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Melissa A. Featherston

St. Louis fathers may lose income with federal child support policy

Child support payments may be hard to make for those living with a disability. For those who owe child support in St. Louis and are on disability, a new federal policy may mean that any income they get from disability benefits might go right back to the government. This change could affect thousands of fathers across the country, many of whose children are no longer in need of support.

The change is meant to reduce costs from mailing checks, but instead might punish those who aren't able to make child support payments. Many of the people who are receiving disability benefits don't receive enough to cover their payments and living expenses.

People who know they have a freeze on bank accounts because of owed child support would receive their benefit payments from a physical check, so they could cash it instead of having it put into an account they couldn't access. Starting next year, the federal government will require those benefits to be deposited into a bank account, meaning any benefit put into a frozen account will be unavailable.

The government could take some or all of the money in these accounts to pay for welfare payments made to the children who are owed support or it could go toward interest owed on payments.

Some who even have the support of their children might now be struggling to make ends meet. If someone is having trouble meeting their St. Louis child support obligations, they may be wise to speak with a child support attorney. They can address concerns based on a person's individual situation.

Source: Associated Press, "Child support debts may leave some with no income," Daniel Wagner, Feb. 28, 2012

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