DSS PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
July 09, 2019
Contact: Rebecca Woelfel
Newly automated process collects parents’ unclaimed property for past-due child supportFirst phase returns over $2 million to Missouri children
JEFFERSON CITY, MO — The Department of Social Services’ and Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick have partnered to launch a newly automated process that uses unclaimed property held by the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office to pay past-due child support.
“Missouri’s kids benefit from this collaborative effort with the State Treasurer’s Office. In the first phase over $2 million has been applied to 18,724 child support cases,“ Jennifer Tidball, Acting Director, Department of Social Services, said. “When a parent fails to pay child support, children who rely on these critical dollars to live and thrive are the ones who suffer. I am very grateful for Treasurer Fitzpatrick’s help to ensure the needs of children come first when it comes to claiming unclaimed properties of Missouri parents owing child support.“
“This is a perfect example of good government,“ Fitzpatrick said. “By working with the Department of Social Services to automate this system, we are increasing efficiency and ensuring more children in Missouri will receive money that is rightfully theirs. I appreciate Acting Director Tidball’s continued attention to this matter and I am always happy to see an outcome that benefits Missouri children.“
Electronic files of past-due child support cases are matched against the State Treasurer’s Office unclaimed property database. If a match is found, it generates an automated property attachment and transmission of payment to the Department of Social Services. This enables the Department to withhold unclaimed property before a before a parent owing support can claim it. The electronic process pays child support and eliminates the manual paperwork between agencies to improve efficiency and timeliness. It also enables the State Treasurer’s Office to reduce the number of unclaimed property accounts.
In some cases, the collection of these funds is significant; more than $28,000 was collected from one parent who owed past-due child support. “Working together, our agencies are able to meet our goals and better serve Missourians. Children benefit, getting the money they are entitled to receive and Missouri taxpayers benefit by not burdening the financial responsibility of parents,“ said Tidball.
Missouri Child Support collections for fiscal year 2018 totaled over $672 million and served 285,349 children.
The mission of the Department of Social Services is to lead the nation in building the capacity of individuals, families and communities to secure and sustain healthy, safe, and productive lives. Visit dss.mo.gov to learn more about the Department of Social Services and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.