Incentive Payments to Political Subdivisions under Section 458(a) of the Act and 45 CFR 302.52
October 2, 1975
TO:State Agencies Administering Child Support Enforcement Plans Approved Under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act
SUBJECT:Incentive Payments to Political Subdivisions under Section 458(a) of the Act and 45 CFR 302.52
PURPOSE:To provide additional guidance on that portion of 45 CFR 302.52 which governs incentive payments to political subdivisions pursuant to section 458(a) of the Act and to assist in determining if a political subdivision qualifies for an incentive payment.
CONTENT:Section 458(a) of the Act and 45 CFR 302.52(a) require that a political subdivision, in order to receive an incentive payment, make both the enforcement and collection of the support rights assigned under section 402(a)(26) of the Act.
In order to qualify for an incentive payment in any particular case involving such an assignment, there must be a determination that there has in fact been "enforcement and collection" by a political subdivision, or a legal entity of the political subdivision.
When a State operates its IV-D program entirely within the State-level IV-D agency, with no involvement of a political subdivision, it is clear that there is no eligibility for an incentive payment by a political subdivision within that State. Similarly, if a State operates its IV-D program at the local level, such as by utilizing local prosecutors for all enforcement and collection of support, it is relatively easy to determine that the political subdivision qualifies for incentive payments. However, if a State utilizes a blend of State and local activity, it becomes more difficult to determine if the political subdivision qualifies for incentive payments, "enforcement and collection" of support rights means the action necessary to "secure support" as required by section 454(4)(B) of the Act and 45 CFR 302.31(b). It includes obtaining and enforcing a court order for support, or enforcing an existing court order. It also includes establishing the obligation to provide support throughother legal process (45 CFR 302.50(a)(2)) or enforcing that obligation.
"Enforcement and collection" does not include all location and investigation activities necessary to the initiation of a court action or other legal process. Part or all of the investigation and location activity process could be performed by the State, so long as the political subdivision actually obtains the court order or other legal process and enforces the order or obligation.
"Enforcement and collection" does not include the distribution of child support payments pursuant to section 457 of the Act and 45 CFR 302.51. If the activity of the political subdivision results in a support payment, the fact that the payment is made directly to the State for distribution under section 457 does not disqualify the political subdivision for an incentive payment.
1. State A enforces and collects child support exclusively through State IV-D agency personnel. No political subdivision in State A is entitled to an incentive payment. State A is not eligible to receive incentive payments except for those cases in which State A enforces and collects child support for another State.
2. State B has entered into cooperative agreements with local prosecutors in each county who do all enforcement and collection activities. Each political subdivision in the State is eligible to receive incentive payments.
3. State C has entered into a cooperative agreement with a local prosecutor for all enforcement and collection in County X. State C enforces and collects child support with State IV-D agency personnel in County Y. County X is eligible to receive incentive payments; County Y is not entitled to incentive payments.
4. State D has entered into a cooperative agreement with local prosecutors under which they obtain and enforce court orders for support. Payments under these orders are made directly to the State IV-D agency. The prosecutor is responsible for follow-up and enforcement when the IV-D agency reports to him that payments are not received. The political subdivision is eligible to receive incentive payments.
5. State E has entered into a cooperative agreementwith the prosecutor in County X under which the prosecutor enforces and collects support for certain cases referred to the prosecutor, but at the same time, other cases within County X are handled by State IV-D agency personnel. The political subdivision is eligible for incentive payments only for those cases referred under the cooperative agreement.
6. State F has entered into a cooperative agreement with local prosecutors under which they are responsible for establishing paternity. State F enforces and collects child support with State IV-D agency in all respects except for establishing paternity. The political subdivision is not entitled to an incentive payment.
INQUIRIES TO: Acting Regional Directors, OCSE
Louis B. Hayes
Office of Child Support Enforcement