Why was S.E.T.S created?
The Ohio Department of Human Services (ODHS)
developed the automated Support Enforcement
Tracking System (SETS) to effectively manage the
Child Support Enforcement Program in order to meet
the requirements mandated by the Family Support Act
of 1988 (and other mandated or revised requirements
implemented since 1987).
The main objectives of SETS is to provide an online,
central database with complete federally-mandated
child support functionality distributed to each of the
88 local Child Support Enforcement Agencies.
SETS is designed to support front-line child support
professionals in a wide variety of tacks including
collection, allocation, and disbursement of support
Hoes does S.E.T.S. determine the amount of my
Incoming money, or collections, is allocated in a
pre-determined order, or hierarchy. "Hierarchy" mean
a structure with higher and lower priorities. For our
purposes in child support enforcement, it means that
money is applied first to the support of the child, then
to spousal support, medical expenses and agency
SETS has a standard hierarchy, determined by federal
and state laws and policies. In its daily and monthly
accounting, SETS applies these policies. Current
obligations are paid before arrears but the payment
priority is always: 1) child support, 2) spousal support,
3)medical, and 4) agency processing fees.
Think of incoming payments as a pitcher of water
and child support, spousal support, medical expenses
and processing fees as empty glasses set-up in a row.
The child support glass is filled first. Only after the child
support glass is filled will the spousal support glass be filled
and so on until all the glasses are filled.
Are there exceptions to these priorities?
Yes. Payments received from the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS) or Ohio Department of Taxation
(ODT) may be allocated to reimburse past public
assistance received by the custodial parent. Court
orders may affect allocations, the most common
occurrence being payments received from the
Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (OBWC).
Attorneys representing non-custodial parents who
receive a workers compensation settlement often
obtain a court order for payment of their fees from
Why are withholding orders issued for a monthly
A withholding order or Notice to Income Provider to
Withhold Obligor Income/Assets is issued in a monthly
amount because employers or income providers follow
a different payroll/income cycles: weekly, biweekly,
semimonthly, or monthly.
To determine how much support should be withheld
from each payroll/income cycle, follow the formulas
Notice Amount X 12 months / 52 weekly payrolls = payment
Notice Amount X 12 months / 26 biweekly payrolls = payment
Notice Amount X 12 months / 24 semimonthly
payrolls = payment
What if I have an order for a weekly or biweekly
The CSEA administers weekly or biweekly support
orders on a monthly basis. To determine your monthly
support amount, the following formulas are used:
Weekly Amount X 52 weeks / 12 months = Monthly Amount
Biweekly Amount X 26 weeks / 12 months = Monthly Amount
Why is the total amount of my weekly support checks
less than the monthly amount ordered?
There are actually 4.3 weeks in each month, not
just four as most people assume. You will receive
the difference in support during those two months
each year when there are five weeks. Just as you are not
being "overpaid" when your receive that fifth check during
those months, you are not being "underpaid" the remainder
of the year.
How often should I receive a support check?
When a withholding order, referred to as a
Notice to Income Provider to Withhold Obligor
Income/Assets, is first issued, the income provider
or employer has fourteen (14) days from the date
the CSEA issued the withholding notice to begin making
the deductions from their weekly, biweekly, semimonthly
or monthly payroll/income cycle.
Once the payroll/income cycle has been completed, the
CSEA has seven (7) days to receive the collection.
This period allows issuance of the collection through
the employer/income provider's administrative
process and for U.S. postal delivery of the collection
to the CSEA.
Upon receipt of the collection, the CSEA has two
(2) business days to process the collection through
SETS. Your check is then printed and mailed from
a processing center located in Columbus, Ohio. The
time frame for postal delivery from Columbus may vary
due to location of your residence, legal holidays and
seasons such as Christmas that create large volumes of
mail. A reasonable allowance for U.S. postal delivery
is four (4) days. To determine if a collection is past
due, you can complete the following formula:
Date payroll/income cycle ended + 9 days + postal
delivery = receipt of collection
Do holidays affect when I should receive a
Yes. Both the U.S. Postal Service and the CSEA
are closed on New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr.
Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day,
Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving
Day, And Christmas Day. The CSEA is also closed on
the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. These
holidays may delay our receipt or distribution of a collection.
U.S. Postal Service delivery also begins to slow during
the Christmas season which extends from Thanksgiving
Day in late November to December 25.
Can my support check be delayed for any
Although it is extremely rare, it is possible. Computer
networks are vulnerable to damaged telephone lines,
power outages and other technical problems. SETS is
How will I know if my support check will be delayed
due to technical problems?
The Ashtabula County CSEA Payment Processing
Hotline is available by calling 440.994.1279.
This outgoing message is available 24 hours per day
from your touch-tone or rotary phone.
How may I obtain information on my S.E.T.S.
The Voice Response Unit (VRU) is available by
calling 1.800.860.2555. This automated system
is available 24 hours per day from your touch tone
or rotary telephone. By providing your social
security number, you may obtain payment
information, check information and balances dues
as of the last completed business day.
What if I do not receive a check within these
The CSEA request that you allow an additional seven
days after the receipt of collection date before contacting
your CSEA Service Representative. If you have still not
received a check that was distributed to you, we will
contact our financial institution to inquire if the check has
been cashed. if the check has not been cashed, a stop-
payment order will be issued and a check will be reissued
to you. If the CSEA learns the check was cashed, a
criminal investigation may be necessary.
What is the collection date for a support check
and why is it so important?
The collection date is the day the employer/income
provider issued their check to the CSEA or the day
the absent parent issued a money order, back draft
or personally came to the CSEA and made a cash
The collection date is important because it determines
what month's support obligation it is allocated to.
For example, an employer issues the CSEA a check
dated January 31st which is received by the CSEA
on Febuary 7th. The CSEA processes the employer's
check and SETS distributes a check to you on
February 9th which you receive in the mail on
February 13th. Even though you did not receive
the check until February 13th, the payment is allocated
to January's support obligation as the collection was
made on January 31st.
If I still have a question about my support check
what should I do?
Call your CSEA Service Resprentative
at 440.998.1110 or toll free at: 1.800.935.0242
Cases are assigned alphabetically by the custodial
parent's or caretaker's last name