Payments and Distribution -- Information

Making payments

  • Mail – SDU, P.O. Box 989067, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9067 (It is suggested that all payments sent by mail to SDU be mailed by the 20th of the month to ensure the payment is credited within the current month.)
  • By Credit or Debit or 1-866-901-3212
  • Pay from a bank or 1-866-901-3212 
  • In person (click on highlighted address for map)- 3701 Power Inn Road Payments are accepted at our Walk-up windows Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Payments can be deposited any time at the drop box located outside.
    Payments made here will be credited the following day.

Payments can be made in cash, by check, or by money order.

Cash should never be mailed or deposited in a drop box. 


Payments must have identifying information to insure proper credit:

  • Case numbers
  • Social Security Number(s)
  • Payor/Payee Name
  • Participant Identification Number(s)

Distributing payments

All collections, except federal tax refund intercepts, are credited to current monthly support (child support first, medical second, and spousal third.)

If there is money remaining after paying current support, it is used to pay arrearages. The money for each arrearage type is first applied to interest principal and then to interest. (Paying parents whose employer has a bi-weekly pay period may incur a small amount of arrears each month if their current support obligation is not fully met. This arrears amount is usually made up during the extra paycheck months during the year.) (There are several different arrearage types, and they are paid in a specific order. After one type is paid off, the remainder is paid to the next arrearage type. See below under Types of Arrears.)

If there is money remaining after all arrearages have been paid, it is credited to the paying parent (non-custodial) parent for the future month. If the family is aided, this amount is held by the child support agency and applied to the case in a future month if a current support payment is not made. Otherwise it is paid to the family.

Today, child support payments are collected and processed by a single entity – the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU). Required by federal law, the SDU processes 100% of child support payments that used to be handled at the Local Child Support Agencies.

SDU offers parents more options - Today child support payments can be received by: 

  • Direct Deposit
  • An electronic payment card (EPC) – similar to an ATM card
  • Standard bank check (It is very important custodial parties keep their address current with the local child support agency to ensure timely receipt of child support checks sent via mail) 

Additional payment information 

Monthly Statement of Collections & Distributions

The Monthly Statement of Collections and Distributions tells you about support that was received or paid out during the previous month. If you have questions about the information in the notice or if you believe any of the information on the notice is wrong, please contact the child support agency or review the back of the notice regarding your Notice of Hearing Rights.

More details on the Monthly Statement of Collections.​