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Applications for Child Support Services by Individuals not Otherwise Eligible

AT-76-09

Published: June 9, 1976
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Funding, Federal Financial Participation (FFP)
Types:
Policy, Action Transmittals (AT)

ACTION TRANSMITTAL

OCSE-AT-76-09

June 9, 1976

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

SUBJECT: Applications for child support services by individuals not otherwise eligible

CONTENT: Introduction

Section 454(6)(A) of the Social Security Act requires that "... the child support collection or paternity determination services established under the plan shall be made available to any individual not otherwise eligible for such services upon application filed by such individual with the State...." This section of the Act is implemented at 45 CFR 302.33.

Section 455 of the Act provides for 75 percent Federal financial participation in the amounts expended pursuant to an approved State plan with respect to services provided to individuals under section 454(6) of the Act through June 30, 1976. This section of the Act is implemented at 45 CFR 304.20(a)(4).

Section 454(6) applies to "any individual not otherwise eligible." Such individuals are those who are not recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with an assignment of support rights in effect pursuant to section 402(a)(26)(A) of the Act and 45 CFR 232.11. In other words, section 454(6) requires that the State make child support services available to non-welfare individuals who need not have assignments. Section 454(4) of the Act requires the State to undertake to establish paternity and secure support on behalf of individuals who are recipients of AFDC and with respect to whom there is an assignment of support rights in effect.

A. Requirements for Federal financial participation

Section 454(6) and 45 CFR 302.33 require that there be an "application filed by such individual." 45CFR 304.20(a) (4) provides Federal financial participation for "services under the State plan for individuals eligible purant to §302.33 of this chapter."Services can only be provided under State plan if there has been an application filed by the individual, and the individual can only be eligible for services pursuant to §302.33 if he or she has filed an application. Therefore, a State may receive Federal financial participation under title IV-D of the Act only for those individuals, nototherwise eligible, who have filed an application for child support services.

1. Definition of application

In order to comply with the statutory requirements of filing an application, the application must be in writing, and may not be an oral application. The application must be signed by the individual applying for child support services. "Although the State IV-D agency should consider using a uniform application form on a Statewide basis specifically for services pursuant to title IV-D, any written document indicating that the individual is seeking assistance with a child support problem will be sufficient.

Examples

a.The State IV-D agency has a printed form for use in all local offices throughout the State which indicates tnat the individual signing the form is applying for child support services under the Child Support Enforcement program of title IV-D of the Social Security Act. This constitutes an application under section 454(6).

b.A county prosecutor, friend of the court, or other law enforcement official (operating under a cooperative agreement with the IV-D agencv that specifies that the official is to provide child support services to non-welfare individuals) has developed an intake form, to be signed by the individual seeking child support services, that indicates that the individual requires assistance with a child support problem. This constitutes an application under scction 454(6).

c.An individual is provided child support services by the IV-D agency or an official operating under a cooperative agreement with the IV-D agency after the individual has signed and submitted a document that indicates the individual requires assistance with a child support problem. This constitutes an application under section 454(6).

d.An individual goes to the IV-D agency or an office operating under a cooperative agreement with the IV-D agency and orally requests assistance with a child support problem, or specifically requests services under the Child Support Enforcement program. This does not constitute application under section 454(6). The fact that a case file has been established does not constitute an application.

2.Cases in existence prior to IV-D

Offices that became part of the IV-D agency or began operating under the State plan through a cooperative agreement after the enactment of title IV-D may have hadchild support cases involving non-welfare individuals that were in existence prior to the time the office began operating under the State IV-D plan. There is no provision in title IV-D for "grandfathering" in such cases. In other words, the rules previously described for applications and Federal Financial participation apply to those cases which were in existence prior to title IV-D.

3. Cases referred by courts or required by State law

In some jurisdictions, offices such as the prosecutor, friend of the court, probation officer, or domestic relations officer may be referred cases by the court or otherwise be required by State law to provide certain child support enforcement services with respect to the case. There is no provision in title IV-D for automatically making these cases eligible under IV-D. In other words, the rules previously described for applications and Federal financial participation apply to those cases which are referred by a court or otherwise required by State law to be serviced.

4. Interstate cases

An application is also required to be eligible for Federal financial participation in the costs of initiating or responding to a case under the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act or any other interstate procedure.The initiating jurisdiction should notify the responding jurisdiction that there is an application in the case.

5.Effective date for Federal financial participation

Two principles govern the effective date for Federal financial participation in any case: the date on which the application was filed, and the date on which the office having jurisidction over the case began operating under the State plan. In no event is Federal financial participation available for costs incurred with respect to a case prior to the date on which the application was filed by the individual. In addition, Federal financial participation is not available for costs incurred prior to the time the office (IV-D agency or other office operating under a cooperative agreement with the IV-D agency) began operating pursuant to the State plan, even if an application was filed prior to that time.

This means that for the IV-D agency, the earliest date that Federal financial participation could be available for a non-welfare case would be August 1, 1975, (assuming that an application was filed on August 1), unless amounts were expended in good faith during the month of July 1975 (and an application was filed on or after July 1, 1975), in which case the provisions of section 206 of P.L. 94-88 would apply.

For an office operating under a cooperative agreement with the IV-D agency, the earliest date that Federal financial participation could be available for a non-welfare case would be the first day of a fiscal quarter in which the cooperative agreement is executed, assuming that an application was filed on the first day of the quarter. The provisions of section 206 of P.L. 94-88 could also be applicable to an office operating under a cooperative agreement.

Applications filed prior to the effective date of title IV-D (except under the provisions of section 206 of P.L. 94-8A) do not makv a case eligible for Federal financial participation under title IV-D.

B. Where application may be filed

45 CFR 30?.33 provides for the filing of the application with the IV-D agency. In order for the plan to be in effect on a Statewide basis as required by section 454(1) and 45 CFR 302.10, individuals must have the opportunity to apply for, and receive, child support services in each political subdivision of the State. Limiting application for, and providing of, child support services to the central office of the State IV-D agency would violate the Statewideness requirement.

Therefore, individuals must be able to apply for child support services at local offices of the IV-D agency or at offices operating under cooperative agreements.45 CFR 302.12 and 303.20 permit the State IV-D agency to delegate the receipt of applications for child support services.

C. Federal financial participation after June 30, 1976

Unless there is an amendment to section 455 of the Act, Federal financial participation for most costs associated with non-welfare cases will terminate on June 30, 1976. Exceptions to this termination are as follows:

1. Parent Locator Services

Federal financial participation for costs of locating an absent parent will continue after June 30, 1976, pursuant to 45 CFR 304.20(a)(3). The requirements concerning applications and Federal financial participation will continue to apply to such cases.

Federal financial participation will be available for costs of location incurred in cases in which there is an application for child support services and in cases in which the individual only requests use of the Federal Parent Locator Service.

2. Collection services under section 457(c)(1)

States may continue to collect child support for a period not to exceed three months following the month in which a family ceased receiving AFDC, pursuant to section 457(c)(1) of the Act and 45 CFR 302.51(e)(1). Federal financial participation for costs of col?ection during such three month period will continue after June 30, 1976, pursuant to 45 CFR 304.20(a)(2).

Since this service is provided by the State without regard to a request by the family or individual, there is no requirement for an application in order to be eligible for Federal financial participation.

INQUIRIES TO : Acting Regional Directors, OCSE

Acting Director,

Office of Child Support Enforcement