You have 2 choices for how you receive your child support payments:
- Direct deposit
- Massachusetts Debit Card
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 Massachusetts Debit Card 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 Massachusetts Debit Card.
We don’t mail support payments by paper checks unless you qualify for an exemption. Review the exemption section on this page to see if you qualify for an exemption.
We’ll send you the Electronic Payment Application/Request for Change Form if:
- You have a new case with DOR or
- You aren’t enrolled in direct deposit or the Massachusetts Debit Card.
Choosing direct deposit
DOR recommends direct deposit to receive your child support payment.
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 Massachusetts Debit Card
While DOR recommends direct deposit, the best option for you depends on your situation.
If you choose a Massachusetts Debit Card to receive your child support payments, the payments are loaded into your Massachusetts Debit Card account.
The Massachusetts Debit Card is offered in partnership with Bank of America.
Just like any other debit cards, you can:
- Get your money at any Automated Teller Machine (ATM)
- Use the debit card to make purchases wherever Debit MasterCard is accepted.
The debit card 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.
There may be ATM and other transaction fees charged by Bank of America when you use the debit card.
Massachusetts Debit Card Fees
The Massachusetts Debit Card is offered by DOR in partnership with Bank of America. We have worked with Bank of America to keep the costs for the debit card service as low as possible, but certain ATM and other transaction fees apply. These fees are explained below.
Enrolling in direct deposit or the Massachusetts Debit Card
You can choose direct deposit or the Massachusetts Debit Card as your method of getting child support.
The fastest way to sign up is to use our Case Manager.
You can also call our customer service center at (800) 332-2733 or (617) 660-1234 (for local callers) and they will send you a form to complete and return to us.
You have 21 days to complete the form and return it to us. If you don’t return the form, we’ll automatically send you the Massachusetts Debit Card.
If you sign up for the Massachusetts Debit Card, you can decide to enroll in direct deposit at any time.
Exemptions from direct deposit and Massachusetts Debit Card
We won’t send paper checks by mail unless there is a reason to exempt you from direct deposit and the Massachusetts 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.
- The debit card doesn’t indicate that it’s for child support payments. The card has the word “Massachusetts” across the front with the Bank of America and MasterCard logos, making it look like a regular debit card.
- DOR isn’t the only state agency that uses the Massachusetts Debit Card. Other Massachusetts state agencies may use a card with the same design to send other types of funds to their customers.
- You can sign up for the Massachusetts Debit Card even if your credit is bad. The Massachusetts Debit Card isn’t a credit card, and your credit rating has no effect on your signing up. As part of our agreement with Bank of America, issuance of a card won't be denied based on your credit history.
- If your card is lost or stolen, you must contact Bank of America Customer Service Center at (855) 887-3940 to report or replace the card. There is no fee or surcharge for replacement cards.
- You can sign up to receive free electronic notification by email or text message whenever:
- A deposit is posted to your account
- Your balance drops below a pre-set amount.
Go to Bank of America to enroll in this free service.