< Back to Search

Financial Distribution Test Deck Generator for Child Support Distributions under PRWORA

AT-98-15

Published: April 24, 1998
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
State Systems
Types:
Policy, Action Transmittals (AT)
Tags:
Pass-through/Family Distribution, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)

ACTION TRANSMITTAL

Office of Child Support Enforcement
OCSE-AT-98-15
April 24, 1998

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

SUBJECT:Financial Distribution Test Deck Generator for child support distributions under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996.

BACKGROUND:The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), has created a revised Federal Financial Distribution Test Deck generator to assist states in assessing processing compliance with the New Federal PRWORA distribution requirements. The test deck generator prints a defined set of processing scenarios and tailored results intended to illustrate key features of federal processing requirements. States are expected to establish these scenarios within their current child support applications to verify that their distribution modules generate the expected outcomes.

It is the ACF’s desire that your State’s CSE system development project will make use of this test deck as part of its comprehensive acceptance process, and that it may help identify potential problems prior to the system’s operational use. A request form is included as Attachment 1 that will permit states to request either the Windows 95 or Windows 3.1 version on a choice of floppy disks or CD-ROM. In the coming months, additional updates for the test deck help system will be distributed to states. These updates will contain additional design materials to assist states in implementing distribution-related changes.

Within the new test deck generator, users are first asked a series of policy questions that impact on scenario outcomes. Exhibits 1A and 1B display the Test Deck Generator Policy options screens.

The new test deck contains 25 scenarios, which are summarized in attachment #2. It is important to note that this attachment only summarizes the primary distribution requirements being tested. As such, the exhibit should not be interpreted as itemizing all requirements that are actually tested for each scenario.

This version of the test deck has also been enhanced to incorporate design documentation to assist states in deciding how to best modify their systems to meet the current PRWORA requirements. Additionally, the test deck generator contains copies of relevant federal statutes, regulations, and PIQs related to PRWORA distribution changes. As with the original release, the revised test deck does not address each collection/distribution scenario which a State will encounter in actual operation, nor does this test deck encompass all of the Federal requirements under which State systems must operate or be evaluated against. Therefore, States should use this test deck only as a supplement to enhance their system acceptance test cases.

The Test Deck software was developed using PowerBuilder and is available in two versions. The first version is full featured and operates in either a Windows 95 or Windows NT setting. The second version has limited functionality and is available for the Windows 3.1 environment. The limitations with the Windows 3.1 version are a result of the loss of What’s This help which is not available in Windows 3.1 and in the reformatting of the screen displays to address the lower screen resolution available in Windows 3.1.

Regardless of which version is selected, the application requires approximately 30 Megabytes of Disk Storage and 16 Megabytes of Available RAM to operate correctly. An installation Wizard is available to guide users through the setup process. Specific installation instructions are included as attachments 3 and 4. It should be noted that the test deck application is fully self-contained. As a result, no other special software products are required to install or operate the application.

For states that do not have a suitable PC available to install the test deck, please contact your regional office. The region will input your state specific policy selections to generate a customized hard copy test deck for your state.

ATTACHMENTS:

1 - Distribution Test Deck Generator request form
2 - Scenarios
3 - Installation instructions for Windows 95 or Windows NT
4 - Installation instructions for Windows 3.1

 

INQUIRIES: For questions related to installation of the financial distribution test deck generator or suggestions on how to improve the help features of the generator, contact Sid Houston at (615) 736-5051.

The request(s) for test deck generators should be faxed to Attention: Mark Erard at (703) 352-3858, but can also be submitted through ACF Regional Offices.

For questions related to child support distribution, contact the ACF Regional Administrator.

RELATED
REFERENCES: OCSE AT-97-17 (October 21, 1997)

___________________
David Gray Ross
Commissioner
Office of Child Support
Enforcement

Attachment 1
 

Test Deck Software Request Form

 
      

Windows 95 or Windows NT CD Rom

 

Windows 95 or Windows NT 3 1/2 Diskettes

 

Windows 3.1 CD-Rom

 

Windows 3.1 3 1/2 Diskettes

 

