Thursday, March 26, 2009

HHS Makes Estimated $1 Billion in Recovery Act Funds Available to Improve Child Support Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced
the availability of Recovery Act funds for state programs that
establish, enforce, collect and distribute child support.

Currently, the federal government provides incentive payments to states
based on the strength of their child support enforcement programs.
States are required to use these incentive payments to strengthen their
child support enforcement programs. Under a new provision in the
Recovery Act, these incentive payments will be matched by the federal
government. The change will make approximately $1 billion in new
resources available to states across the country.

"Every child deserves the support of both parents," said HHS Spokeswoman
Jenny Backus. "The Recovery Act will increase resources for child
support enforcement and will help parents make ends meet and children
receive the money they are due."

The Recovery Act temporarily reverses a provision in the Deficit
Reduction Act of 2005 that ended the practice of providing federal
matching funds for the state expenditure of incentive payments.

The new Recovery Act provision is effective Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept.
30, 2010. States will receive the additional match funding based on any
incentive funds used during FY 2009 and FY 2010, including incentives
earned and not spent in prior years. States will access the additional
funds as they currently do, through grant awards based on quarterly

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