Child support fee increases, offsets taxpayer cost

The Mississippi Department of Human Services has adopted a federal mandate.

The mandate states that any parent receiving child support funds from the state in excess of $550 will now pay a $35 fee each year, which is a $10 increase from previous years.

Jacob Black, the Deputy Executive Director for Programs with MDHS says that the increase, which goes into effect on January 1st, was implemented with a cost-saving objective.

“66% of the money collected will go back to the federal government. [The increase] is intended to offset the cost to the taxpayers for the child support program,” Black said.

The fee will not be assessed to parents who have ever received benefits through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program or those who are currently on SNAP.

The MDHS noted that the $35 fee will be withheld in the next payment after $550 has been dispersed.

“When the next payment comes in, we will withhold the $35 and disperse anything over $35,” Black said. “That way the individual will never be responsible for sending us a check.”

Notices for those who will be eligible for the fee will be sent out, and according to MDHS, approximately 63,000 notices will be mailed out.