My Dependent Stimulus Payment Was Intercepted and Offset For Child Support Arrears Despite Filing an Injured Spouse Claim

This article was last updated on March 14

I seem to be getting a lot of comments and questions related to child support arrears and offsets around the stimulus payments (recovery rebate credit) for adults and their child dependents.. The IRS has confirmed that the stimulus check (economic impact) payments will NOT be offset or intercepted for those owe tax, have a payment agreement or owe other federal or state debts. It will only be OFFSET by 50% for past-due child support. This is because a court order for child support continues until it is modified or terminated. Similarly with unemployment compensation stimulus increases, your child support may be withheld from the UI payments. However a situation is arising where married filing jointly couples are both having their stimulus payments offset despite one or both having filed an injured spouse claim with their latest tax return.

[IRS update] Following several issues around payment of the dependent stimulus’, the IRS has announced it will be sending catch-up checks to about 50,000 individuals whose portion of the Economic Impact Payment (EIP, or stimulus check) was diverted to pay their spouse’s past-due child support.

These catch-up payments are due to be issued in early-to-mid-September. They will be mailed as checks to any eligible spouse who submitted Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, along with their 2019 federal income tax return, or in some cases, their 2018 return. These spouses do not need to take any action to get their money. The IRS will automatically issue the portion of the EIP that was applied to the other spouse’s debt.

The IRS is aware that some individuals did not file a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, and did not receive their portion of the EIP for the same reason above. These individuals also do not need to take any action and do not need to submit a Form 8379. The IRS does not yet have a timeframe but will automatically issue the portion of the EIP that was applied to the other spouse’s debt at a later date.

Source: IRS

The IRS is aware this issue where a portion of the stimulus payment is sent to the spouse who filed an injured spouse claim has been offset by the non-injured spouse’s past-due child support. The IRS is working with the Bureau of Fiscal Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. They have advised that if you filed an injured spouse claim with your return and are impacted by this issue, you do not need to take any action. The injured spouse will receive their unpaid half of the total payment when the issue is resolved.

The above is creating a heated discussion and a sampling of comments from related posts below show the divided views on this topic (click the link under the name to see the related full post/comment, where applicable)

(Geneva) I filed electronically on 1/27 with Injured Spouse form. My account has been in process mode since 2/3/2020. My stimulus check along with my spouses was intercepted by his back child arrears from. Over 30 Years ago I have no income he is on disability his disability is garnished each month for back arrears. I was counting on my stimulus money and yet it was intercepted and we have no way of getting it back or contacting anyone in the IRS dept. Their should not have been any holds or garnished money from these stimulus checks we all need the money right now the kids he are paying back welfare to are all. Full grown adults and received their own stimulus money no one lost out of any support if my money or his was not intercepted. Injured spouses need answers STAT no one is answering these questions no one is speaking about the injured spouses getting their stimulus money or refunds. Stand up for #Injuredspouses and get us our money we all are in dire need at this time

(Ali) The injured spouse form didn’t work for us. I file it with our taxes every year and they still intercepted all our of stimulus. You’ll get a letter saying your money was sent to child support. Contact child support because getting through to the IRS right now is next to impossible. Contest it there and you may get yours.

(Laura) Very thankful for my husbands ex. All of our stimulus was intercepted for back support. I was okay with it because she is owed that money but she let us know that she is going to send it back to us because she knows we are both out of work right now. He plans to continue paying her after he pays off support to make up for the fact that this money will come off what he owes her even though she is sending it back to us.

(Tina) We have been closely monitoring this situation with child support and injured spouse filers. In summary we believe there was a systematic glitch at the IRS resulting in the error of the 100% offset instead of the 50% offset for the stimulus. There have been cases where even tax refunds have been 100% offset when normally the IS spouses has normally gotten their share of the refund. All we can do is wait for the IRS to open up and speak to a live person. But right now it seems like they are aware of the situation.

(Madyson) Our WHOLE stimulus check was intercepted. My current husband owes arrears and they took mine and my children’s from another marriage! Ironically my ex doesn’t file taxes so I won’t even get his. How am I supposed to support my kids??

(April) This is incorrect for the injured spouse, Me along with thousands of others have filed injured spouse EVERY year, the IRS messed up for the stimulus, they split the stimulus in half and then gave child support BOTH portions of the stimulus leaving me and my three children with nothing. I get taking my husbands but not the entire house hold amount . ( please save the ” people who owe child support are dead beats” crap talk because you don’t know our situation or many others who are going through this same thing). I just wish people would quit issuing articles or information stating that the injured spouse form will suffice and start reporting the fact that IT DID NOT get processed.

