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The Office of Child Support Enforcement's Annual Data Report, the OCSE-157

AT-99-15

Published: December 22, 1999
Information About:
State/Local Child Support Agencies
Topics:
Federal Reporting, OCSE-157 Annual Data Report
Types:
Policy, Action Transmittals (AT)

OCSE AT-99-15

DATE: December 22, 1999

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

SUBJECT: The Office of Child Support Enforcement's Annual Data Report, the OCSE-157

CONTENT: The Questions & Answers listed below will clarify instructions and address data reporting issues pertaining to the OCSE-157 data reporting form. These Q & A's are based on questions asked by various States and that apply universally to all States. Close attention should be paid to each response as they may add to, change, or revise previous policy as it applies to the OCSE-157. States should pay particular attention to Q & A's for those line items that will be used to calculate incentive measures. That includes lines 5 and 6 or lines 8 and 9 for the paternity establishment percentage; lines 1 and 2 for the cases with orders measure; lines 24 and 25 for the collections on current support measure; and lines 28 and 29 for the collections on arrears measure.

This Action Transmittal also contains revised instructions for completing the above form, which is to be used to report program status and accomplishments under title IV-D of the Social Security Act. State agencies administering child support enforcement programs under title IV-D of the Social Security Act are required to submit the OCSE-157. The information from this form will be compiled and presented in the Child Support Enforcement Annual Report to Congress and will be used to compute individual State incentive and program performance measures.

State and local procedures and systems for compiling data should be reviewed and modified to enable completing this form. Questions about the form or the procedures for its completion should be directed to the appropriate ACF Regional Office.

This AT makes the following changes to the instructions to the OCSE-157 as they appeared in AT-98-20:

  • The following sentence has been added to the end of the first paragraph under Section B: Paternity Establishment: Emancipated children should not be included in the count of children. States should only include those children who are under 18 on lines 4 through 10 and lines 13 and 16. However, if a child turned 18 during the reporting year that child should be included in the count.
  • The first mention of "during the fiscal year" has been removed from the second sentence under line 6. The sentence now reads: States have the option of including paternities established or acknowledged for cases closed during the fiscal year.
  • The instructions for line 8 were clarified. It now reads: Report the total number of children born out of wedlock in the State during the fiscal year.
  • Instructions now state: Do not report line 11.
  • Instructions now state: Do not report line 15.
  • The words "collected and" have been removed from the first sentence under line 25. That sentence now reads: Report the total amount of support distributed as current support during the fiscal year for all IV-D cases.
  • The instructions for line 29 now read: Of those cases reported on line 28, report the number that made at least one payment toward the arrears during the fiscal year. Report the total number of IV-D cases in which payments of past-due child support were received during the fiscal year and part or all of the payments were distributed to the family to which the past-due child support was owed (or, if all past-due child support owed to the family was, at the time of receipt, subject to an assignment to the State, part or all of the payments were retained by the State). In other words, count those cases where all of the past-due support was disbursed to the family, because all support was owed to the family, or all of the past-due support was retained by the State because all support was assigned to the State. However, if some of the past due support was assigned to the State and some was owed to the family, only count those cases where some of the support actually was disbursed to the family.

This means that in never assistance cases, all payments go to the family, so States should count all cases with any payments applied to past-due support and paid to the family. In current assistance cases, all support is assigned to the State, so States should count all cases with payments applied to past-due support and retained by the State. However, in former assistance cases, if some past-due support was owed to the family at the time of the collection States can only count the case if some of the collection was applied to past-due support and paid to the family.

  • Instructions for Section H now state: Do not report lines 33 through 37.

RELATED MATERIAL: DCL-99-108

SUPERSEDED MATERIAL: OCSE-AT-98-20, DCL-98-65, DCL-98-92

ATTACHMENTS: Questions and Answers, revised instructions to completing form OCSE-157, and form OCSE-157.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Agencies began using the OCSE-157 to report for the Federal Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 1998. Changes to the instructions are effective immediately.

INQUIRIES TO: ACF Regional Administrators

/s/

David Gray Ross
Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

ATTACHMENTS:

Questions and Answers (revised instructions to completing Form OCSE-157, and Form OCSE-157