Name: ___________________________

Agency:__________________________

Address:_________________________

__________________________________

__________________________________

__________________________________

Fax request form to: Attention Mark Erard 703-352-3858

Attachment 2

Scenario Purpose Summaries Scenario Nbr. Description 1 This scenario tests that arrears are correctly accrued and rolled over as cases change from one case type to another. 2 This scenario tests for correct distribution of administrative, state tax and IRS offset collections. Month 1 verifies that the administrative offset collection is treated as a regular payment for the purpose of distribution. Month 2 verifies that the state tax offset collection is also distributed as a regular payment. Finally, month 3 tests that the portion of the federal tax offset payment that exceeds the available certified arrears is returned to the payer. 3 This scenario is intended to test several distribution features. First, the scenario tests distribution for a client involving multiple NCPs. Second, the scenario tests for proper distribution of excess over URA (former B5 payment). Finally the scenario tests for correct unassignment of arrears once the family stops receiving assistance. 4 This scenario tests for correct distribution of both child and medical current support obligations when both types of debts are included within a single case. 5 The purpose of this scenario is to test that Non IV-D collections are correctly excluded from the OCSE 34 report. 6 The purpose of this scenario is to test for proper distribution of prior month wage withholding receipts. 7 The purpose of this scenario is to test that IRS collections receipted by Plan A after October 1, 2000 or by Plan B after October 1, 1998 are correctly distributed to the state when Conditionally Assigned arrears are involved. Notes that states that have selected Plan A may not yet have systems may not be capable of testing this scenario. 8 The purpose of this scenario is to test the accurate distribution of a voluntary payment in accordance with OCSE AT 97-17 and further described in OCSE PIQ 81-9. Voluntary payment should be receipted as a regular receipt on a case lacking a court order. 9 This scenario tests proper payment allocation for cases that involve MULTIPLE CP’s for the same payer. The scenario evaluates regular, wage withholding, and court directed collection types. 10 This scenario tests for the proper prioritization of arrears during distribution on a case involving multiple arrears types. The scenario also validates correct assignment and unassignment of arrears as the client goes on and off of public assistance. 11 The purpose of this scenario is to determine that held future payments on TANF cases are correctly processed and reported as undistributed on the OCSE 34 report. 12 This scenario tests for correct distribution and reporting for IRS intercept collections involving joint tax returns. 13 This scenario tests to ensure that IRS collections that exceed the available certified arrears balance remaining are not applied to other existing arrears without the NCP’s approval. 14 This scenario tests to ensure that IRS collections associated with certified NPA arrears are correctly distributed in situations where the family is subsequently receiving Public Assistance and the arrears have now been assigned to the state. 15 This scenario tests for the appropriate distribution on an interstate case where the state involved is the Responding state where the Initiating state charges a CP fee. 16 The purpose of this scenario is to validate that when funds are passed through to clients by states that the URA balance is correctly adjusted and that the full federal share is preserved. 17 This scenario tests for correct distribution on a case involving a family with a child excluded from the TANF assistance unit. In this scenario, our case includes an SSI child that is excluded from the TANF grant while his sibling is included within the TANF grant. As a result, child level distribution provides an acceptable method for calculating the distribution outcome. If the state typically establishes two separate cases that share a common court order to handle this scenario, this represents an alternative acceptable solution. 18 The purpose of this scenario is to test the appropriate distribution of arrears collections applied to Conditionally Assigned arrears, one being a regular collection and the other being an IRS collection. In addition, the disbursement to the family is returned because of an insufficient address and is reported as undistributed on the OCSE 34. 19 This scenario tests the method employed by the state to unassign arrears in situations where a client has TANF arrears associated with multiple absent parents and leaves assistance. 20 The purpose of this scenario is to validate that Foster Care distribution continues to be handled in accordance with 45 CFR 302.52. Accordingly, Foster Care should NOT be distributed in the same manner as TANF collections under PRWORA. This scenario also demonstrates that when the case type is currently Foster Care, that Foster Care arrears take precedence over TANF arrears for purposes of distribution. 21 This scenario tests for correct unassignment of Permanently Assigned arrears when a state has mixed Permanently Assigned arrears that accrued prior to October 1 effective date with those arrears that subsequently accrued while the client was receiving TANF assistance. 22 This scenario tests to determine that funds passed though to the family arelimited to the state share of collections on that case for the same month. 23 The purpose of this scenario is to test OCSE 34 collection source information 24 This scenario tests that voluntary payments are correctly distributed in situations where the collection amount exceeds the Unreimbursed Assistance Balance on Current Assistance cases. 25 This scenario tests for the appropriate distribution of regular collections that have a prior month effective date.

Attachment 3
Instructions for Windows 95 or Windows NT Installation

 

Please note that the following instructions are also contained in a README.TXT file located on the installation diskette or CD-ROM

From the Windows 95 Main Window, close any active windows by clicking on the X Icon on the upper right hand corner of each window
Insert Floppy #1 or the CD-ROM into Computer
From the Program Manager, click the File Menu bar option.
Select the RUN submenu Option form within the File Menu Bar pull down
If you are using floppies, Type a:\SETUP or b:\SETUP
If you are using a CD-ROM Type d:\SETUP (where d is whatever drive letter your CD-ROM reader is mapped to)
The Setup program invokes an installation wizard that prompts you through each remaining step of the installation process. Follow the instructions on the screen

You are given the following options for installation:

  • What folder you wish to store the test deck software in 150 Note that the default is c:\testdeck
  • Select what application you wish to install (Note that the test deck is the only application currently available for selection)

Once these questions are answered, the install wizard creates a folder containing icons to run the test deck and to uninstall the application. If desired, you can create a shortcut to this icon by selecting the test deck run icon with you cursor and drag it to your desktop and then dropping it. Note that the uninstaller icon permits you to completely remove the application and all related files and .INI file entries from your PC if desired.

Attachment 4
Instructions for Windows 3.1 Installation

 

Please note that the following instructions are also contained in a README.TXT file located on the installation diskette or CD-ROM

From the Windows 3.1 Program Manager; close any active windows by clicking on the X Icon on the upper right hand corner of each window
Insert Floppy #1 or the CD-ROM into Computer
From within the Program Manager click the FILE Menu Bar Option
Select the RUN Submenu Option from within the File Menu Bar pull down
If you are using floppies, Type a:\SETUP or b:\SETUP
If you are using a CD-ROM Type d:\SETUP (where d is whatever drive letter your CD-ROM reader is mapped to)

The Setup program invokes an installation wizard that prompts you through each remaining step of the installation process. Follow the instructions on the screen

You are given the following options for installation:

  • What folder you wish to store the test deck software in 150 Note that the default is c:\testdeck
  • Select what application you wish to install (Note that the test deck is the only application currently available for selection)

Once these questions are answered, the install wizard creates a folder containing icons to run the test deck and to uninstall the application. If desired, you can create a shortcut to this icon by selecting the test deck run icon with you cursor and drag it to your desktop and then dropping it. Note that the uninstaller icon permits you to completely remove the application and all related files and .INI file entries from you PC if desired.