(Tori) As i was a single parent at sometimes working 2 jobs & going to night school, i received food stamps. Always telling the truth about my earnings as well as even when my ex husband paid me cash, i reported it. My children are in their late 20’s early 30’s, receiving back support only due to loosing my job over this corona crap, my tax returns were intercepted from the county from years ago giving me the help in food stamps i never knew that they expected paid back. Now I am furious that they want everything i have when I’m in need. Haven’t even received unemployment yet have to wait till mid April and wondered will they intercept my stimulus check also?? Its almost a kick’em when they’re down then while they’re down lets give a few more boots to the gut till they die. Is this population control at its finest or what?

(Sarah) CHILD SUPPORT ANSWER: if you arrears for child support. There’s no off set. You will NOT receive your stimulus check. It is intercepted and sent to child support off and applied to amount owed. Look up Debt Collection improvement Act 1996

(Kee) I’m in IL, filed taxes on March 14 with H&R block, both were accepted same day. Received federal back March 20. State still says processing. Weird thing is I called to see if my state was going to be intercepted, I was told no; I would get my entire return back. Called back last week after 3 weeks and was told it was due to be intercepted!!! I had to send over documents to prevent that. Just my opinion but I think in addition to fraud the state is trying to hold tax refunds for organizations to collect on a debt (e.g red light tickets). Still waiting on state refund. Same children have been files year after year. They see its not fraud.

(Meredith) Well at least you received something. Injured spouse received nothing for their child and not even half of the stimulus check. IRS site states payment was sent April 15, 2020. I always file injured spouse and now the husband is a disabled VET. He owes back child support way before my time. I am the only one who pays income taxes and all my money went to pay his debt, even my child’s portion.

Note that if you were current with your child support payments at the time of the stimulus eligibility determination (end of March) but fell behind afterwards due to a COVID-19 related job loss, you would still be eligible to get the full stimulus payment.

42 thoughts on “My Dependent Stimulus Payment Was Intercepted and Offset For Child Support Arrears Despite Filing an Injured Spouse Claim

  1. Is there anyone that can help us with child support system withholding the money and not releasing it to the parents?? Any lawyers that can help with this?? It seems that alot of parents are having the same issue!!

  2. So then for the injured spouses, claiming it on 2020’s taxes like they say for those that didnt get theirs is kind of a moot point huh?
    They did not automatically make this right for my son and I like they claimed they were. I saw something saying in AZ March 31 they should have information. Still nothing. I’m just assuming I’ll never see that money, just like the pua sitting in limbo since dec 21. I’m eligible I have no issues, not under review, it even says not to prevent payment. The worst by fat is after every weekly claim I file since the very 1st it says. “You should expect to be paid this week!” Yet not once and the reps tell me they need nothing from me. Everything is right, they cant tell me why I’m not getting paid when it even says they’ve already given me 1,800. It’s all infuriating.

  3. OK, this is for those of you who don’t understand why you don’t “see” the money that is collected from child support while you are receiving government assistance. At least for those of you who have been receiving assistance for a while before the State finally started collecting the arrears.

    The state collects these funds and uses them to offset the money you receive from them. You don’t see it because they are actually using it to offset the money you have been collecting from them instead of the other parent. They give you enough in state assistance to add to what was collected from the current Child Support payment to make up the total State payment you receive, and then use the arrears to pay off what they see as a sort of loan from the state to cover what has been paid to you previously in State assistance. At least that is how it was explained to me when I was paying mine off. I eventually succeeded in paying mine off, and once that happens, you still won’t see any of that child support as long as you are receiving a State assistance check, because the state counts it as income and offsets your assistance payment, using it to add to your check to make up the difference (minus their collection fee).

    I hope this helps you all understand the system better.

  4. So as an injured spouse I wanted my stimulus check to help pay off my spouse’s child support inorder to close out the account. So what happens now that my portion has been returned to me? Will they reopen the child support case now since they have returned this money to me? I have been unable to locate any answers.

