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New Hire Reporting for Federal Agencies

Published: December 3, 2014

What is the New Hire Reporting Program?

New hire reporting is the process by which employers provide basic information about any person recently hired or rehired.  Federal agencies report the new hire information within 20 days of hire to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH), a component of the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) within the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.  This service compares the new hire data with child support information from all states and, when a match is found, forwards the new hire information to the appropriate state child support enforcement agency.  With new hire information, the state child support enforcement agency has the ability to issue an income-withholding order quickly.  This is especially helpful for interstate cases (when one parent lives in a different state from his or her child), which are often the most difficult cases for states to resolve.

Data Elements - Federal law requires Federal agencies to collect and transmit seven data elements to fulfill their new hire reporting responsibilities:


Data Element Definition
Employer Name Name associated with the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
Employer Address * Address associated with the FEIN entity that employs the individual
Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) Nine-digit number assigned to the employer by the Internal Revenue Service
Employee Name Full name associated with that employee's Social Security number
Employee Address Current residential address of the new employee
Employee SSN Nine-digit Social Security number assigned to the employee by the Social Security Administration
Date of hire The date services for remuneration were first performed

* It is strongly recommended that the payroll office address for the newly hired employee also be reported as an additional data element if it is different from the FEIN address.

Reporting Medium – All federal agencies report new hires. Most federal agencies submit information directly, or indirectly through their servicing payroll agency, using Connect:Direct or Cyberfusion Integration Suite (CFI)—a highly secure, commercial data transfer software product that allows state and federal agencies to send and receive large amounts of data from mainframe to mainframe. The remaining agencies use Government Services Online (GSO), a secured website application. Federal agencies select their submission option by contacting the FPLS data transmission team at (410) 965-5634 or charlotte.hancock@acf.hhs.gov.

Reporting Destination - Federal agencies send new hire reports to the NDNH. All data processing for the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) is done, through an agreement with the Social Security Administration (SSA), at the National Computer Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Among the databases that SSA operates for OCSE are the NDNH, Quarterly Wage and Unemployment Insurance, Federal Case Registry, Federal Offset, FPLS, Multi-state FIDM and the 1099 systems.

New Hire and the FPLS

The Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS), a national location system operated by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to assist states in locating noncustodial parents, putative fathers, and custodial parties, includes two databases:

  • National Directory of New Hires (NDNH): a central repository of employment data, unemployment insurance claimant data, and quarterly wage data from State Directories of New Hires, state employment security agencies, and Federal agencies; and
  • Federal Case Registry (FCR): a national database that contains information on individuals involved in child support cases and child support orders.

The FPLS works in two ways to support state child support enforcement (CSE) agencies' locate operations to identify home and work addresses and sources of income and assets:

  • First, through automatic matching, the FPLS compares data from the NDNH to data in the FCR.  When there is a match, the FPLS automatically provides new hire, quarterly wage, or unemployment claimant information on custodial and noncustodial parents to any state with a related child support case.  The state CSE agency uses this information to establish or modify a child support order, or enforce (through income withholding) an existing order.
  • Second, at the request of a state CSE agency's State Parent Locator Service, the FPLS will search external Federal agency databases in an attempt to locate noncustodial parents and/or their assets, for the purpose of establishing or enforcing a child support order.  The FPLS has access to external locate sources such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Use of FPLS NDNH Data

The Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) is a principal source of locate and employment information for child support caseworkers when establishing a support order and when initiating an income-withholding order. Upon receiving the FPLS match information, state CSE agencies are required, as delineated within the Social Security Act, to issue an income-withholding order within two days.

Federal law requires that states send an income-withholding order to an employer within two days of the receipt of pertinent information from the NDNH. By automating the generation of income-withholding orders, states can meet the two-day action requirement. In most instances, states can issue an income-withholding order without first verifying employment since the NDNH data should be considered verified. The vast majority of child support collections come from income withholding by employers, so reducing the burden on employers, where possible, is certainly in the best interests of the child support program.

In addition to employment verification and income withholding, the NDNH data also is of value in establishing support orders.  The record of quarterly wage data reported during the year provides caseworkers with a history of earned income that can be used to calculate the support amount. If there is a recent new hire report but quarterly wage information does not yet exist, the caseworker may need to request wage information from the current employer in order to determine the support amount.

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