Receiving your child support payment by debit
card - ReliaCard / Visa
If you do not sign up to receive your child support payments through direct deposit into
your bank account or qualify for an exemption, you will be issued the ReliaCard to access your payments.
The following provides general information about the card.
What is the ReliaCard? A type of debit card
that can be used to get cash, make purchases, or pay bills.
Where can I use the ReliaCard? The card can be used to pay for goods or services
at any business that accepts Visa debit or Interlink cards. The card can also be used to withdraw cash at
automated teller machines (ATMs) or financial institution tellers. It is recommended that you make your
withdrawals at U.S. Bank or MoneyPass ATMs in order to avoid the surcharges that may be charged by other ATM owners.
To pay for goods or services, simply present the card to the cashier. If you are asked to swipe your card through
a machine at the checkout counter, you may be asked to enter "credit" or "debit". Enter "credit" if you wish to simply
sign your name. Enter "debit" if you prefer to enter a personal identification number (PIN). If you select "debit", the
merchant may also allow you to receive some cash back.
When is my money available on the ReliaCard?
Money should be available for your use on the
3rd business day after the payment is received
at the Collection Services Center.
How do I know if a child support payment has
been received? You can use this website to see
if a payment has been received by clicking on
the payments tab on the home page. You can also
get this information by calling our child support automated information line 7 days/week, 24 hours/day. The phone number is
1-888-229-9223 (toll free nationwide).
How do I know if money is available on my ReliaCard?
You can use the U.S. Bank website to check your
balance at www.reliacard.com. You can call U.S.
Bank toll-free 7 days/week, 24 hours/day to get
your balance. The toll free number nationwide
is (866) 276-5114. You can also call this number
to ask questions about your account or how to
use your card.
How will I get my card? Your card will come
by mail from U.S. Bank. The bank will also send
instructions on how to activate your card. You
must activate the card before it can be used.
How can I avoid paying fees when using the ReliaCard?
You can get free unlimited withdrawals at any US Bank or MoneyPass ATM each month (220 locations in Iowa
and 15,000 nationwide). You can also get 1 free withdrawal per month at any Visa/Plus ATM (4,451 in Iowa and
400,000 nationwide). You will be charged $1.25 each time you make an additional ATM withdrawal in the same calendar
month at a Visa/PLUS ATM. Additional ATM owner surcharges may apply.
Customers receive free unlimited withdrawls at any teller window where Visa is accepted. This includes over
1,665 financial institutions in Iowa and more than 98,000 nationwide.
Cash Back Point of Sale:
Whenever a business accepts VISA cards and chooses to give cash back
with purchases, you can get cash back without
a fee! (such as Target, Walmart, etc.) Unlimited use subject to merchant restrictions.
- Make sure the business accepts Interlink cards and allows
you to get cash back with your purchase
- When making your purchase, swipe your card
through the card reader (a box that usually
sits at the checkout counter)
- Select "debit" and enter your personal identification
- The card reader or cashier will guide you
through the steps
- The cashier will give you a receipt and the
cash you requested (this is called a point
of sale transaction)
Can I use the ReliaCard to pay my bills online or with my smartphone?
Yes. You can manage and pay your bills online when you sign up on the ReliaCard website. You may also
choose to sign up for text or e-mail alerts to remind you when your bills are due. The ReliaCard Mobile Banking
App is available for you to make a payment or review your account balance and recent transactions on your smartphone.
To learn more about online bill pay features, visit www.reliacard.com
, select Iowa Child Support from the dropdown list, and log in to your account. Then click on the Bill Pay tab.
To view an online Bill Pay demonstration video, click here.
to Apply for Service
To apply for services select the Application
for Services form. Mail the completed form to the Child Support
Office serving your county. Please also send copies of any court
orders and payment records that already exist for your case. If
you do not supply the court orders and payment records there could
be a delay in getting services.
There is a fee to apply for these services.
Child support services include establishing
paternity, establishing and enforcing child support and medical orders, collecting
support payments and locating non-custodial parents.
