SETS: Ohio's New Child Support Computer System

SETS is the acronym for Ohio’s Support Enforcement Tracking System–Ohio’s new centralized computer system for managing all child support cases throughout the state. This computer system is owned and controlled by the State of Ohio.

SETS was designed to create a uniform, statewide system for handling all of Ohio’s child support cases. All CSEAs throughout Ohio converted off of their county-based and county- controlled systems and onto the new SETS computer system. SETS conversion has enabled child support workers in all Ohio counties to communicate with each other and to share important information.

SETS is currently providing our Trumbull County caseworkers with action alerts, on-line information and reports to help us better manage our caseloads and to provide our clients with an enhanced level of service. Some of these new capabilities include an improved online access to credit bureau reporting, an enhanced ability to locate absent parents, linkages to share information and to cross-check records, an interface with the resources and databases available to Ohio’s Department of Jobs and Family Services, expanded enforcement techniques, and statewide links on all of Ohio’s child support cases.

Under SETS, Trumbull County continues to administer your child support case through your assigned caseworker. What did change, however, is the fact that all child support payments are now being issued by the State of Ohio and that the methods used by our caseworkers to administer your order are now being directed by the SETS computer system. Additionally, child support payments on all Ohio orders are now being sent to Ohio’s Child Support Payment Central (located in Columbus) for processing and disbursement. To sum up, while Trumbull County will continue to administer your case, the State of Ohio (specifically Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services) has taken control over and is now responsible for collecting and disbursing your child support monies.

As mentioned above payments are now being processed at a single location in Columbus, Ohio. The state contractor currently responsible for the daily operations at Ohio’s Child Support Payment Central is . For those remitting child support payments, the following addresses apply:

For individuals making payments:

Ohio Child Support Payment Central
P.O. Box 182372
Columbus, OH 42373-2373

For Employers remitting withholdings:

Ohio Child Support Payment Central
P. O. Box 182394
Columbus, OH 43218-2394

If, for whatever reasons, your payments cannot be collected via a wage withholding, you can make these payments yourself by check or money order to CSPC at the address above. Once in receipt of a child support payment, CSPC has two business days in which to disburse a child support check.

To obtain information of payments posted on your SETS account, you can call the state’s automated Voice Response Unit (VRU) at 1-800-860-2555 or 1-800-860-0019 (TTD). This system will be available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you’re a custodial parent, we strongly advise you to keep the agency informed of your current address. Since we’ve converted onto SETS, the state is no longer authorizing the U.S. Postal Service to forward your child support checks to your new address. What happens now is that your checks will be returned to the state’s Child Support Payment Central and those moneys will be impounded until we can get your current address onto the system.

Finally, before moving on, a brief description about the SETS payment hierarchy is provided so that you can understand how the system applies payments to credit the various ledgers on your account. Incoming payments are allocated on SETS in a predetermined order or hierarchy. This means that moneys are applied to the various ledgers in your account in the following order: First, SETS allocates payments to the custodial parent until the monthly obligation is met. SETS then will allocate moneys to ordered payments on arrearages and lastly to processing fees.

To clarify, all moneys received up to the monthly obligation will go out to the obligee, and only then will the agency collect the processing change. The confusing part of this for most people is that in a majority of cases, the monthly obligation is not met every month. According to Ohio statute, an employer can break down the child support pursuant to their pay cycle. If someone is paid every two weeks, their employer will not be sending in one-half of the monthly support each payday. It will be slightly less. This is because people who are being paid on a two-week pay cycle have 26 paydays a year, not 24. If one-half of the support were paid every two weeks, that employee would be paying 13 months worth of support in a 12-month calendar year. This, of course, would be in violation of the order.

To further explain, for those being paid on a two-week pay cycle there are two months out of every year when they get three paychecks. When this third paycheck is received, the current support which has gradually fallen behind over the last five months is caught up, and only then will the agency collect the processing charge. Remember, the employer is also sending in the processing charge along with every payment, but the state has sent it out to the obligee until that three-paycheck month. That third paycheck will most likely have six months worth of processing charges deducted at once. Obligees can, therefore, expect twice a year to receive a check that “seems” short. This in no way takes money away from you, because you have received all along what the employer intended for processing charges.

For people being paid weekly, this same scenario happens four times a year during those four months when they get five checks. If the obligor pays twice a month, or 24 times a year, expect the first check of the month to be larger than the second, since the system will only be deducting processing charges on that second check. Orders paid once a month should not have the above mentioned deviations.