Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick and the Department of Social Services (DSS) have partnered to launch a newly-automated process that uses unclaimed property held by the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office to pay past-due child support.

“Missouri’s kids benefit from this collaborative effort with the State Treasurer’s Office. In the first phase over $2 million has been applied to 18,724 child support cases,” Jennifer Tidball, acting director, Department of Social Services, said. “When a parent fails to pay child support, children who rely on these critical dollars to live and thrive are the ones who suffer.”

According to a press release from Fitzpatrick’s office, he said: “This is a perfect example of good government. By working with the Department of Social Services to automate this system, we are increasing efficiency and ensuring more children in Missouri will receive money that is rightfully theirs.”

Electronic files of past-due child support cases are matched against the State Treasurer’s Office unclaimed property database. If a match is found, it generates an automated property attachment and transmission of payment to the Department of Social Services. This enables the department to withhold unclaimed property before a parent owing support can claim it. The electronic process pays child support and eliminates the manual paperwork between agencies to improve efficiency and timeliness. It also enables the State Treasurer’s Office to reduce the number of unclaimed property accounts.

In some cases, the collection of these funds is significant; more than $28,000 was collected from one parent who owed past-due child support. “Working together, our agencies are able to meet our goals and better serve Missourians. Children benefit, getting the money they are entitled to receive and Missouri taxpayers benefit by not burdening the financial responsibility of parents,” said Tidball.