If paternity needs to be established it
can be done by agreement of the parents or through genetic testing.
After paternity is established a child
support amount and medical support can be ordered using the Iowa Supreme Court
Child support amounts and medical support provisions
can be changed in several ways. Two
of the ways the Child Support Recovery Unit
can change or modify support amounts are through
the Review and Adjustment process and the
Administrative Modification process. Each
of these has different requirements. Another
way to change support amounts is through a
private attorney. For more information, go to changing
Some of the ways child support can be
- By collecting money from paychecks through income withholding.
- By intercepting tax refunds.
- By collecting payments from bank accounts.
- By working with other states to collect child and/or medical support outside
- By suspending licenses and passports and taking court action
Your case will be reviewed to determine
the most effective action.
Using these enforcement tools may not
always result in immediate or consistent payments, but the Child
Support Recovery Unit will continue its efforts to collect
support payments for you and your children.
Child Support Information for Medicaid Applicants
Here are some of the things the Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) can do for you, if you request our services.
Other brochures about Department services are available at your county DHS or local child support office.
WHAT WILL CSRU DO FOR ME?
Here are some of the ways we may be able to help you. We can:
- Find parents.
- Establish paternity.
- Get an order for cash and medical support.
- Enforce child support, including medical support.
- Withhold support payments from wages, unemployment benefits, or other income.
- Deposit support payments directly into bank accounts.
- Collect child support from state and federal tax refunds or other payments.
- Review an existing order amount to determine if it should go up, down, or stay the same, and to add medical
support such as health insurance or cash medical support to help buy health insurance.
HOW DO I GET THE SERVICES?
If you ask for our services when you apply for Medicaid, your name is sent to us when your
application is approved.
- You may receive our services even if one of the parents lives in another state.
IS THERE A COST FOR SERVICES?
- If you get Medicaid, these services are free.
- If you are not approved for Medicaid, and you want Child Support services, you must pay a $25.00 application fee.
We list other fees on the application.
- Parents contesting paternity establishment may be asked to pay genetic testing costs.
WHAT WILL CSRU ASK ME TO DO?
- Give us information or documents we ask for.
- Give us your up-to-date address and employer.
- Come to any meetings or hearings that we schedule.
- Tell us, in writing, about any new information you may have which helps us collect and distribute support payments.
HOW LONG DO CSRU PROCESSES TAKE?
The length of time depends on how hard it is to find a necessary party and verify income or assets.
More time must be allowed for legal processes if the other parent lives in another state.
WILL CSRU SHARE MY INFORMATION WITH ANYONE?
We keep addresses and other information about parties who receive or pay child support confidential.
We may learn about information as a part of court actions to obtain or enforce support. Sometimes the court may order us to release
HOW DO I CONTACT CSRU?
You can get more information about our services listed here, including payment information, by calling the child support
automated information line at 1-888-229-9223 (toll free nationwide). Calling this number can also help you find the local office phone number
for your area.
It is the policy of the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide equal treatment in employment
and provision of services to applicants, employees, and clients without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation,
gender identity, religion, age, disability, political belief, or veteran status.
When child support is collected from paychecks
or other income, it is called income withholding.
Federal and state laws require income
withholding to be used in all cases even if child support is not
When employers receive Income Withholding
Notices, they have ten days to process the paperwork. Once that
is done, the employer must withhold child support from the next
The amount withheld includes the amount
due for that payment and an additional amount for past due support
may be included. If these amounts total more than 50% of wages,
the employer can only withhold 50%.
Employers have seven business days to
send the payment to the Collection Services Center and may withhold
an additional $2.00 from each payment to cover their costs.
When the income withholding payment is
received, the Collection Services Center has two business days
to process the payment.
If the person owing child support has
more than one case, the income withholding payments are divided
among all cases.
If you owe child support, each time an
Income Withholding Notice is sent to your employer, you receive
a copy. This notice has instructions on what to do if you disagree
with the action or if you have limited income which makes the
amount withheld for past due support a hardship.
