Child Support and Federal Economic Impact (Stimulus) Payment

Q: Will the Child Support Program intercept my federal economic impact payment if I owe child support? 
A: Maybe, depending on how much you owe. If public assistance has been received or is being received for your child and you owe at least $150 in arrears, federal law requires the Child Support Program to intercept up to the amount owed. If public assistance has never been received for your child and you owe at least $500 in arrears, federal law requires the Child Support Program to intercept up to the amount owed.
 
Q: Will the Child Support Program intercept my federal economic impact payment if some or most of my arrears are spousal support?
A: Maybe, depending on how much you owe. Under state regulation, if the total spousal support arrears plus child support arrears are at least $150 in a public assistance case or $500 in a non-public assistance case, then the Child Support Program is required to intercept up to the amount owed. Please note that if there are no child support arrears and only alimony arrears are owed, then the NJ Child Support Program will not intercept. 
 
Q: How can I find out if my federal economic impact payment will be intercepted?
A: Please call the Treasury Offset Program’s Interactive Voice Response system at (800) 304-3107 to confirm if the NJ Child Support Program has submitted your child support debt.
 
Q: What do I do if my federal economic impact payment is intercepted and I wish to contest?
A: If you wish to submit a contest, please call the New Jersey Family Support Services Center at (877) 655-4371. Please note that only a mistake of fact, such as mistaken identity, incorrect arrears amount or court ordered suspension of tax offset is considered a valid contest reason.
 
Q: If I am married to someone who owes child support and we filed joint federal taxes, will my federal economic impact payment be applied to their child support arrears?
A: Yes, if your spouse owes at least $150 in a public assistance case or $500 in a non-public assistance case, the NJ Child Support Program is required to intercept the couple's full economic impact payment. However, you may file an Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation (Form 8379) with the IRS to claim your half of the economic impact payment. Please visit https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-8379 for instructions on how to file your claim. If you have already filed an Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation form with your 2019 federal tax filing, it will also apply to the stimulus payment and there is no need to file another one.
 
Q: If I am married to someone who owes child support and we have not yet filed our taxes for 2019, will my federal economic impact payment be intercepted?
A: Yes, if your spouse owes at least $150 in a public assistance case or $500 in a non-public assistance case, the NJ Child Support Program is required to intercept the couple's full economic impact payment. However, you may file an Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation (Form 8379) with the IRS to claim your half of the economic impact payment.  Please visit https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-8379 for instructions on how to file your claim.
 
Q. What about qualifying child(ren) payments? If I am married to someone who owes child support and we have child(ren), will the child credit portion of our economic impact payment be intercepted?
A:  The NJ Child Support Program is required to intercept half of the child credit portion of a married couple’s economic impact payment. For example, if a married couple with two children are eligible to receive $3400 (joint amount at $2400 + $1000 for two children), the injured spouse should receive $1700 ($1200 + $500) with the remaining $1700 offset and applied to the child support case.
 
Q: If I am a noncustodial parent with a child support case in New Jersey but do not reside in New Jersey, will the NJ Child Support Program intercept my economic impact payment?
A: The state where the custodial parent lives will intercept your economic impact payment. If the custodial parent lives in New Jersey and you owe at least $150 in a public assistance case or $500 in a non-public assistance case, the NJ Child Support Program is required to intercept your economic impact payment.
 
Q: I am the custodial parent and am receiving public assistance or have received public assistance for my child. Will I receive any money from the noncustodial parent’s intercepted economic impact payment?
A: Maybe. If the noncustodial parent’s economic impact payment is intercepted by law, New Jersey must apply the payment to any public assistance arrears owed.  If there is anything left of the economic impact payment after the public assistance is paid back, the remaining monies will be sent to the custodial parent up to the arrears amount owed.
 
Q: I am the custodial parent and have never received public assistance for my child. Will I receive any money from the noncustodial parent’s intercepted economic impact payment?  
A: If the noncustodial parent owes at least $500 in arrears and their economic impact payment is intercepted, then you will receive a payment up to the amount of arrears owed to you.
 
Q: How much money will I receive as a custodial parent from the noncustodial parent’s intercepted economic impact payment?
A: It depends. The amount of the money you may be entitled to receive will depend on the amount of the noncustodial parent’s economic impact payment, the amount owed to you and whether the noncustodial parent has other child support cases in which arrears are owed. You must have an open Title IV-D case with the NJ Child Support Program to receive any monies from an intercepted economic impact payment.

Q: Where can I find more information about federal economic impact payments?
A: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Bureau of Fiscal Services (BFS) of the US Department of Treasury are responsible for processing economic impact payments. Please visit the IRS' website and BFS' website for more information about economic impact payments. Individuals who receive federal benefits (SSR, SSDI, RRB, SSI and VA benefits) may be interested in this News Release. Taxpayers may also be interested in learning more about the Get My Payment online application now offered by the IRS.