Pay Child Support
Cattaraugus County residents who need to pay child support can now do so by using credit or debit cards.
The initiative, undertaken by Cattaraugus County's Department of Social Services, is the first of its kind approved by the New York State Office of Temporary Disability. Once the approval was secured, DSS staff were trained in how to take the payments.
The program began in the county this fall, after DSS's Child Support Unit staff underwent training allowing the initiative to begin.
"It's important for non-custodial parents to be able to meet their financial obligations, because doing so improves the lives of children living in Cattaraugus County," said DSS Commissioner Anthony Turano. He said the initiative will allow thousands of county residents to pay with their credit or debit cards, in hopes of securing more on-time payments that will allow recipients of court-ordered child support to receive funding for family needs.
There are other benefits to the program, also. Turano said people can pay for purchases, groceries and more using debit or credit cards, and it is time they should also have the convenience of paying for child support in a modern way.
In addition to helping both the families in-need of the payments, along with those paying, Turano said he hopes the initiative will also result in a decrease of residents facing punishment for not paying child support on-time. He said about one million dollars is collected by DSS staff monthly from people court-ordered to make the payments. When this is not collected on time, he said, those responsible for making the payments can face revocation of driving privileges, seizure of tax returns and jail time, making the payments more difficult to make and resulting in families not getting the money they are due.
When a family does not receive the payments on-time, he said, they may not be able to afford daily expenses and can lead to financial hardship that could result in further DSS/public assistance. The initiative, therefore, not only seeks to assist the families and those paying, but also reduce the burden on public coffers.
For more information, contact Turano at 716-373-8070.