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Assignment and Distribution of Child Support Under Sections 408(a)(3) and 457 of the Social Security Act

AT-07-05

Published: July 11, 2007
Information About:
Other Public Partners, TANF (IV-A), State/Local Child Support Agencies, Tribal Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Case Management, Collections/Distribution/State Disbursement Unit (SDU)
Types:
Policy, Action Transmittals (AT)
Tags:
Deficit Reduction Act

ACTION TRANSMITTAL

AT-07-05

ATTACHMENT: Instructions for the Assignment and Distribution of Child Support Under Sections 408(a)(3) and 457 of the Social Security Act

DATE: July 11, 2007

TO: State and Tribal Agencies Administering Child Support Enforcement Plans under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and Other Interested Individuals

SUBJECT: Instructions for the Assignment and Distribution of Child Support Under Sections 408(a)(3) and 457 of the Social Security Act (the Act)

PURPOSE: This Action Transmittal (AT) sets forth Federal guidance and provides examples relating to the provisions of sections 408(a)(3) and 457 of the Act for the assignment and distribution of child support.

BACKGROUND: On February 8, 2006, the President signed into law the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (the DRA), Public Law 109-171. Effective October 1, 2009, or at State option, as early as October 1, 2008, section 7301 of the DRA will take effect, revising section 408(a)(3) and section 457 of the Act. Section 408(a)(3) pertains to the assignment of child support under title IV-A of the Act, and section 457 governs the distribution of child support under title IV-D of the Act.

Regulations at 45 CFR 302.50, 302.51, 302.52 and 303.72 address assignment of rights to support as a condition of eligibility for assistance under title IV-A of the Act and distribution of support collections under title IV-D of the Act. 45 CFR 302.32 provides for the treatment of child support by the title IV-A and IV-D agencies. To the extent that these regulations are inconsistent with the new statute, they are superseded by the new statutory requirements. Existing regulations will be revised to delete any inconsistent requirements.

Effective October 1, 2009, or as early as October 1, 2008 at State option, section 408(a)(3) of the Act is amended to limit the assignment of support rights to the amount of support that accrues during the period that a family receives assistance, not to exceed the cumulative amount of Unreimbursed Assistance (URA). Sections 457(b)(1)(A) and (2)(A) permit the state to retain rights to support obligations previously assigned.

Also effective October 1, 2009, or as early as October 1, 2008 at State option, section 457 of the Act is amended to provide States with the option to:

  1. Pay more child support to Former-Assistance families;
  2. Pass through certain amounts of child support, including the Federal share, to Current-Assistance and Former-Assistance families;
  3. Discontinue assignments executed prior to October 1, 1997;
  4. Discontinue assignments executed from October 1, 1997 to September 30, 2009 (or September 30, 2008) for Pre-Assistance arrearages; and
  5. Continue to distribute collections applied to arrearages in Former-Assistance cases according to the requirements contained in the former section 457(a)(2)(B) of the Act, rather than applying the amendments made to this section by the DRA.

CONTENTS: This action transmittal provides guidance on sections 408(a)(3) and 457 of the Act for the assignment and distribution of child support collections.

EFFECTIVE DATE: These instructions are effective October 1, 2009, or as early as October 1, 2008 at State option. Related Action Transmittals OCSE-AT-97-17 and OCSE-AT-98-24 remain in effect until these effective dates, and will continue to remain in effect after these dates to the extent the contents do not conflict with this AT.

RELATED MATERIAL: Action Transmittal OCSE-AT-97-17, dated October 21, 1997, "Instructions for the distribution of child support under section 457 of the Social Security Act;" Action Transmittal OCSE-AT-98-24, dated August 19, 1998, "Instructions for the Distribution of Child Support Under Section 457(a)(6) of the Social Security Act, Definition of Assistance Paid to the Family for Child Support Purposes, and Additional Questions and Answers;" Action Transmittal OCSE-AT-99-10, dated September 15, 1999, "Definition of 'Assistance Paid to the Family' for Child Support Enforcement Collection Purposes."

INQUIRIES: ACF OCSE Regional Program Managers

Margot Bean
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement