Learn about your options for receiving your child support payments

You can choose to receive your child support by direct deposit or on a debit card.

Overview

You have 2 choices for how you receive your child support payments:

  • Direct deposit
  • U.S. Bank ReliaCard® debit card

While DOR recommends direct deposit, the best choice for you depends on your situation. The choice is entirely up to you. Before selecting your payment option, be sure to read the ReliaCard pre-acquisition disclosures (notices). The ReliaCard is issued by U.S. Bank National Association pursuant to license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. © 2021 U.S. Bank Member FDIC.

Both direct deposit and the ReliaCard provide many of the same benefits:

  • There are no checks to get lost or stolen.
  • Money is available to you as soon as it is deposited.
  • Payments aren’t interrupted if you move.

DOR doesn’t charge any fees for using direct deposit or the ReliaCard to receive your child support payments. Some fees are charged by U.S. Bank when you use the ReliaCard. These can be found in the Fee Schedule.

We don’t mail support payments by paper checks unless you qualify for an exemption. Review "Exemptions from Direct Deposit or Debit Card" on this page to see if you qualify for an exemption.

Choosing direct deposit

DOR recommends direct deposit to receive your child support payment.

When you choose direct deposit, your child support payments are electronically deposited directly into your bank account. Just like any other money you deposit into your account, you can:

  • Withdraw the money
  • Keep it in savings
  • Use it to pay bills

Choosing a Debit Card

If you choose to use a debit card to receive your child support payments, your payments will be loaded to your U.S. Bank ReliaCard.

The ReliaCard is a convenient and secure way to receive your child support payments:

  • Make purchases everywhere Visa® debit cards are accepted, in stores, over the phone and online, or pay bills.
  • Use the ReliaCard to get cash at ATMs or cash back with purchases.
  • Funds are protected if your card is lost or stolen.
  • You are generally protected from all liability for unauthorized transactions with Zero Liability. You must call the number on the back of your Card immediately to report any unauthorized use. Certain conditions and limitations may apply.  See your Cardholder Agreement for details.

The ReliaCard is not a credit card, so you are using your own money from your child support payments when you use the debit card to make purchases.

ReliaCard Fees

The ReliaCard is offered by DOR in partnership with U.S. Bank. We have worked with U.S. Bank to keep the costs for the debit card service as low as possible, but certain ATM and other transaction fees may apply. These fees are explained in the U.S. Bank ReliaCard Fee Schedule.

Enrolling in direct deposit or the Debit Card

You can choose direct deposit or the ReliaCard as your method of getting child support.

To enroll in direct deposit:

  • The fastest way to sign up is to use our interactive Case Manager on our website www.mass.gov/cse. Log in to your Case Manager account (or register for an account if you don’t already have one).  On the Participant/Caretaker Resource page, click on Manage Direct Deposit to complete an application.
  • You can also call our customer service center at (800) 332-2733 or (617) 660-1234 (for local callers) and we will send you a form to complete and return to us.

To enroll for a ReliaCard:

  • Call our customer service center at (800) 332-2733 or (617) 660-1234 (for local callers) and we will send you a form to complete and return to us.
  • If you sign up for the ReliaCard, you can decide to enroll in direct deposit at any time.

Exemptions from Direct Deposit or Debit Card

We won’t send paper checks by mail unless there is a reason to exempt you from receiving your payments by direct deposit or debit card.

If you think you meet an exemption reason, you can ask us to send your child support payments by paper check through the mail. The exemption reasons are:

  • A physical or other disability makes it difficult for you to access an electronic payment.
  • A language or reading barrier makes it difficult for you to access an electronic payment.
  • You live and work more than 5 miles from an ATM or bank where you could get the funds.

If none of these circumstances apply to you, but you still think you need your child support payments sent by mail, you can claim an exemption on the Electronic Payment Application form. We will look at requests for exemption on an individual basis.

Any exemption granted may be subject to future review by us.

Additional Information

  • The debit card doesn’t indicate that it’s for child support payments. The card has the word ReliaCard across the front with the U.S. Bank and Visa® logos, making it look like a regular debit card.
  • You can sign up for the ReliaCard even if your credit is poor. There is no credit check.
  • If your card is lost or stolen, you must contact U.S. Bank to report and replace the card. There is no fee or surcharge for replacement cards with standard delivery (up to 10 business days). There may be a fee for rush delivery.
  • You have the choice to sign up for optional text or email alerts when money is added, or your card balance gets low.  (For text messages, standard messaging charges apply through your mobile carrier and message frequency depends on account settings.)
  • For more information about the ReliaCard, visit www.usbankreliacard.com.
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