In the past, employers sent child support payments to the various Clerk of the Circuit Court offices. Now, all payments* must be sent to the State Disbursement Unit ("SDU").
Why the changes?
Federal law requires the changes. The changes should ultimately increase child support collections. Also, there will be advantages to businesses that withhold child support for more than one employee in more than one county. These businesses will send one check to one place rather than multiple checks to multiple counties.
How will the changes affect employers?
The changes may affect employers in two ways:
Can employers withholding for several employees send one check to the SDU?
Yes. One of the biggest benefits of the SDU is that employers can now send a single check to a single location for all employees. Where multiple payments are included on one check, the employer must itemize the amount withheld for each employee. The check or backup must include the information listed in the next answer for each employee.
What information on each employee must the employer send to the SDU in addition to the check?
When sending checks to the SDU, certain information is required for each individual employee's payment especially where the employer sends one check for multiple employees. The employer must send this information with the check. Information can be included either on the face of the check or in attached back-up documentation. The check must include at least the following information for each employee:
1. Name of the County where the support order was entered. This information will be on the original notice of withholding you received.
2. A) The Docket Number (Case No.) reflected on the Notice of Withholding.
B) If an IDPA administrative hearing officer entered the support order, the Administrative Case Number is the substitute for the Docket Number.
3. Name of the custodial parent (first and last name of person to whom the child support is being paid).
4. Name of the employer or entity making the withholding payment.
5. Name of employee responsible for making the child support payment.
6. The amount being withheld for child support.
7. The social security number of the employee responsible for making the child support payment.
8. If the employer previously sent child support directly to the custodial parent, not the Clerk, then the employer must provide the SDU with last known address of the custodial parent.
Can employers continue to charge a processing fee to the employee?
Employers can continue to charge a maximum fee of $5.00 per month. The SDU will not charge a fee for its services.
Can employers send payment electronically?
Yes. Employers can transmit payments electronically using an Electronic Funds Transfer ("EFT"). If they use EFT now or would like to use EFT services to send payments to the State Disbursement Unit, please contact the SDU at (630) 681-2488. The SDU is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.
Even if employers previously sent funds via EFT to the Clerk's Office, please be aware that certain rules have changed and that they must make the appropriate changes. Old EFT accounts will not work. A new EFT account must be set up to assure the correct deposit. Please contact SDU as soon as possible to make sure that EFT services continue without disruption or interruption of payments to the custodial parent.
Can employers call the SDU directly with questions?
The SDU handles only receiving and sending payments. Employers can call SDU about their EFT account. For information regarding a support order, notice of withholding or your case generally, they should continue to contact the Circuit Court Clerk. Contact information for the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court is listed at the bottom of this page.
What if an employee needs help with child support issues?
For information regarding a support order, notice of withholding or generally, employers should direct employees to continue to call the Circuit Court Clerk. Contact information for the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court is listed at the bottom of this page.
Who should I contact if I have questions about child support?