One of the ways to dispute the income
withholding action is to ask for a conference with the Child Support
Recovery Unit. You can have a conference only if you request it
within 15 days of receiving a new or amended income withholding
Income withholding can be used to collect
child support from other sources of income besides wages, such
as Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
Payment by phone or by web are programs
which allows you to make payments from a touch tone phone or through
a secured section of this website. To participate, obtain an authorization
form. This form allows the Collection Services Center to take
payments out of your savings or checking account. After you return
the completed authorization form to the Collection Services Center,
it takes 20 calendar days to set up the process. On your form,
you choose your own personal identification or PIN number. Additionally,
you will designate on your form the maximum amount you would ever
authorize to be taken at any one time. If you want to change this
maximum amount authorized, complete the form
to change maximum amount. You will receive a notice telling you
when you can begin using payment by phone or web.
When the payment by phone or web process
has been set up for your case, you can call 1-888-229-9223 or
use this website and select the option to make a payment by phone
or web. Then, you must enter your Case Number, your PIN and the
amount you want to pay. Payments are withdrawn from your bank account
within 1 to 2 business days. This method offers several
benefits. You save money on postage and there is no chance of
a check being lost or damaged in the mail. Also, you decide when
your payments are made and the amount to be deducted each time.
Payment through automatic withdrawal is
a convenient way to have your support payment automatically taken
from your checking or savings account. This method works very
well if you pay the same amount on a regular basis. To participate,
obtain an authorization
form. By completing this form you are allowing us to deduct
an amount from your bank account on a regular basis. You may have
payments deducted weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly or monthly.
This method offers several benefits. You save money on postage
and there is no chance of a check being lost or damaged in the
mail. Also, your payments are made on time, even if you forget
or are out of town. If you want to change your automatic withdrawal
amount, use the Change
Automatic Withdrawal Form.
If you receive support payments through
the Collection Services Center, our direct deposit program lets
you have payments directly deposited into your checking or savings
account. Funds are credited to your bank account 3 to 4 business
days after the Collection Services Center receives the payment.
There is no risk of checks being lost or stolen; the payments
are made without you having to go to the bank; and in many instances,
you have access to your payments sooner than if received in the
mail. To participate, obtain an authorization
form. After the form is received by the Collection Services
Center, it takes 20 calendar days to process. You will receive
a notice that tells you the effective date of the service. If
you want to change your automatic deposit, please use the Change
Automatic Deposit Form.
from Bank Accounts
When child support is collected by taking
money from bank or financial accounts, it is called administrative
levy. This method is used to collect past due support.
Iowa law allows the Child Support Recovery
Unit to take up to 50% of the balance in many types of accounts.
This may include joint accounts, even if the deposits were made
by a person who does not owe child support.
Notice of the possibility of administrative
levy is given either in the child support order or by mail to
persons who are ordered to pay child support. This informational
notice is called the "Legal Notice of Administrative Levy".
It tells you administrative levy may be used.
If the form called "Administrative
Levy Notice to Obligor" is received by mail, the levy has
happened. This means a part of the account balance has been frozen
and is not available to you.
The notice will also tell you what to
do if you disagree with this action.
State Tax Refunds
Federal tax refunds may be withheld to
pay past due child support. When the past due child support is
more than $150 owed to the State of Iowa or $500 owed to the family,
the federal tax refunds of the person owing child support may
be withheld by an offset.
Monthly, the child support recovery unit
reports to the IRS the amount of past due child support owed on
these cases. Once the case has been reported, the tax refunds
continue to be offset until the amount of past due child support
is less than $150 owed to the State of Iowa or $500 owed to the family.
Updated balance information is provided to the IRS.
When a tax refund is offset, the person
owing child support receives a notice and the Collection Services
Center receives the payment from the IRS.
