Hurricane Irene did not make a direct hit on Florida, but the storm delayed about 11,300 child support checks to families across the state.
The Pasco County Clerk of the Circuit Court reassured families Wednesday that their child support checks are in the mail. County courts in Florida received notice Friday that there was a delay.
The payments were held up, when the Pennsylvania facility that prints the checks for the Florida Department of Revenue was closed due to flooding caused by Irene. High waters shut down businesses and roads in some areas of Pennsylvania.
The delayed checks are for payments for Sept. 8, Sept. 9 and Sept. 12, according to a notice from the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Pinellas County.
“All checks were placed in the mail Monday evening after 6 p.m.,” said Kevin Fulford, chief administrative officer for the Pasco clerk’s office.
Fulford said there is no way to tell if payments to Pasco residents were affected by the delay. He did, however, say that any residents who do not receive their checks can contact the clerk’s office for assistance.
“If somebody has a concern, they can give us a call we will always help find an answer,” Fulford said.
The number to call in Pasco is 727-847-2411, ext. 2218.
Renee Watters of the Florida Department of Revenue said that the state processes child support checks as payments are received from absentee parents.
"There is no standard time frame for the checks," she said Wednesday. "We process more than 99 percent of payments within one day, so as soon as we receive the money it is processed and sent out."
The state-enforced payments enable lower-income families to stay off or decrease their reliance on welfare subsidies. They also compel absentee parents to take responsibility to support their children.