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Under state and federal law, employers are required to remit all California child support income withholding payments to the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU). This includes any child support payments the employer may be currently sending to individuals. California law requires that these payments be sent electronically.
For assistance in redirecting payments from individuals to the SDU, call 1-866-901-3212.
California businesses are required to submit payments electronically to the SDU per California Family Code section 17309.5. The SDU offers three electronic payment options:
- Bank to Bank Transfer (ACH Credit):
This service allows employers to instruct their financial institution to automatically transmit child support payments, along with child support income withholding data, directly to the SDU. For details on this payment method, see the EFT Employer Information Guide. To enroll in this option or more information, call us at 1-866-901-3212 and select Option 1.
- Debit or Credit Card:
This service allows employers to make payments by electronic debit from a checking or savings account, or with a Visa or MasterCard credit card. To enroll, visit the ExpertPay website.
- By Phone:
Once enrolled in EFT, employers have the option to make payments by phone by calling 1-866-901-3212 and selecting option 1.
The SDU also offers Bulk-File Upload capabilities for employers with multiple employees/independent contractors with IWOs. The bulk upload option is free and no software application is needed.
To use this payment option, create a text file with employee-related payment details such as employee’s name, Participant ID, payment amount and date. Save the text file to your desktop to use again, updating only related information with each submission. For assistance, call 1-866-901-3212 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remitting by Check for Out-Of-State Employers
Out of state employers can send checks to this address only:
California State Disbursement Unit, P.O. Box 989067 West Sacramento, CA 95798-9067
If an employer has more than one employee with a child support obligation, the payments may be combined into a single check. When paying by check, regardless of the number of employees, it is essential to include the following information for each employee:
- Employee name/Independent contractor name
- Child Support Enforcement (CSE) case number
- CSE Participant Identification Number
- Employee’s Social Security Number
- Pay Date
- The amount withheld for each employee
- Company contact name and phone number
Failure to Withhold
Employers who fail to withhold the amounts as specified on the IWO may be found liable for the full amount of the support owed, plus a fine. Under certain circumstances, a willful failure to withhold is punishable by contempt of court. In addition, the court may order payment by electronic funds transfer from the employer’s bank account if the employer has willfully failed to withhold the required support.
Income withholding is the FIRST resort for collection and does not imply any failure to pay by the employee.
Any employer who fires, disciplines, or refuses to hire an employee based upon an income withholding order may be assessed additional civil penalties.