1. What choices do I have for receiving my child support payments?
  2. What is direct deposit?
  3. What is the Child Support Card?
  4. What choice is best for me?
  5. What fees will I have to pay if I choose direct deposit?
  6. What fees will I have to pay if I choose the Child Support Card?
  7. How can I avoid paying fees when using the Child Support Card?
  8. How do I choose direct deposit or the Child Support Card?
  9. How do I apply for an exemption?
  10. Will the card say anything about child support?
  11. My credit is bad. Can I still sign up for the Child Support Card?
  12. Can I sign up for direct deposit after I have received the Child Support Card?
  13. How do I know if a child support payment has been disbursed to me from CSE?
  14. When will my money be available on my Child Support Card?
  15. How do I know if money is available on my Child Support Card?

1. What choices do I have for receiving my child support payments?
You can choose to have your child support payments deposited directly into a bank account of your choice or to have your payments loaded into a Child Support Card account. Checks are no longer issued unless you qualify for an exemption.

2. What is direct deposit?
With direct deposit, CSE sends an electronic message to your bank telling it to credit your checking or savings account with the exact amount of the child support payment we received from the other parent. You can then withdraw the money, keep it in savings, or pay bills. With direct deposit your money is available sooner, generally by 2-3 business days, because you don't have to wait for the check to come in the mail or clear at the bank. Best of all, direct deposit is safe because your payments cannot get lost or stolen.

3. What is the Child Support Card?
The Child Support Card is a debit card. Child support payments are transferred electronically into an account from which you can access your money at any Automated Teller Machine (ATM). In addition, the card will carry the Visa® logo, allowing you to make purchases wherever Visa® is accepted. Although the Child Support Card carries the Visa® logo, it is not a credit card. You are using your own money from child support payments deposited on your behalf.

4. What choice is best for me?
While DOR recommends direct deposit, the best choice for you depends on your situation; the choice is entirely up to you. Both direct deposit and the Child Support Card provide many of the same benefits. There are no checks to get lost or stolen, the money is available to you as soon as it is deposited, and your payments will not be interrupted if you move. One important consideration is cost. CSE does not charge any fees for using the direct deposit service or the Child Support Card. However, the Child Support Card is offered by CSE in partnership with JPMorgan Chase Bank and there will be ATM and other transaction fees charged by JPMorgan when using the Child Support Card. These fees will be disclosed in full to you if you select this option, and tips on how to minimize these fees appear in question 7 below.

Fees

5. What fees will I have to pay if I choose direct deposit?
A CSE offers direct deposit free of charge. Although most banks provide direct deposit services without charge, you should check with your bank about any fees it may charge.

6. What fees will I have to pay if I choose the Child Support Card?
The Child Support Card is offered by CSE in partnership with JPMorgan Chase Bank. While we have worked together to keep the costs associated with this service as low as possible, certain ATM and other transaction fees will apply. The Child Support Card fee schedule is as follows:

First ATM Cash Withdrawal per MonthNo fee
Additional ATM Cash Withdrawal$1.50 each
ATM Cash Withdrawals Outside the U.S.$3.00 each
ATM Balance Inquiries$0.50 each
ATM Transactions Denied for Insufficient Funds$0.50 each
First Replacement Card Requested Each YearNo fee
Additional Replacement Cards$5.00
Optional Overnight Delivery or Replacement Card$10.00
Telephone Inquiry Calls per MonthNo fee
Bank Teller-assisted Transactions$4.00 each
Optional Check Requests * $12.50 each
Inactivity fee ** $1.50 per month

* If you require a large withdrawal amount (e.g., a tuition payment) that cannot be accommodated at an ATM, then you may request a check from JPMorgan Chase Bank that is subject to this fee.
** Inactivity means there have been no deposits, withdrawals, balance inquiries, or purchases made for 360 days.

7. How can I avoid paying fees when using the Child Support Card?
Each month Child Support Card customers can make one free ATM withdrawal. To get the free ATM withdrawal, you must use an ATM machine in the Allpoint network. Visit the Allpoint network website and type in your zip code for a listing of the closest Allpoint ATMs for you to use. After using your once-per- month free withdrawal, you will be charged $1.50 each time you make an additional withdrawal that month through an ATM.

You can avoid fees by using your card at businesses when you make purchases (this is a called a Point-of-Sale (POS) transaction). Whenever a business accepts Visa® cards and chooses to give cash back with purchases, you can get cash back without a fee! (Many popular stores -- including major retailers, drug stores and grocery stores -- will give you cash back surcharge free.) To request cash back when making purchases and avoid paying fees:

  • First, make sure the business accepts VISA® and allows you to get cash back with your purchase;
  • When making your purchase, swipe your card through the card reader (a box that usually sits at the checkout counter);
  • Select "debit" and enter your personal identification number (PIN);
  • The card reader or cashier will guide you through the steps; and
  • The cashier will give you a receipt and the cash you requested at no extra charge.

8. How do I choose direct deposit or the Child Support Card?
You must make a selection on the "Electronic Payment Application/Request for Change Form" that was sent to you and return it to the address on the form, or if you would like direct deposit, the fastest way to sign up is online via our Case Manager. If you do not make a selection within 21 days from the date indicated on the "Electronic Payment Application/Request for Change Form," CSE will automatically issue you the Child Support Card. Again, while either option is available to you, DOR recommends you consider the direct deposit option as your means of receiving child support.

9. H ow do I apply for an exemption?
If there is a reason that prevents you from using direct deposit or a Child Support Card, you must complete the appropriate exemption section on page 2 of the "Electronic Payment Application/Request for Change Form" when it is issued to you.

10. W ill the card say anything about child support?
No. There is nothing on the card itself to indicate that the funds associated with the card are child support payments. The card has the word "Massachusetts" across the front along with the Visa® logo and will look like a credit card.

11. My credit is bad. Can I still sign up for the Child Support Card?
Yes. While the Child Support Card looks like a credit card, it is not a credit card, and your credit rating has no effect on your signing up for the Child Support Card. As part of its agreement with CSE, JPMorgan Chase will not deny a card based on a customer's credit history.

12. Can I sign up for direct deposit after I have received the Child Support Card?
Yes. You may enroll in direct deposit at any time.

13. How do I know if a child support payment has been disbursed to me from CSE?
Log on to our online Case Manager or contact our automated Voice Response System (VRS) at (800) 332-2733 to find out if a payment was received by CSE.

14. When will my money be available on my Child Support Card?
Money should available for your use by the third business day from when we receive the payment. Please know however, that CSE's customer service staff will not be able to help you with questions related to the availability of funds on your card. See question 15 below for more information.

15. How do I know if money is available on my Child Support Card?
To find out if a payment was deposited into your Child Support Card account or to find out your card account balance, you can access your account online at JPMorgan Chase "My Account" or call their Customer Service Bureau toll-free at (866) 352-5851 any time day or night.