is this fee being collected?
The Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 requires the $25 fee from qualifying cases. OCSS paid this fee for its customers until September 30, 2009. OCSS can no longer afford to do this. The requirement for the fee is in the Social Security Act, Section 454(6)(B)(ii).
5. How are customers notified of this fee?
OCSS is sending letters to affected custodial persons with open cases. New customers are notified in the application and Child Support Handbook.
6. How often is the fee charged?
The fee is charged once every federal fiscal year after OCSS collects and sends a case $500 in child support.
7. What is a “federal fiscal year”?
It is the 12 months from October 1 to September 30. OCSS adds up your support payments starting each October. After you get $500, OCSS takes $25 from your next payment.
8. How do I pay the federal fee?
OCSS will take $25 from the next child support collection after it has collected and sent at least $500 in a federal fiscal year.
9. Is there some other way I can pay the fee?
No. The fee must be paid from child support collections. Please do not send fee payments to the Oklahoma Centralized Support Registry.
10. What if I do not get $500 in a federal fiscal year?
You will not be charged the $25 fee.
11. What if I get more than $500 per year in child support? Will OCSS take the $25 fee more than once?
The fee does not go up if you get more than $500.
12. What if I have more than one case?
The federal fee is required on every qualifying case. If you have more than one case with OCSS, you may owe multiple fees.
13. Does the non-custodial parent get credit for the fee collected from my support payment?
Yes. Federal law says non-custodial parents get full credit for support paid. For example, if $500 was sent to you this year and the next payment is $100, the non-custodial parent gets credit for paying $100. You get $75; the other $25 pays the federal fee.
14. My children and I get only Medicaid. Do I have to pay the fee?
Yes. Federal law excludes only current or former TANF or AFDC recipients. SoonerCare-only recipients must pay the $25 fee. In Oklahoma, Medicaid is called SoonerCare.
15. Can I avoid the $25 yearly fee?
OCSS must apply the fee to all qualifying open cases.
16. I have an Oklahoma support order, but I get child support services from another state. Do I pay the fee?
OCSS will not charge you this fee. The state providing child support services is responsible for the federal fee. Contact the state with your child support case to learn more.
17. If OCSS collects the $25 fee and I used to get cash assistance from Oklahoma or another state, can I get a refund?
Call CARE at 1-800-522-2922 to get a message to the person assigned to your case. If your case does not qualify for the fee, it will be returned to you.
18. I paid this year’s $25 fee in another state. What should I do if OCSS charges me again?
Call CARE at 1-800-522-2922 to get a message to the person assigned to your case. The federal fee is owed only once per case per year. If both states collected the fee, the second one will return it to you.
19. What if I start getting TANF after I paid the $25?
You will not owe the fee in future years. Any past fees are still owed if they have not been paid. They will be withheld from your next child support payment.
20. Can I avoid the fee by getting child support directly from the noncustodial parent?
No. Child support payments must be made through the Oklahoma Centralized Support Registry. This is required by law.
21. Will this fee continue every year until my child support ends?
Yes. Unless the law changes, OCSS will continue collecting this fee.