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$25 Annual Service Fee Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if the $25 Annual Service Fee applies to my case(s)?

If the fee applies to your case(s), DCSS will mail you an Annual Service Fee Assessment Notice for each applicable case in October. The fee is only charged on child support cases that meet all of the following conditions:

  • The family has never received cash assistance benefits such as; Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Tribal TANF, CalWorks or Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
    AND

  • You (the custodial party) have received $500 or more in child support payments during the previous federal fiscal year (October 1 – September 30)
    AND

  • You (the custodial party) have not already paid a child support annual fee in another state.
Why is there a $25 Annual Service Fee?

The federal government is imposing on all state child support agencies a $25 annual service fee for every child support case that meets the conditions under the Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

Where does the money go?
The funds collected go to the State General Fund as reimbursement for fee payments to the federal government.
How will the Annual Service Fee be collected?
The fee will be deducted from the first child support payment that you receive on or after October 1 of each year. If the first payment on or after October 1 is less than the amount owed for the fee, your entire payment will be applied to the fee. Additional deductions will be made from subsequent payments until the $25 has been fully deducted.
What if I have more than one child support case?

You will be charged $25 for each qualifying case.

If I have more than one case that was charged the Annual Service Fee, how will the fees be deducted?
If you were charged a fee for more than one case, each fee will be deducted from the first child support payment(s) you receive on or after October 1st. For example, if you have two cases that were each charged a $25 fee, $50 will be deducted from the first payment you receive on or after October 1st for any case on which you receive payment. If the first payment is less than $50, the entire payment will be applied to the fees and additional deductions will be made from subsequent payments to you until $50 has been deducted.
Why did I receive an Annual Service Fee Assessment Notice (DCSS-0664) for my child support case that is closed?
If your child support case met the conditions to be charged a fee at any point in the previous federal fiscal year (October 1 through September 30), you will be sent an Annual Service Fee Assessment Notice (DCSS-0664).
What if my case closes before the Annual Service Fee is deducted from my child support payment(s)?
The fee will not be recovered while the case is closed. However, the outstanding fee balance will remain indefinitely. The fee will only be recovered if the case is re-opened, and a child support payment (for any case) is made to you.
Is the Annual Service Fee waived for persons who receive child support payments by direct deposit or EPC card?
No. Receiving your child support payments electronically does not prevent you from being charged the fee.
Can I pay the Annual Service Fee now instead of waiting for it to be deducted from my child support payments?
No. Please do not send in a payment. The only method of payment for the fee at this time is for it to be deducted from your child support payments.
Will the NCP get credit for the entire amount of the payment that was made to DCSS even though the Annual Service Fee is deducted from the payment issued to me?
Yes. The NCP will receive full credit for the payment they made even though the Annual Service Fee is deducted from the payment issued to you.
Are there any reasons that I may be exempt from being charged the Annual Service Fee?

Yes. Please review the Certification of Annual Service Fee Exemption form (DCSS-0678) for a list of qualifying exemptions. If you feel you qualify, please complete the form and mail it to:

California Department of Child Support Services
Office of Payment Management & Intergovernmental Services
PO Box 419064 MS 161
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9064
 

Please do not fax or email the form as DCSS is only accepting signed original forms mailed to the above address. DCSS will review your case and determine if you are approved for a one-time or permanent exemption. You will be sent a letter if your exemption is not approved.

If my exemption is approved and the fee has already been deducted from my payment(s), will I receive a refund?
You may be entitled to a refund depending on the effective time period of your exemption. If your approved exemption results in a refund, a check will automatically be mailed to you and can take up to 8 weeks for processing.
What do I do if I have additional questions about the Annual Service Fee?
 

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