Child support checks coming

There was a delay in getting checks mailed from Columbus.
YOUNGSTOWN -- When workers at the Mahoning County Child Support Enforcement Agency say the check's in the mail, they mean it.
Area residents in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties who were expecting child support checks last week didn't get them because of computer problems in Columbus, where support checks are printed and mailed.
The system is up and running again and checks should be coming this week, said Sarah Scudier, assistant director of the Mahoning County CSEA.
"Everything is working, and the checks are going back out again," Scudier said.
What caused this: Computers at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in Columbus were shut down most of last week while "some pretty massive programming changes" were made. The changes were required as part of federal welfare reform legislation, Scudier said.
State officials had hoped to have the system operating by midweek, but ended up taking until Friday, says a news release from the state.
Scudier said the programming changes should make the child support system more efficient, though she understands the four-day delay in mailing checks created a hardship on people who need the money.
For years, child support money was collected and disbursed through local county offices. Last year, as part of a statewide reform, collection and disbursement were taken over by the state.
"Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about it locally. It's frustrating," Scudier said.
The state is in the process of both catching up with sending checks that should have been mailed last week and keeping current with checks that were to be mailed this week, she said.
"The bugs aren't all worked out of the system, but everything should be back to normal soon," she said.