Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

Undistributed Child Support

Certain payments for child support are not paid directly to the custodial parent, such as payments intended for public assistance recipients and payments withheld from paychecks or tax refunds. In New York State, such child support payments are collected by the local social services districts (57 counties and New York City), and the local districts are expected to forward the payments to the custodial parents. However, in some instances, such as when a custodial parent cannot be located, payments cannot be forwarded and remain undistributed. The amount of undistributed child support payments in New York State has increased, and at the time of our audit, exceeded $70 million.

We examined the actions taken by the local districts and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), which oversees the districts, in attempting to minimize the amount of undistributed child support payments. We found that these actions varied in different local districts and were often labor-intensive. We recommended that OTDA monitor the local districts more closely to identify best practices and districts in need of assistance in their efforts. We also recommended that OTDA make certain improvements in the automated information system used by the districts to maintain information about child support cases.

For a complete copy of Report 2001-S-32 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.