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Collection, Distribution & Disbursement
Collection, Distribution & Disbursement

Statewide Collection & Disbursement Unit

For the past several years this has been a state level function. The Bureau of Child Support Enforcement contracts this service, known as the Statewide Collection and Disbursement Unit (SCDU), to a private vendor who manages the process for all Pennsylvania support cases.

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Speed Requires Accuracy
Contractors are able to process payments far faster than we ever could at the local level. But their profitability depends on performance and volume business. Their efficiency depends upon the accuracy of the payment and payment coupon they receive. The local office staff could sometimes guess what a payor intended even when the case was not clearly identified, because staff had a familiarity with the caseload. This is no longer possible with the volumes being processed daily by SCDU.

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Electronic Funds Transfer
Electronic disbursement of support payments is more accurate, less expensive, and reduces undistributed collections while providing quicker, safer, and more convenient access to support payments for the obligee. SCDU uses ultra-high speed processes and state of the art equipment, similar to those used by banks, to process about 99% of the payments it receives on the same day. Many employers transfer funds withheld from their employees’ wages to SCDU electronically. SCDU then deposits the funds directly into the payee’s bank account. When a new order is entered into PACSES the payee will automatically receive information about direct deposit and the alternative, the EPPICard.

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EPPICard Debit Mastercard System
For obligees who do not opt for direct deposit of support payments into their own personal checking or savings account, Pennsylvania has implemented a new electronic payment option called the Pennsylvania EPPICard Debit MasterCard, more commonly known as a “stored value card.” The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) has contracted with Affiliated Computer Services to manage the EPPICard Debit MasterCard Program. Wachovia Bank will manage the special accounts established for clients using the EPPICard Debit MasterCard Program. SCDU will electronically disburse to Wachovia Bank support payments made to custodial parents using the EPPICard Debit MasterCard.

The Pennsylvania EPPICard carries the MasterCard logo and can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted to make purchases, get cash back with a purchase, get cash from a bank teller, or from an automated teller machine (ATM) that has the MasterCard, Maestro, or Cirrus brand logo. Account balance information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling the EPPICard Customer Service at (800) 304-1669 or by visiting the EPPICard website.

Tip: Rather than pay an ATM fee, use your card to buy groceries and ask for cash back.

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Check / Money Order

You may remit a support payment in the form of a check or money order. The check or money order must be made payable to PA SCDU and should include your name and PACSES member ID or SSN. The check / money order must be mailed to:
PA SCDU
P.O. Box 69110
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9110

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Credit Card Payments
Payors may make support payments by credit card by calling (800) 955-2305, or online. Payors using the 800 number to make a credit card payment will be charged a flat fee. For information concerning the fee please contact PA SCDU at (877) 727-7238. Payors using the e-childspay website will also be charged a flat fee per credit card transaction. For more information concerning the transaction fee visit the e-childspay.com homepage.

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Pay by Phone
If you have a checking or savings account, and would like to make a single support payment over the phone, call PA SCDU at (877) 727-7238 and speak to a customer service representative.

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Recurring Automatic Withdrawal (RAW)
If you have a checking or savings account and would like to establish a regular, recurring withdrawal from that account to pay your support payment, call PA SCDU at (877) 727-7238 and speak to a customer service representative.

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Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF)
In the past, local staff would expend countless hours working with payors or employers who bounced checks to recover funds already expended by the county treasury. Now it comes out of the profits of a private vendor, and they are not wanting to expend great amounts of time and money to recover their funds. If you bounce a check with SCDU, unless you can get your bank to verify that their error caused it, SCDU will no longer accept your personal or business check. You will be forced to use money orders or cashiers checks in the future. Also, SCDU will turn over the debt to a commercial collection agency, passing on the costly service fee to you.

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Payment Information
Information regarding payments is easily obtained through the Pennsylvania Child Support website. Use this site to keep address and employment information current.

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Annual Fee
A new law passed by the United States Congress requires a $25 annual fee each year for certain child support cases. The law applies when at least $500 in child support payments is collected annually and the custodial parent has never received cash assistance. The yearly fee is collected to cover some of the federal government’s costs of providing child support enforcement services.

In Pennsylvania, the Department of Public Welfare will:
  • Pay the fee for families with annual support collections between $500 and $1,999.99
  • Deduct the fee from the custodial parent after $2,000 of child support is collected in a year from the noncustodial parent.

For 2008, the fee will be collected by September 30. In 2009 and beyond, it will be collected between October 1 and November 30, or between March 1 and September 30.

Questions should be directed to the Department of Public Welfare at (800) 932-0211.

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Changes to Distribution of Support in Multiple Family Cases

Effective October 12, 2008, when an obligor is subject to more than one order for child support, spousal support and/or alimony pendent elite, the priority for distribution of payments and/or collections for the obligor, without regard to the source of funds or method of collection, are as follows unless the court specifically orders a different distribution priority:
  1. Current child support
  2. Medical, child care or other court-ordered child support-related expenses
  3. Child support arrears
  4. Current spousal support or alimony pendent elite
  5. Spousal support or alimony pendent elite arrears
  6. Court costs and fees

The order of priority of the distribution of payments is revised to reflect the changes in federal law which presume that cash and medical-related support are established and paid in that sequence, and that obligations to children take priority over spousal-only obligations. An unallocated order for child and spousal support has the same priority as a child support order.

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