Memphis fathers push for change after stimulus garnished for little one assist

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Stimulus checks have become a lifeline for many people trying to survive the pandemic.

But Bart Frazier quickly learned that the money you are expecting may not come.

“There’s a crisis right now and I need the money to pay bills,” said Frazier.

Frazier, a father who pays child support, never got his first $ 1,200.

“You took the $ 1,200 child benefit. They took that, ”he said.

He got the second $ 600 from the government, but fears that no further incentive may come to him.

“At the third check, there is a possibility that we will get it. There is a chance that child support will take that. And I think that’s just unfair for people like me, “said Frazier.

He admits he defaulted and defaulted, but says his daughter is now over 18 years old.

“She is 19, she is out of school. So the money does not go to my daughter’s mother or daughter, but directly to the state. And I feel like I need the money to pay bills because of this pandemic that created a crisis, you know, ”Frazier said.

Frazier said he hasn’t worked in months and he thinks the government can be more lenient, especially during a pandemic.

“I have a feeling that only the backlog can wait,” he said. “I know that at some point I’ll have to pay for it. And I will. But as far as you know by now, this pandemic is going to create a crisis and I need this money, you know, and I am sure that in my situation there are many other non-dependent parents who agree with me, too. They need the money too. “

The Tennessee Department of Human Services, which is responsible for child support, said the decision to intercept the first round of stimulus payments for child support was made at the federal level.

The second round of the economy was not caught for arrears on child support payments and, as with any third payment, they are currently unsure of what their requirements will be.

On the other side of child benefit, however, there are often other parents and children who also deal with finances. Attorney Williams Jones represents many of these families.

“The stimulus I know should help individuals during this time, but you have to think about the mother who had no help over the years,” Jones said.

While Jones is not involved in Frazier’s case, he has seen families suffer when child support is not paid.

“It makes no difference that the child is 19 now. This money is owed to her in the past and she is entitled to it. The government only gives it to her because he finally has some money, ”Jones said. “I’m actually a little disappointed that they worked out that we can’t garnish from the second and possibly the third check. I think it was good for single mothers and single fathers trying to raise children on their own. “

Frazier hopes someone in Washington will make some exceptions in special cases where funds intercepted do not go directly to parents and children.

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