June 30, 2017

Child support collections program makes $1.6 million

Parents across Michigan rely on child support payments to help make ends meet for their children, and a new Michigan program is making it easier for parents to pay their child support. According to The Detroit News, the state has already collected more than $1.6 million dollars in support payments through PayNearMe, which allows parents to go to a convenient retail store to make a child support payment.

Parents can make an account online and then go to a participating retailer, such as 7-Eleven or Family Dollar, to make their payment for a $1.99 fee. Payments can also be made from out of state, and the program is offered at more than 25,000 stores across the country. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services states that there have been more than 6,200 payments made through the program, and it has helped to lower support payment arrears, but this amount still totaled $5.67 billion in May 2017. This is down from 2015 which topped out at $6.34 billion.

The program is ideal for parents who find it easier to pay child support in cash rather than with a credit card online or by writing a check. Going to the courthouse used to be the only way to pay in cash, so the new program makes it much simpler to stay up to date on child support payments.

There are 881,500 children in Michigan who receive services from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which partnered with the Michigan State Disbursement Unit to bring the PAyNearMe program to the state. Originally launching in August 2016 with 550 stores, in March 250 more stores were added as participants in Michigan.

According to WKZO, over $90,000 has been collected from participating CVS Pharmacies alone, where 350 payments have been made.