Ken Paxton

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott Announces New Way To Receive Child Support

AUSTIN Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced the Texas Debit Card that gives Austin parents a new way to receive child support. The Texas Debit Card can be used for purchases at grocery stores and other merchant locations worldwide that take VISA debit cards. The card is safer and more convenient than using cash or checks. Parents do not need a bank account to get this card.

The Texas Debit Card makes life easier for parents who receive child support because there is no worry about lost or stolen checks or wondering if a deposit has cleared, Attorney General Abbott said. The card is another example of my commitment to quality customer service and making sure child support payments reach families as quickly as possible.

Other benefits of the card include access to your money throughout the month, even if you are away from home. There is no waiting for checks to arrive in the mail, and fees to cash them are eliminated. The card can be used at thousands of locations worldwide. Also, there is a savings to taxpayers because the cost of mailing a check is eliminated.

Any parent who receives child support through the Texas Child Support Disbursement Unit in San Antonio is eligible for the Texas Debit Card. Local parents who continue to get a paper check (because they do not use direct deposit) were notified last month about switching to the card. They are encouraged to check their mail for instructions from the state disbursement unit for ordering a card, enrolling in direct deposit, or continuing to receive a paper check. Parents who do nothing will receive their card in October, with payments applied by the end of the month.

The card can be immediately activated by selecting a personal identification number (PIN) using the instructions that accompany the card. Parents who have questions should call 1-866-729-6159 (toll free). Customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Parents also can call the toll free number to check account balances and obtain transaction histories.

Parents can make two free cash withdrawals per month at any Wells Fargo automated teller machine. They can make two additional cash withdrawals without a fee from a teller at any bank displaying the Visa or PLUS brand mark. Fees can be avoided by requesting cash back with a purchase.