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By Effie Milionis Verducci         Follow East Palo Alto Today on
East Palo Alto Today                 Facebook    Twitter         Blog
January 29, 2014                
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Over 8,000 individuals owing child support to San Mateo County residents have another convenient option to make their cash payments. Thanks to a collaboration between the State of California and Moneygram, those owing child support can now go to any of the thousands of locations nationwide to send payments.

Child Support Director Iliana Rodriguez stated “While most payments are garnished through wages, others have to make considerable efforts each month to deliver their support payment.  This will be most helpful to those who are self-employed, contract employees, unemployed, or just prefer to pay in cash.”

Currently, options include sending a check to the State Disbursement Unit in Sacramento, paying by credit card on state’s website, or making cash payments in the County office for the 21% that make their payments voluntarily.  Monthly trips to County offices may not be feasible for those living in extended areas of the County, who are without transportation, or live outside of the County. Only one third of individuals owing child support currently live in San Mateo County, and twenty-four percent live out of state.

The State Department of Child Support will be notifying parents by mail beginning January 26, 2015, providing ID codes and instructions needed to make payments at Moneygram kiosks.

San Mateo County is hoping the Moneygram option increases the likelihood that non-custodial parents will make their child support payments, which average $500 per month. “While this is a convenience to the parent, our ultimate goal is to get this assistance to the children.  A difference of $500 each month, given this County’s high cost of living, supports the basic needs of children and makes the difference in whether they can afford to participate in after-school activities or have access to tutoring. This is just one of the many ways that child support offices are empowered to assist both individuals in a co-parenting relationship. ” said Ms. Rodriguez.

While many child support payments are court-ordered, privately negotiated agreements can also be managed by the county offices. In monitoring, enforcing, and facilitating the accounting of the payments, helping to establish parenthood, or in re-negotiating orders as the family’s circumstances change, the County can be an effective problem-solver and help parents navigate this process.  

The Moneygram option can be used beginning on January 26, and the Moneygram website provides a map-based search for locations, including 18 retail chains such as CVS, Wal-Mart, Albertson’s, 7-Eleven and Raley’s/Bel Air. Find a location at www.MoneyGram.com/Locations or call 1-800-926-9400. You will need your child support Participant ID number and Receive Code 14630 for California child support payments.

More information on using Moneygram for San Mateo County child support payments is available at http://dcss.smcgov.org/ or the State Disbursement Unit website: https://www.childsup.ca.gov/payments/statedisbursementunit(sdu).aspx


Effie Milionis Verducci, the author of the above article, is the communications manager for the San mateo County Human Services Agency. She can be contacted by email at everducci@smchsa.org.