We hold a federal tax return to allow individuals time to
request an appeal or file needed forms. If the payment is from a single filer's return,
we hold the payment for 30 days. If the payment is from a joint return, the time we hold
the payment depends upon whether the IRS tells us it received and processed IRS form 8379,
Injured Spouse Claim and Allocation, along with the joint tax return. If the IRS
processed the injured spouse form and the return at the same time, we hold the payment for
30 days. If they were not processed at the same time, we hold the payment for 5 months.
During this 5-month period, you can file IRS form 8379 to claim the injured spouse's portion
of the refund. You can get Form 8379 from the IRS by calling 1 (800) 829-1040, from the IRS website
at www.irs.gov or from your tax preparer. Since the IRS does not notify use when form 8379 is processed
if it is later than the return, we continue to hold the payment for 5 months.
Payments from federal tax refunds are
paid first to past due child support owed to the State of Iowa.
Any remaining money is paid to past due child support owed to
the family. If there is any money left after all past due child
support is paid, that amount is returned to the taxpayer.
If you disagree with a federal tax refund
offset, there are strict timeframes to file your challenge. These
timeframes are as short as 15 days after the date on the notice.
If you receive a notice about a federal tax refund offset and
disagree with the amount of past due child support or you are
not the person owing support, you may file an appeal.
When the Child Support Recovery Unit offsets
federal tax refunds, it happens in two steps. Each step has a
different way to challenge the offset.
At the first step we send your name to the federal government to collect past
due support. The federal government sends you a notice telling you your name has been referred. At this point, the offset
has not yet happened. To challenge being selected for offset,
you may ask us to review the matter by contacting by your local office.
You have 30 days to request this challenge.
The second step of the federal tax offset
process happens when the federal government actually keeps
your income tax refund. The federal government sends you a notice
explaining the money has been offset. When you receive
this notice, you must act quickly. You have 15 days to request
an appeal. This is a formal hearing with an administrative law
judge. You must send a written request for an appeal to the address
on the notice or to the Department of Human Services' Appeals
Section, 5th Floor Hoover Building, 1305 East Walnut St., Des
Moines, Iowa 50319. You must include a copy of your offset notice,
because you have the only one issued.
For more information about federal taxes
or forms you receive, you may visit your local child support office.
Iowa state tax refunds may be withheld
to pay past due child support. State tax refunds may be offset
if the past due child support is at least $50 unless the required
child support has been paid in each of the last 12 months.
Each week we report to the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance the amount
of past due child support owed on these cases.
When a tax refund is offset, the person
owing child support receives a notice. If the payment is from
a joint return, either taxpayer has 15 days from the date of
this notice to ask us to split the refund so that we do not offset
the joint tax filers share. The Collection Services Center receives the payment from the Department of Revenue
and Finance about 45 days after the notice was mailed.
State tax refund payments are processed
by the Collection Services Center as soon as they are received
from the Department of Revenue and Finance.
If the family is receiving public assistance,
the state of Iowa keeps the money. If the family is not receiving
public assistance, state tax refunds pay first to any current
child support due to the family. Any remaining amounts are then
paid to any past due child support owed to the family. If money
remains, it is then paid to past due child support owed to the
State of Iowa. If there is any money left after all past due child
support is paid, that amount is returned to the taxpayer.
There are strict time frames to file an
appeal about a state tax refund offset. The person owing child
support receives a notice when their tax refund is being offset.
If an appeal is filed, it must be done within 15 days. A written
request for an appeal must be sent to the address on the notice
or to the Department of Human Services' Appeals Section, 5th Floor
Hoover Building, 1305 East Walnut St., Des Moines, Iowa 50319.
The Child Support Recovery Unit can put a hold on a passport.
The hold is called a passport sanction. This happens when a person owes more than $2,500
in overdue child support. The hold means that the US State Department can:
- Deny an application for a new passport
- Refuse to renew a passport
- Restrict or limit how you may use a passport
- Revoke (take away) a passport
We do not remove the hold until the overdue support is paid.
We send updates to the federal government every month. Contact us if
you make a large payment. We can send your update sooner.
