Annual Service Fee Questions and Answers

Federal law requires each state to charge an annual fee of $25 for child support services to parents who have never received TANF benefits.

If you have received TANF benefits, in New York or in any other state, please call the Child Support Helpline at 1-888-208-4485 (TTY: 1-866-875-9975), Monday–Friday, 8:00 AM–7:00 PM.

 
Who has to pay this $25 fee?
Custodial parents who have never received TANF (or AFDC) benefits in any state will be charged the $25 fee when more than $500 of support has been collected and paid to the family during the federal fiscal year (October 1–September 30).
I received benefits in another state. Do I still have to pay this fee?
Contact the state or agency that provided the benefits, and then call the Child Support Helpline at 1-888-208-4485 (TTY: 1-866-875-9975), Monday–Friday, 8:00 AM–7:00 PM. If you notify us that you received benefits in another state, you will not be charged the fee.
I'm not sure what kind of benefits I received. How can I find out if I have to pay the fee?
Contact the state or agency that provided the benefits, and then call the Child Support Helpline at 1-888-208-4485 (TTY: 1-866-875-9975), Monday–Friday, 8:00 AM–7:00 PM. If you notify us that you received benefits in another state, you will not be charged the fee.

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When does the fee apply?
The fee applies during each federal fiscal year, that is, from October 1 through September 30 of the next year (October 1, 2011–September 30, 2012; October 1, 2012–September 30, 2013, and so on). After $500 of child support is collected and paid to the family during a federal fiscal year, we will withhold the next $25 to pay the fee.
How do I pay the fee?
The fee is automatically deducted from your child support payments after $500 has been collected and paid to the family during the federal fiscal year (October 1–September 30). As soon as the $500 has been collected and paid to the family, we will withhold the next $25 to pay the fee for you.
Can I pay the fee myself?
No. The law requires the fee to be automatically deducted from your next payment after $500 in support has been collected and paid to the family during the federal fiscal year.
What if I have more than one child support case? Will I have to pay for each case?
Yes, if more than $500 is collected and paid to the family for the case. The fee will be charged for each case in which $500 is collected and paid to the family during the federal fiscal year.

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Will the fee be deducted every year?
The fee will be deducted every federal fiscal year (October 1–September 30) for each case where more than $500 in support is collected and paid to the family.

For example, suppose Ms. Smith applies for child support services in November 2012. She has one child and has never received TANF benefits. Her child support payment is $100 per week. The first $100 payment is collected for her on December 26, 2012. By the end of January 2013, more than $500 has been collected for Ms. Smith, so she will be charged the $25 service fee. Her first payment in February will therefore be $75. After that, her payments will be $100. Beginning again in October 2013, after more than $500 is collected for Ms. Smith, she will be charged the $25 service fee. If regular payments continue to be collected for her, Ms. Smith could be charged the fee in November 2014.
What if I think the fee was deducted in error?
Contact the Child Support Helpline toll-free at 1-888-208-4485 (TTY: 1-866-875-9975).