Stimulus FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Economic Impact (Stimulus) Payments and the Treasury Offset Program

What is an economic impact (stimulus) payment?

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act, which, among other things, authorizes economic impact payments (also referred to as "stimulus payments" or "recovery rebate payments") to eligible individuals. For details on these economic impact payments, please visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus

I owe delinquent debt. Will my economic impact payment be offset?

The economic impact payments can be offset through the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) only to collect delinquent child support obligations that have been referred by the state to TOP.

If I qualify for an economic impact payment, and I have children, how much will I receive?

Individuals whose adjusted gross income was less than $75,000 and those who filed as head of household with an adjusted gross income less than $112,500 will receive $1,200. Married couples filing jointly who make less than $150,000 will receive $2,400. For people who make more, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$112,500/$150,000 income thresholds. Parents also receive an additional $500 for each qualifying child. Those who file single with incomes exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for head of household, or $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible and will not receive payments.

What if I think my economic impact payment should not have been offset?

If you believe that you do not owe past-due child support, for limited reasons you may dispute the intercept of your economic impact payment.  Grounds for dispute must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Whether the debt amount is a correct statement of the debt that has accrued under or been established by a court order or administrative decision;
  2. Whether there is a court order prohibiting collection. NOTE: a court order setting regular payments on arrears does not limit the use of a federal intercept for enforcement of a liquidated debt;
  3. Whether DSER is authorized or required by state or federal law to submit the debt, or may do so pursuant to an application or contract for support enforcement services with an individual in connection with past-due non-TANF related child support or alimony; or
  4. Whether the responsible parent and DSER have executed a written agreement that expressly exempts the responsible parent from submittal for federal offset of the debt.

If you believe your situation meets the above criteria, please access the appeal form or contact the DSER office handling your child support case by phone or e-mail to have the form sent to you:

Please complete and return the appeal form by e-mail to the office handling your child support case or mail to:

Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery (DSER)
ATTN: Stimulus
109 Capitol Street, 2nd Floor
Augusta, ME 04333

My spouse’s portion of the stimulus payment was offset, too. How can they get it back? OR What about my spouse’s portion of the stimulus?

Recently the IRS announced it will be mailing reimbursement checks to those who had their stimulus payments intercepted to pay back child support owed by their spouse. These payments will be sent whether or not an injured spouse claim has been filed.

How will I know if I am getting one of these payments?

If you received a letter from the IRS notifying you that funds were held to pay back child support owed by your spouse, you may be receiving one of these checks.  Payments are planned to begin in October. The FAQ on the IRS website will be updated when a specific date is determined.

Do I need to submit Form 8379 to file my claim? Will it help me get my payment faster?

No. If you have not submitted a Form 8379, the IRS will still automatically issue your portion of the stimulus payment. Do NOT file Form 8379. It will not speed up your payment.

If Maine Child Support is currently holding a joint tax refund payment, how long can it be held back?

Usually, joint payments are held for six months to allow for adjustments by federal programs. Due to Covid-19 that time has been extended until December 31, 2020.

What if I want my payment to be applied to my spouse’s child support case?

When you receive your payment, simply send a check or money order to: IV-D Cashiers, Box 1098, Augusta, ME 04332. You can find electronic payment options here.

What if I have additional questions about the economic impact payments? Am I eligible? What if I don't file a tax return? How will I get the payment?

These questions, and others, can be answered by visiting the IRS website at www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know