  5. Colorado grandmother here raising granddaughter. Dad had arrearages of about $6000. State registry shows they intercepted tax refund and I suspect stimulus also, as it totally wiped out arrearages figure on the state website. Intercepts by law are supposed to released no later than 180 days after receipt to give other person time to file injured spouse claim if warranted. 180 days have come and gone but nothing has been dispersed. Finally got through to state office and was told because the federal Stafford Act was put into place due to COVID, state cannot release any of those monies until December 31, regardless of when the 180 days passed. Part of the issue is the IRS failed to code the intercepts properly, so the state does not which is intercepted tax return money or stimulus money. I only want what is owed. Thank you IRS for a not so great upcoming Christmas. But hey, at least I haven’t died of COVID…yet. Good luck everyone!

    1. I too am raising five grandkids and we are owed $45,000 total in arrears. They held up after offset $3900 on a non custodial parent and she continues to complain. It’s now 9 months it’s still on hold. No one can give answers to when we will get it. I hear second stimulus will go to non custodial parent and reward them for their incompetent nature’s of drugs, alcohol, and abuse. We the grandparents are struggling to raise their special needs kids but they have new hope for their money. We have now lost a car and likely more as we struggle just to pay bills and feed them. Government rules totally swept these kids under the rug. Once pandemic over I will be fighting for laws to change to end these types of injustice.

      1. I’m so with you, they just ignore everything we have to say.. I myself hace a Disable Son that’s Autistic AMD Seizure Disorder. The Father owes over $45,500.00 & even more and still No payment & return call or nothing. They just completely ignore us all.

  6. My husband did not owe back child support but all of our stimulus checks were taken. Apparently his child’s mother went and got state assistance one time loan and gave false address and information to obtain it several years ago so my husband knew nothing about it. This loan is considered back child support so they took our take refund and the stimulus check. This is completely unfair. There is no court ordered child support and they have 50/50 custody how is this even right?

  7. To be as clear as possible for those dealing with a completely bias government as most all child support hearings are something from out of the stone age. If or I should say when a motion for back child support is granted dates are or no concern to the courts all income is subject to garnishment only your pay from your job is not completely looted but most all states will take 50% to 60% of your income from every check you get from your employer. All other income from retirement to regular bank savings accounts, tax refunds or any other money you have they can and will take 100% of it all. You can fight it if you have some very good, top notch lawyers to get the total amount reduced possibly. I believe one must be responsible but the person’s life should not be destroyed. Good luck in the pursuit of justice for all.

  8. To the lady I assume that commented on the new he was a womanizer and deadbeat kinda person…Wow, how how hateful is that. You never know someone’s situation and I did the same thing when I was younger. I was too dumb to realize. But you seem like a miserable person that hates your own life to get on here and play judge. People make mistakes. I take it your perfect? Lol…When you don’t really know what happened in particular situations. I’m successful and was a single. I had 2 kids by the same kinda. I worked 2 jobs and lived In a nice neighborhood. My kids went to the best schools. But never do I get on public site and be condescending to other’s. You need to look at yourself and the way you are SMH..Most people are not so self centered like that and thing’s can change in a heartbeat. Even for you! One of my kids died suddenly. I changed the way I treated others! Think about that…I feel sorry for you! I pay no mind to hateful haters! Be of kind heart! Kind hearts and a hand up are needed in these hard times. No matter what mistakes people have made in the past..

  9. It seems like a big problem in every State actually getting the stimulus money that was taken for back child support. No one I know has received the money for child support

    1. Hi, there our Stimulus Check was completely Garnished for my Husband Child Support Payments for his 2 kids from his Ex.. We have 6 kids together & we’ve been separated for about a year & two months. I only agreed for him to claim Me & our Kids cause year 2018 we we’re married & all living with him. & I didn’t know about his Child Support until we received a letter from Guam Revenue & Taxation saying our whole $5,400.00 Stimulus Check was Garnished for Off Set Child Support Payment.. I find this whole thing not being fair.. How can I get some Money from that Stimulus Check for my Kids..

  10. Wandering why I havent received the intercepted stimulus check from my ex who owes back child support and back student loans. He files 1099 but not sure if he filed for 2019. Was told by Child Support Unit that I am eligible for the stimulus check since he is behind in child support. How can I find out why I didnt receive his check. Called IRS, but they cant give out any information.

    1. I can’t get any information either. It’s been months and yet no one can answer when they will release the payments

  11. My father owes arrest in Delaware for child support I never have been on public assistance. They sent him a paper saying it was taken for arrest. Why didn’t I get the check

  12. Seeing some of these 2nd wives/ex’s holding their hand out makes me sick.

    YOU should have paid for your children when unfortunately you had to be ordered to.
    Now the govt will for you.

