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Audit finds delays in state review of child support claims resulted in overuse of public assistance

Office of the Auditor General

An audit of Michigan’s Office of Child Support has found the state wasted more than two-point-three million dollars because of delays in investigating child support claims.

According to the audit, state officials took an average of one and a half years in investigating what are called “good cause” claims.

Bob Wheaton is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He said “good cause” claims are used by custodial parents who don’t want to seek support from the non-custodial parents

“So often it may be a situation where there’s some domestic violence and the parent is concerned well if I try to pursue child support this person who abused me previously and has not been part of my life is going to become part of my life again.”

In some cases, the state will provide things like food or medical benefits if a non-custodial parent doesn’t provide enough support.

Wheaton said the department agrees with the findings of the audit.  In some cases, the state likely provided excess benefits due to investigatory delays.

“We have a work group that’s been set up to figure out a way to address that issue make sure that occurs in a more timely fashion.”

Wheaton said overall he was pleased with the audit which found the department was effective in how it established child support cases.

You can find the full report here: