Starting October 1st, parents who receive child support will be charged an annual $25 fee. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 allows states to take the money, right out of their child-support income.
The catch is, not every parent will have to pay up.
The only parents who will be responsible for paying the $25 fee, are those who have never received any public assistance...in other words, moms and dads on welfare won't have to pay.
One local woman says it's discrimination.
Melissa Jatman is an assistant broker at Edward Jones, and she waits tables on the side. She says she has plenty of money, but she still relies on child support to help care for her only son, Zach. When she got this notice in the mail, telling her that 25-dollars would be taken out and given to parents on welfare, she felt cheated.
"They're going to collect $25 from every working mother or father who's getting support for the child. They've got a lot of money they're making and then turning it back over to welfare recipients. I am not a fan," said Jatman.
Jatman says it's not the $25 that bothers her, it's the fact that she's responsible for paying it, when other parents receiving child support are not.
"I'll write them a check today for the $25 fee, but make everyone who uses that service pay it, not just the working parents trying to support their children."
Steve George from Nevada's Department of Health and Human Services says the fee was directed at people just like Melissa, who are not struggling to meet their everyday finances.
"Essentially what we are talking about is a separation of people who are at poverty level or barely above poverty level, not taking $25 from them because it would make a big difference in their everyday lives," said George.
Jatman says she has friends, other single mothers, who fall under that category, but she thinks many of them are cheating the system. Because they get free rent, childcare and medical coverage, they too should have to pay the fee.
"$25 is a week's worth of lunch at my kids school. I work two jobs. I could go down to the school with my waitress paycheck that says I make $4 in 2 weeks and get free lunch. I don't do that. I don't take advantage of the system. Don't take my money from me and not the people who do," said Jatman.
George says Nevada has an excellent record of making sure benefits get to the proper people. The $25 fee will come out of child support checks, after the recipient has collected at least $500 from the other parent. For Jatman, who receives over $500 a month, it will come out of her first child support check.
66% percent of fees collected will go back to the federal government, the rest will stay in Nevada, and will go toward delinquent accounts. The fee will be deducted starting the 1st of next month.
If you have any questions or need clarification on this new fee, you can go http://welfare.state.nv.us/child/CS_25FeeFAQ.htm