“Jessica Bartholow, a policy advocate for the California-based Western Center on Law & Poverty, thinks a lack of awareness about public assistance repayments led to what she sees as an oversight in the federal CARES Act. It allowed federal stimulus payments to be intercepted for child support debt, thus letting the money flow away from families who have received public assistance and back to the government.
“Congress incorrectly made the assumption that all the money goes to a custodial parent,” she said. “We believe Congress just didn’t understand that.”
Unemployment Insurance Bolsters Child Support Payments, But Future Remains Uncertain