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Wayne Co. officials: Stimulus checks can be taken for child support payments

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Stimulus checks are starting to arrive for residents, but Wayne County Friend of the Court officials warn that the $1,200 check can be seized to take care of back child support payments.

"The first stimulus checks have already been deposited into bank accounts. The stimulus payments are treated as a tax refund and are subject to be intercepted for child support arrearages," according to Third Circuit Court officials in a Wednesday press release. "Child support debts are reported to the Treasury Department every year."

Those who pay child support will have their stimulus check intercepted if they owe $150 or more if their child or children are receiving cash assistance or is in foster care, or if they owe $500 of more and their child is receiving Medicaid only and not receiving state assistance.

The federal government is issuing stimulus checks of at least $1,200 to individuals, couples and families as part of a $2.2 trillion relief package under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) to help get the stricken U.S. economy back on track following the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some couples who file jointly can receive $2,400 and families are getting more based on the number of children they have in their household.

Court officials said "the stimulus payments are treated the same as tax refunds in terms of fees, distribution time frames, and hold periods."

Those who pay child support can sign up on MiChildSupport to view information about their individual child support case at michigan.gov/michildsupport. For information about the stimulus payments, log on to the IRS website at irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments.

Individual who have specific questions about their child support case can also call 1‑844‑785‑7593. Updates to any Friend of the Court Services will be posted at www.3rdcc.org.