FAQs: Federal economic impact payments and child support
Congress did exempt federal economic impact payments - also called federal stimulus payments - included in the American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021 and the Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act signed by President Trump on Dec. 27, 2020 from going towards past-due child support.
However, Congress did not exempt the first economic impact payments from the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020 from going towards past-due child support.
The federal government handled economic impact payments from the CARES Act the same way it handles federal income tax refunds. This means the payments were subject to the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program that allows child support agencies to file claims against federal tax refunds to pay for past-due child support.
Below are answers to questions about how the first economic impact payments may have been impacted for parents who owe past-due child support.