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(BlackMediaScoop) Thousands of poor and disabled men and women stand to lose their only income next year because of a change in government policy that will allow states to seize every dollar of federal benefits from people who owe back child support.

Starting next March, The Treasury Department will deposit federal benefits directly into bank accounts or load them onto prepaid debit cards. Either way, state child support agencies will be able to seize all of it.

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Previously, states could garnish only 65% of benefits before the federal government sends out checks. But the limit does not apply once the money is in an account and states ask banks to freeze it…

A separate Treasury Department rule, in place since last May guarantees states have the power to freeze the bank accounts of people who collect federal benefits and owe child support.

By allowing seizure of the remaining 35 % of benefits, the rules could cause thousands to lose their only income.

In many cases, the bills are decades old and the children long grown. Much of the money owed is interest and fees that add up when the parent is unable to pay because they are disabled, institutionalized or imprisoned.

Most of the money will go to governments, not to the children of those with child support debts.

States are allowed to keep child support money as repayment for welfare previously provided for those children.

In some instances, the grown children are supporting their parents.

SCOOP: USA TODAY

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