November child support payments to be delayed
Elizabeth Hyde, director of the Lassen County Department of Child Support Services, said the reason why L.A.’s conversion is going to affect child payments across the state is because the entire system dealing with the payments is essentially a large scale, interconnected computer network.
“The state disbursement unit is all tied in like a huge computer program,” Hyde said. “So when the state enforcement system goes down, the State Disbursement Unit also goes down.”
Hyde said the conversion process for most counties to the State Child Support System takes about a weekend. It usually has little to no effect on the rest of the system when this happens. Hyde said that because such a large portion of the state’s population resides in L.A. County, it will take more time.
Since the system is so heavily integrated, the SCSS will have limited to no access from Oct. 31-Nov. 11. Hyde said this might also include a loss of phone support, including the Lassen County office. She said the complete shutdown of the system is also to help prevent a complete crash of the system, which could be catastrophic. Hyde said the Lassen County office would keep regular office hours during that time. People who use a service to receive their money without a check, such as direct deposit, will receive their money faster than those who receive checks. Hyde said checks would take 5-7 days longer, as they will have to go through the mail.
Hyde explained that the positive side of this massive conversion is that L.A. County is the last one to be brought onto the system. She said in her report to the county board that hopefully this will mean better and more efficient child support cases for both custodial and non-custodial parents.
“Most of the benefits are actually going to be to the non-custodial parents,” Hyde said. “Because historically, if the parent that has the child moves from county to county, then different cases have been opened up in every one of those counties. With the statewide system, then you can bring those cases back together.”
She said with this system, they could reduce the number of cases involving child support that’s owed that’s never paid, which Hyde referred to as rears.
Hyde explained that anyone receiving child support money out of L.A. will have to wait two weeks before receiving money, whereas everywhere else will only have to wait about five days. Hyde said her department has worked hard to get the word out about the delay, particularly because of the impact around the holidays.
Hyde explained that this is one of the most ambitious undertakings in her 25 years with the SCSS, and it will eventually help the system work more smoothly.
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