Information for Recipients/Creditors

When a relationship ends, the financial obligations often continue to ensure the well-being of children and other dependants. The Maintenance Enforcement Program needs you, the recipient, to be a key partner in collecting maintenance payments on your behalf. We CANNOT GUARANTEE that you will receive your maintenance support payments. Here are some important facts you should know about the Maintenance Enforcement Program.

RECEIVING MAINTENANCE PAYMENTS

The MEP’s goal is to provide for regular payment of your support based upon the payment dates and support amounts in your court order or agreement. We will work with both parties to meet the best needs of your file so payments are received and sent to you regularly and on time.

Timing of support payments

Due to the processing times, even if the payment is made voluntarily and/or on the due date specified in the court order or agreement you may not receive the funds on the due date. Depending on the source of the payment (ex. debtor, employer, federal government), and the method of payment (ex. debit card, employer cheque, pre-authorized withdrawal) it may take up to three (3) business days for a payment to be processed and released to you once paid to the MEP.

At times enforcement activity is necessary to assist with the collection of support. This activity may delay payment. If the MEP is receiving payment from a debtor’s wages, payment may be received and paid to you in bi-weekly payments even if payments under your court order or agreement are due monthly or semi-monthly.

Direct Deposit

We strongly encourage you to provide us with a completed Direct Deposit form to allow the MEP to deliver payments to your bank account electronically. Payment by Direct Deposit is the fastest and most secure form of payment and avoids interruption and/or delay of payment by mail if there is a postal interruption or mail is not delivered properly.

Keeping Record of Your Payments

Please ensure to keep your own record of maintenance payments for income tax purposes. Although the MEP does not issue tax receipts, you can request a yearly payment record that may assist for tax purposes.

Direct Payments from debtors

The MEP must have an accurate balance to manage your file properly. We strongly encourage payment and receipt of all support payments through the MEP. Receiving direct payments from the debtor may result in delayed enforcement and possible ceasing of enforcement if the MEP cannot determine if there are any outstanding payments or arrears.

Reporting Direct Payments

If you receive a payment directly from the debtor, report the payment to the MEP as soon as possible so that your file balance can be updated. You can report a direct payment through:

  • The MEPline at 204-945-7133
  • By email to ManitobMEPInquiries@gov.mb.ca
  • By correspondence
    • Letter to 100-352 Donald St, Winnipeg MB R3B 3H8
    • Fax to 204-945-5449

You will require your 7-digit File number and Personal Identification Number to report a payment through the MEPline.

If reporting a payment by email or correspondence please include:

  • Your name
  • Your 7 digit File number
  • Your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and/or your original signature.
  • The specific amount and date of the payment received

Direct Deposit (pdf, 28.9kb)

Amendments to the Family Maintenance Act

Change to The Family Maintenance Act require creditors registered with the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) to notify the MEP if they have reason to believe the child support is no longer eligible for enforcement for an adult child. A creditor can provide that information in writing identifying the date the adult child is/was no longer eligible for child support enforcement and include the file number along with a signature and/or MEP Personal Identification Number (IPIN) or by submitting The Child Support Enforcement Eligibility Form - Adult Child.

The MEP will also conduct periodic reviews with a creditor to obtain information necessary to establish continued child support enforcement eligibility for an adult child. More information is available available here.

Parties can change their support payments by providing MEP with an Agreement to Change Maintenance Obligations. More information and the required forms are available here.

Late Payment Penalties (LPPs) are assessed on the outstanding support arrears at a rate As of July 1, 2019, creditors have the option to opt-out or waive LPPs. Opting out of LPPs stops the assessment of LPPs on any support arrears that accumulate on a file. More information and the required forms are available here.

WHAT THE PROGRAM CAN AND CANNOT DO

The program cannot change your support order or agreement in any way. Any changes you wish to try to make are considered a private legal matter between you and the payor. Your lawyer can help you with these matters.

Even when the need for maintenance payments has ended the program will continue to collect payments until a written consent or a court order stating payments are no longer required is received. If you don't let us know that payments should stop and too much is sent to you, you may be ordered by the Courts to refund the overpayment.

