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Impact on Welfare Recidivism of PRWORA Child Support Arrears Distribution Policy Changes

IM-00-04

Published: May 8, 2000
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Types:
Policy, Information Memorandums (IM)
Tags:
Pass-through/Family Distribution, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)

Information Memorandum IM-00-04

DATE: May 8, 2000

TO: STATE AGENCIES ADMINISTERING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCMEENT PLANS APPROVED UNDER TITLE IV-D OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

SUBJECT: Report to Congress: Analysis of the Impact on Welfare Recidivism of PRWORA Child Support Arrears Distribution Policy Changes

ATTACHMENT: Attached is a copy of the Report to Congress: Analysis of the Impact on Welfare Recidivism of PRWORA Child Support Arrears Distribution Policy Changes

BACKGROUND: This report was required by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) which amended section 457(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act). Section 457(a)(5) of the Act requires a study and report to Congress on the new distribution policy. PRWORA altered the methods by which child support enforcement agencies distribute child support collections. The report focuses on distribution of arrearages for former assistance families who are most significantly affected by the distribution changes.

Under the old law, States had the option to distribute collected arrearages owed to former assistance families, or to arrearages owed to the State, in whatever order it chose. Under the new law, States are required to distribute first to families collections of post and pre-assistance arrearages. This new policy is referred to as a "family first" policy since it requires States to distribute pre and post-arrearages to the family first and not to the State for arrearages owed to the States. States could implement the new distribution requirements partially in a two-step process, or at their option, implement the new requirements fully two years early on October 1, 1998. All States are required to fully meet the new distribution requirements as of October 1, 2000.

INQUIRIES TO: ACF Regional Administrators

Sincerely,

David Gray Ross
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

1999 Report to Congress: Analysis of the Impact on Welfare Recidivism of PRWORA Child Support Arrears Distribution Policy Changes (not available online)