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New South Carolina child support system begins in 2019

The long awaited Palmetto Automated Child Support System will being roll out in February 2019. Here is the schedule for the statewide roll out and what it means.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) — Beginning in early 2019, the Palmetto Automated Child Support System (PACSS) will replace the prepaid debit card program throughout South Carolina.

This new system is meant to bring the state into compliance with The Family Support Act of 1988 and Title III of the 1996 welfare reform law.

The 1988 Act requires all states to develop and implement a statewide, automated child support enforcement system. The 1996 reform required centralized collection and disbursement of child support payments and included monitoring of payments and generating wage withholding notices. In 2018, South Carolina is the only state in the United States that is not yet in compliance.

Over the years the state has paid more than $150 million in penalties for not implementing the system.

PACSS will impact all support cases enforced in family court, not just DSS cases, and will be rolled out over the course of the next year.

DSS released an implementation map of South Carolina counties and when PACSS will begin operation:

* October 1, 2018: Aiken, Fairfield, Sumter, and York

* February 4, 2019: Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Chester, Edgefield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, and Union

* April 1, 2019: Allendale, Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton, and Jasper

* June 3, 2019: Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg

Once the PACSS system is operational statewide, all support obligations, such as child support, spousal and arrears, will be maintained in one case; and information regarding demographics, employment, and client addresses will be shareable across the state and submitted to the Federal Case Registry.

All residents impacted by these changes should have received information in the mail from the SC Department of Social Services regarding the program implementation and timeline.

More information on the changes can be found here on the DSS website.

On Monday, Dec. 17, the Lexington County Clerk of Court's Office notified residents that the prepaid debit card program used in that county will end on Dec. 31. Lexington County residents using the prepaid debit cards to receive child support payments in the county are to contact the Clerk of Court's office at (803) 785-8393.