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W.Va. Diverts More Child Support To Poor

West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington are among the states taking advantage of changes in federal law that allow states to divert child support payments to parents on welfare rather than use the money to reimburse the government for social services.

For some families, it means hundreds of extra dollars a month to take care of their children.

Federal policy now encourages states to divert child support collections from government coffers to those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Many states have been slow to embrace the change because of severe budget cuts.

West Virginia officials say the changes have the potential to put $85 million in overdue child support into the hands of about 18,000 families in that state.