    1. The 2nd spouses and their CHILDREN have EVERY right to their own stimulus money. They didn’t create that debt, nor are they legally responsible for it. You sound like a very bitter, judgemental woman who needs to think before she speaks!

  13. I’m in New Jersey and chiled support took my 1200 nd my wifes 1200 which my wife has her own kids to take care of I didnt care mine was taking it’s for my son but my wife has nothing to do with supporting him so why take her half and the other think is chiled support they gotta kno if they receive 2400 that its 2 payments so seeing that u would think they would send the over payment back

  14. Im In Oklahoma my husband also has back child support , I am on SS Disability, I got a letter saying your going to receive s Stimulus check. I was so excited . Than we find out that our 4,400 went to child support even after I filed my injured spouse form. I called IRS they said we don’t have your injured spouse paper, I told them I sent it in they said send another one in . Well Ive been waiting so now what happens I hear there’s another stimulus check coming am I going to get that ? Or are they going to intercept that one to.

  15. My stimulus was taking for my husband child support i called irs said ill get my back with 1 child only 30 days after my federal processes, its been about 3 wks and still nothing i dont think im ever going to.see it.

  16. I applied for pua and got an email saying monetarily eligible and says I qualify for 240 a week and they sent my debit card but no payments. My claims summery says still being processed. I have emailed them about this with no replys. And both mine and my hubby’s stimulus was taken and it should have only been his. So can anyone tell me what I’m doing wrong for the pua unemployment ? Oh and it says 2 issues but says no issues with this claim has been found

    1. I’m in the same boat! Got an email saying eligibility, tried claiming on Saturday and it said no benefits payable. ATP I’m so fed up with the system bro

  17. My case was terminated on may 4th and I got a letter stating that they couldn’t except any money unless it goes back to court but we are not going there anymore I’m 55 and he is 56 so ors is holding my check but doesn’t garnish me any more and the check is on hold because termination was may 4th and the check is dated may 8th can they keep it

  18. Hello my children father stimulus check was intercepted by nj child support the second week of May, I still have not received it,he is not married and only have children with me under the support, why haven’t I received it,I not on welfare and he dont owe know one else.

    1. My ex hasn’t received his stimulus check either but had a deposit date of April 15. I got a letter stating they would hold it 180 days to give them time to file I hired spouse forms. That’s pro ably why you haven’t received it

  19. What do I need to do I received a letter in the mail stating I didn’t owe any child support and you all took my stimulus check anyways.

  20. My husband has dealt with the florida department of revenue for child support for years and its been a nightmare! His case is in tennessee and florida dor, despite the courts in florida relinquishing home state jurisdiction, continues to make life hard even though my husband is paying child support through payroll deduction. None the less, i have two kids with my husband and he has a daughter with his ex. I cover all bills and my kids costs for everything. With that said, when his ex is getting a stimulus check and also getting their daughter’s check. I filed an injured spouse form with our taxes and they intercepted all of mine and my childrens funds with my husband. His ex got over $6000, makes high income, as does her husband too, and we live pay check to pay check and i was furloughed from my job through the summer with covid 19. So even though my kids have nothing to do with her daughter or this messed up florida court system, does that mean they take a portion of my kids money? Their daughter has no expenses and mine have daycare and many other high expenses that i personally pay for. Are they really justifying this? My husband and i have dealt with this mess for 8 years now and isnt a dead beat. The only reason he even has back support is because the system let her drag out a modification on child support for years!!!!!!! The original decree had him responsible for 110% of her costs and should never have made it through the courts. Then when he files to modify the courts allowed frivolous filings to continue it while his wages were garnished and our light bill wasnt able to even be paid. He had to just agree to back child support and paying for her lawyer to stop it all. It was horrible. Now 8 years later we still go through hell. Am i crazy for thinking that woman should not be getting money that is for my childre?????

    1. Do you know how long from dispersed to ex receiving took? Were you expecting check or direct deposit? Did ex get direct deposit or check? Thanks.

  21. I was wondering if I would receive my stimulus check for 2020. I am disable person well I was young my wife went on welfare with our son and I was giving her my whole check. When separated they contact me and I payed back child and still paying back child support and arrears. They still give her some of my money> it’s been over 35 yrs. My stimulus was put into account wondering if child support took it. Will I see anything of that money.

  22. THANK YOU GOV HOGAN GOT INTERCEPTED STIMULUS THIS MORNING!! Took 2 weeks from when my ex contacted me to help get it intercepted using Get My Payment!! 30yrs old case got enforced when I contacted Gov Hogans office!!