The Maintenance Enforcement Program cannot provide legal advice or act as a lawyer or counsellor for you or the payor.

The Maintenance Enforcement Program cannot be involved in child access or visitation problems. This is a private legal matter between you and the payor. You may wish to speak with your lawyer.

OPTING OUT OF THE MEP

Opt Out of the Maintenance Enforcement Program

A creditor may opt out of the MEP by providing written confirmation that they want to opt out with a signature or by using the Enforcement Opt Out form. Once the opt out has been processed, the MEP will no longer be involved in the collection, enforcement or disbursement of any ongoing support payments or arrears. The file balance will be adjusted and enforcement action will be updated or terminated as required. Notice will be provided to the creditor and debtor once the opt out has been processed.

Opt Out of Ongoing or Arrears Only

A creditor may instruct the MEP to stop the enforcement, collection and disbursement of either the ongoing support payments or the arrears balance owing to the creditor by providing written confirmation with a signature or by using the Partial Opt Out of Enforcement form. If the creditor opts out of the ongoing support payments, the MEP will continue to be involved in the enforcement, collection and disbursement of the arrears balance. If the creditor opts out of the arrears balance only, the MEP will continue to be involved in the enforcement, collection and disbursement of the ongoing support payments. The file balance will be adjusted and enforcement action will be updated as required. Notice will be provided to the creditor and debtor once the partial opt out has been processed.

Please note that creditors cannot opt out of any ongoing or arrears owed to another government department such as Employment and Income Assistance or for cost recovery fees that may be owed to the program.

Opting out does not change a court order or the requirement to pay support based upon a support order, it only ends MEP’s involvement unless/until a creditor opts back in to the program.

Opting Back in

A creditor has the option to Opt back in to the MEP and have the file reactivated as long as they continue to have a valid and enforceable order or agreement. Any payments that remain due under the order or agreement that were not made prior to opting out and/or during the period the creditor opted out will be enforced by the MEP if claimed by a creditor (see Registering with the MEP for more information and the documents required to opt in). To reinstate support that ended due to a Child Support Enforcement Eligibility Review please see Resumption of support payments for an adult child.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MAINTENANCE SUPPORT PAYMENTS ARE NOT MADE?

The Maintenance Enforcement Program is not a detective agency. You are the best source of information that can help us collect money owed to you.

If you have information about the payor's address, place of employment, bank accounts, property or other property or other income sources, please write us or phone and let us know. The information could lead to collection of monies owed to you.

Maintenance Enforcement Officers are required by law to collect money owed to you wherever possible. The Officers will determine the best approach to use to collect that money.

We know that waiting for money owed to you can be frustrating and stressful. Please remember that the program is working hard to collect. Enforcement takes time. The information you provide may be invaluable. Please keep in mind that repeated phone calls to the program only reduce the amount of time an officer has available to collect funds on your behalf.

IF THE PAYOR LIVES OUTSIDE MANITOBA

Manitoba has reciprocal agreements with all Canadian provinces and territories, the United States and some other countries.

If you know the payor has moved out of the province, please write Manitoba's Maintenance Enforcement Program and provide as much information as you can about the payor's new residence, job, etc.

Manitoba's Maintenance Enforcement Program will work with the enforcement agency located in another province or country to try to collect your maintenance payments. Please keep in mind that the Manitoba Program has no control over another agency and the way it is handling your case.

If the payor moves back to Manitoba, please notify the program and provide what information you can immediately.

COLA

If your order or agreement has a COLA clause the Program will calculate the annual COLA amount if it is based on the Consumer Price Index or other public information. All adjustments will be calculated back to the adjustment date of your order or agreement.

If the COLA calculation is based on other information such as the percentage increase in the payor's annual income, then you or the payor must provide the necessary information to the program.

CONTACTING THE MAINTENANCE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

Our offices are located at 100-352 Donald Street, Winnipeg MB R3B 2H8. We can be contacted by email at ManitobaMEPInquiries@gov.mb.ca or fax at 204-945-5449. We can also be contacted by phone at 204-945-7133 or toll free at 1-866-479-2717.