Frequently Asked Questions
I send my child support payments?
Send payments to:
Collection Services Center
PO Box 9125
Des Moines, IA 50306
Make payments payable to the Collection
Services Center and list the case number on the check to
ensure proper credit.
If you are interested in making payments
from your bank account, please review Electronic Payment
Information (EFT) which is available through the "General
Information" section on our Welcome Page.
I pay child support when I can't visit my children? Why
should I let the other parent visit our children when he
or she isn't paying child support?
These are difficult situations for parents.
Legally, the two issues are not related. In other words,
child support must be paid and visitation with the children
must be allowed as the court has ordered. For more information
about services designed to help with visitation issues,
please visit the "Fatherhood"
website shown by the link on the Welcome Page.
my child support have to be taken from my paycheck?
Changes in state and federal laws now
require child support to be withheld from wages when a parent
is employed. In addition, child support is withheld
from unemployment benefits. This is called "income
withholding." Employers withhold payments
for current support and an additional amount for past support,
the Collection Services Center involved in my case?
Federal law requires all states to have
a centralized location to process income withholding payments.
In Iowa, the Collection Services Center processes these
the Child Support Recovery Unit and why are they involved
in my case?
The Child Support Recovery Unit is involved
in your case because you or the other parent applied for
services or someone in the family is receiving (or has received)
public assistance. The Unit is authorized to establish and
enforce child support and medical support orders for
families who apply for services or who receive public assistance
now or in the past.
I owe child support? I was never served with any legal papers
or attended a court hearing.
Child support obligations can only
be established after the parent (or an adult living in the
same household) has been served with proper legal notice
and given a chance to appear before the court. However,
if a parent does not respond within the time period allowed
in the legal notice, the court may proceed with entering
an order for support. This is called a "default order."
Contact the Child Support Recovery Unit
if you believe you are being required to pay child support
and you were not served with proper legal notice.
I receive the full amount of child support?
When a support payment is received, the
Collection Services Center distributes the money according
to state and federal regulations. Reasons you might not
receive the full amount include:
- If child support is owed to more than
one family, the payment is divided among the families.
- If the child support amount exceeds
50% of a parent's net income, no more than 50% can be
withheld for child support.
- If the payment is more than is owed
to the family and an amount remains owed to the state,
the Collection Services Center applies the remainder to
the amount owed to the state.
I obtain health insurance coverage for my children?
The court can change a child support order
to include health insurance coverage when a private attorney
or the Child Support Recovery Unit requests the change.
The court may change orders to require
health insurance coverage when it is available at a reasonable
cost to the parent paying child support, such as through
an employer or other group health insurance.
For more information,
go to changing an order.
I get a lien on my house removed?
To get a lien on property
removed, a Release
of Lien or a Satisfaction
of Judgment must be filed with
the Clerk of the District Court in the
county where the child support order
is filed. Contact the Child Support
Recovery Unit for assistance if part
or all of the child support is owed to
the State of Iowa. Contact a private
attorney if all of the child support
is owed to the other parent.
with child support now that my child is in foster care?
Each parent has a legal responsibility
to pay child support while his or her child is in foster
care. The Foster Care Recovery Unit handles these child
support obligations. For more information about paying child
support while your child is in foster care, please visit
Care Recovery" website shown by the link on the
Do I need
You may choose to hire an attorney to
represent your interests.
Attorneys who work for the Child Support Recovery Unit and
the Foster Care Recovery Unit represent the interests of
the State of Iowa. They do not represent the interests of
the difference between an "official" payment record
and an "unofficial" payment record?
An "official" payment
record has been certified by a designated employee of the
Collection Services Center as a true, accurate, and correct
copy of the original on file. You may want to use one when
showing your payments to the court or applying for a loan,
An "unofficial" payment record
has been printed from this website and has not been certified
by a designated employee of the Collection Services Center.
You may want to use one to compare your records to those
of the Collection Services Center or to verify your eligibility
for certain assistance programs, such as subsidized housing
or energy assistance.