Interim Checks Issued to Parents Waiting on Child Support Tied Up in New System
Posted October 24, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — Many people are wondering whether North Carolina bit off more than it could chew when it comes to the technology involved in the new statewide child support system.
Many parents have been waiting weeks to get their child support checks. They rely on the money for survival but are being told the payments are tied up in the new system.
State lawmakers on the senate technology committee are investigating the problem.
"I think that we need to keep pushing the envelope in the e-commerce section, but we have to remember that it is being dealt with by humans. It's just like a jet pilot. He or she has to be able to handle the machinery," said Sen. Allen Wellons.
Parents say piloting the project in specific counties first and then phasing it in across the state would have been a better way to protect their children.
Help is on the way for some parents waiting for child support checks. Parents who have had their payments delayed by the new centralized system can apply for emergency checks to tide them over.
The state has also started issuing interim checks.
The money will come to people who have been receiving regular child support, but have had their payments tied up in the new system.
Thousands of parents say the help can't come too soon.
"We're working as hard as we can, and as fast as we can, and we're doing the work around-the-clock, seven days a week trying to get this cleared up," says Theresa Dalton, with theDepartment of Health and Human Services.
As of Monday, the state has issued emergency support checks to 534 of 550 people who requested them; $4.5 million has been paid out in interim checks to people who have their child support deducted from a paycheck.