Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2008. Economic Security Risk Factor 6. Child Support

12/20/2008

Figure ECON 6.
Percentage of Families Receiving Child Support Collections by Receipt of IV-D Services and Other Public Assistance: 1993-2005

Figure ECON 6

Note:  AFDC/TANF families are families who have reported receiving cash assistance for any month during the 12-month period.  Therefore, not all the child support reported received was necessarily received while the family was receiving cash assistance. Data limitations do not allow a month-by-month breakdown.  Families receiving SSI, food stamps, Medicaid or housing assistance are limited to families not receiving AFDC/TANF.  Families receiving services through the IV-D system are estimated according to the methodology described in technical appendices to the ASPE-published report Characteristics of Families Using Title IV-D Services in 1999 and 2001, available at: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/CSE-Char04/index.htm and previous reports.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Child Support Supplement, 1994-2006.


  • Figure ECON 6 shows the percentage of all families that receive child support collections by receipt of title IV-D services and other public assistance between 1993 and 2005. Title IV-D of the Social Security Act authorizes state programs to assist custodial parents in establishing paternity and child support awards, and collecting child support payments. The total amount of child support received by custodial parents through the IV-D system in 2005 was $17.2 billion (constant 2005 dollars) or 65.9 percent of all child support payments received by custodial parents.
  • In total for 2005, custodial parents reported receiving $26.1 billion in child support payments from non-resident parents.1 Total child support collections have increased by 19.2 percent since 1993, after adjusting for inflation. 
  • Table ECON 6 shows greater detail on child support collections by receipt of IV-D services and other assistance.  Child support payments received through IV-D by custodial parents who also received AFDC/TANF cash assistance, declined from $3.3 billion (constant 2005 dollars) in 1993 to $1.8 billion in 2005.2
  • Child support payments to custodial parents who did not receive TANF but received another form of public assistance (food stamps, SSI, Medicaid or housing assistance) increased from $2.2 billion (in constant 2005 dollars) to $5.9 billion between 1993 and 2005.  This group of custodial parents includes former TANF recipients as well as those eligible for cash assistance.  The increased collections for this group offset the decline in payments to TANF families.
Table ECON 6.
Percentage of Families Receiving Child Support Collections by Receipt of IV-D Services and Other Assistance: 1993-2005
  Collections
1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005
Note:  AFDC/TANF families are families who have reported receiving cash assistance for any month during the 12-month period.  Therefore, not all the child support reported received was necessarily received while the family was receiving cash assistance.  Data limitations do not allow a month-by-month breakdown.

Families receiving SSI, food stamps, Medicaid or housing assistance are limited to families not receiving AFDC/TANF.

Families receiving services through the IV-D system are estimated according to the methodology described in technical appendices to the ASPE-published report Characteristics of Families Using Title IV-D Services in 1999 and 2001, available at:  http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/CSE-Char04/index.htm and previous reports.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Child Support Supplement, 1994-2006.

Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and: (Billions of current dollars)
   AFDC/TANF 2.5 2.4 2.5 1.7 1.5 2.6 1.8
   Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing 1.7 2.0 2.8 2.9 3.7 5.3 5.9
   Child Support Services Only 4.7 6.7 5.9 6.7 8.3 8.3 9.4
   Subtotal Families Receiving IV-D Services 8.8 11.1 11.2 11.3 13.5 16.2 17.2
Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services 7.7 8.8 9.3 8.8 9.4 9.4 9.0
Total Families 16.5 19.9 20.6 20.1 22.9 25.6 26.1
Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and: (Billions of constant 2005 dollars)
   AFDC/TANF 3.3 3.0 3.0 2.0 1.7 2.7 1.8
   Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing 2.2 2.5 3.4 3.3 4.0 5.6 5.9
   Child Support Services Only 6.2 8.5 7.1 7.9 9.1 8.7 9.4
   Subtotal Families Receiving IV-D Services 11.7 14.0 13.6 13.2 14.8 17.1 17.2
Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services 10.2 11.1 11.3 10.2 10.3 9.9 9.0
Total Families 21.9 25.2 24.8 23.4 25.1 27.0 26.1
Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and: (In percent)
   AFDC/TANF 15.0 12.0 12.3 8.4 6.6 10.1 6.9
   Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing 10.1 9.9 13.6 14.3 16.0 20.9 22.8
   Child Support Services Only 28.3 33.8 28.7 33.7 36.3 32.3 36.1
Subtotal Families Receiving IV-D Services 53.3 55.8 54.6 56.4 58.9 63.3 65.7
Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services 46.7 44.2 45.4 43.6 41.1 36.7 34.3
Total Families 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

1 This amount represents current year support received for a twelve-month period and does not include amounts paid for prior periods (arrearages) or amounts retained by the federal and state governments to recoup welfare costs.

2 The decline partly reflects the decrease in AFDC/TANF caseloads.  Also, some states no longer “pass-through” any child support payments to custodial parents receiving TANF.  Prior to the enactment of PRWORA in 1996, states were required to pass-through the first $50 of any child support collected.

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