  23. You said that they could only take 50% of my stimulus check for arrears child support……they took it all…what can I do

  24. What about if you owe the department of labor cause I have a overpayment with what I regularly receive from them and the addional $600 from the pandemic cares act that should have cleared what I owe on there website it states that they can take 50 percent to be applied to your offset now 6weeks later nothing I have called every number that pertains to the department of labor what can I do.

  25. As someone whom lost everything while my deadbeats (worked under the table)took care of other’s children I have no sympathy!! I was SHOCKED my ex contacted me to complete Get My Payment so stimulus will be intercepted(case 30yrs old) so “my” record holding buckeye alum will talk to him!! Gov Hogan is the only reason my case got enforcement while states took care of his other cases!! He admitted he let me suffer on purpose because I got my life together!!NOW HOW SAD IS THAT WHINING MOMS….

    1. My ex is purposely not claiming because he doesn’t want me and our kids to get it in back child support. What might you suggest I can do about it?

    2. You sound like one of those welfare moms! It doesn’t sound like you have it together or else you wouldn’t be so hateful. Maybe you should have used your head when deciding to have a family with him. I am sure that he exhibited irresponsible behavior that should have raised red flags as to his character. I would wager that you were well aware of his womanizing reputation-yet had kids with him. You are partly responsible for your situation. Birth control is free if you are that broke.

  26. Hi, I’m in NY. I have not received my stimulus payment. I filed my 2018 taxes and set up a payment plan (I’m up-to-date with payments) for taxes owed. I have delayed filing my 2019 taxes until the first week in July 2020. When I accessed the IRS Where’s My Payment link, it says that the information I have entered does not match their records. I am entering my correct SS#, name, address, etc. I am thinking that because I owe taxes my payment has been withheld, but your information aboe states otherwise. What can I do? Who can I contact for help? Thanks.

    1. No my ex owed 2018 taxes(haven’t filed 2019) but went got his 2018 tax form realized he was entering wrong numbers. He got a stimulus mailing date May 8th 24hrs later which he wants intercepted for my 30yrs old child spt case!! I also told him write out address Road not Rd. He JUST did all this so it works. I’m a 100% disabled vet filed 2019 taxes so my daughters and I got our deposits in Apr 15th priority group!!

  27. Sorry for typos here again

    Hi, I’m in New jersey, I ran out of benefits last week, the dol site says if you are already receiving benefits and exhaust, you don’t need to do anything, it will be extended auto. On my claim status it says “filed”, with a dollar amount in the wbr, even though balance is zero. According to what does my status mean, it says when filed and dollar amount in wbr, i just need to certify each week. But I can’t certify, cause when I do it tells me I’m exhausted till end of 2020. So, do you think it will be added anyway, or do I have to do something different, like reapply or apply for pua?

    1. It does appear NJ has not updated its systems to handle the PUA extenstion for those who have exhausted their regular UI benefits, based on these FAQ. The 13-week extension will be automatically available to you after your current balance is exhausted. Otherwise, read the scenarios below. You may have to wait for NJ DOL to get in touch with you may need to reappply.

      SCENARIO A: Do these describe you?

      On a date after July 8, 2018, I filed for unemployment.
      I have not worked since the dates in 2018-2020 when I collected unemployment.
      I have exhausted my balance OR my benefit year ended on my most recent claim.
      If this describes you, WAIT for notification from NJ DOL before you certify for benefits.

      SCENARIO B: Do these describe you?

      On a date after July 8, 2018, I filed for unemployment.
      I have worked since the dates in 2018-2019 when I collected unemployment.
      If both describe you, file a new claim if you haven’t already.

      SCENARIO C: Do these describe you?

      On a date after July 1, 2019, I filed for unemployment benefits.
      I have not utilized all 26 weeks of benefits.
      If both describe you, re-open your claim if currently closed. Begin certifying for benefits again.

      1. Thanks Andy, they have not contacted me
        I read those scenarios only this applies
        What do I need to do to access the 13-week extension of benefits? Are you currently receiving or have applied for unemployment benefits? If yes, no action is required. The 13-week extension will be automatically available to you after your current balance is exhausted. Otherwise, read the scenarios below:

        And they emailed me after I emailed them with a generic note

        It says filed, and and has a dollar amoint, so curveball I need to do is certify. If I can’t certify will they still pay me?

        1. I had to file rebate tax credit for a child in my care but I owe back support so will they take all my taxes even the money I get for her?

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