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Why Pay Electronically? EFT Tips for Employers

Why Pay Electronically?
Sending child support payments electronically saves time and money because it:

  • Eliminates the costs to employers of printing and handling paper checks and supporting documents;
  • Eliminates the cost to employers of postage and postal delays due to lost or misdirected mail;
  • Reduces data entry errors by state staff; and
  •  Speeds child support payments to children and families.
How to Send a Child Support Payment Electronically
There are several ways to send a child support payment electronically:
  • Through the banking system with electronic funds transfer/electronic data interchange (EFT/EDI), using the standard child support addendum record;
  • By using a major payroll service processor who is already sending child support payments electronically; or
  • By using a commercial vendor offering web-based payment services to employers.
EFT/EDI Quick and Easy Child Support Payments: Three-Step Process for Employers
To use EFT/EDI for remitting child support payments quickly and easily, follow these steps.
Step 1:
Determine whether your payroll/accounting system supports electronic payments for child support. 
If it does not:
  • Your in-house information technology (IT) staff may be able to make programming changes to produce electronic payments for child support (including the EDI DED (Deduction) Child Support Addendum Segment (record) that the State of Idaho will need to identify the payment).
  • Your payroll/accounting software developer may have an enhancement that supports electronic payments for child support. Contact your users’ group or software representative.
  • Your bank probably has a software package that will enable you to produce the file formats necessary for electronic payments. Contact someone in “cash management” or “Treasury services” at your bank.
Step 2:
Contact Child Support Services EFT/EDI Unit.
  •  Send an e-mail with your request to IDEFT@dhw.idaho.gov  Identify your company and contact information with any correspondence.
  • You will receive information about the EFT/EDI start-up procedures. We will need to know which payments you will be sending electronically. Do not transmit child support withholdings electronically without that information.
Step 3:
Conduct the EFT/EDI start-up procedures. These typically include:
  • An exchange of basic banking information, bank routing codes, bank account numbers, and Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) code information with Child Support Services.
  • A reconciliation between state records and employer records of Social Security numbers and case identification numbers so that each employee’s withholding will be properly credited.
  • A transmission of an initial test file, or pre-note, to ensure that the automated clearinghouse (ACH) records are formatted and transmitted properly.
  •  States are required to receive child support payments in two formats: CCD+ or the CTX 820 Remittance format. Make sure you are using one of these two standard NACHA-approved formats.

For More Information
There are standard record specifications for child support payments that all states are required to use. For more information, contact your state child support EFT/EDI representative, or Nancy Benner at the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) at (202) 401-5528 or nbenner@acf.hhs.gov.

The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) has produced a User Guide for Electronic Child Support Payments here
DED Child Support Addendum Record
The following grid displays the format for the DED Child Support Addendum Record for electronic child support payments: