Attachment to AT-00-10

PROCEDURES FOR THE SUBMISSION, REVIEW, AND APPROVAL OF STATE PLAN AMENDMENTS AND ATTACHMENTS

STATE PREPARATION AND SUBMITTAL OF THE PLAN OR AMENDMENT

As a condition of receiving Federal financial participation, the State IV-D agency must submit an approvable State plan describing the nature and scope of its child support enforcement program. The State plan consists of the preprinted State plan pages, related attachments and contains all information necessary for the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to determine whether a State plan can be approved. The authority to approve State plans is delegated to the Regional Offices, but the Director of OCSE (the Director) retains the authority for determining that a State IV-D plan is not approvable (see regulations at 45 CFR 301.13(c)).

Amendments to the State Plan are either required by Federal action (e.g., publication of new or amended Federal regulations or amendments to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (the Act)) or required by State action (e.g., State legislative changes). OCSE prepares and distributes new preprinted pages for use by the State IV-D agency and if necessary, a State IV-D agency may request additional copies of preprint pages from the Regional Office. The State IV-D agency must fill in any blanks and check appropriate boxes on the preprinted pages and submit the preprint with any required attachments within the specified time frame. Each page of an attachment should be numbered and must be labeled with the name of the State and the number and name of the attachment as it appears in the Table of Contents (see attached). Under 45 CFR 301.13(a) States are encouraged to consult with the Regional Office during the State plan preparation or revision process.

To assist the Regional Office in its review of the preprint pages and attachments, the State may be asked to complete the Legislative/Regulatory Analysis Checklist. The checklist is designed to be used in the analysis of legislation, regulations and/or procedures which have the full force and effect of law which are developed to meet Federal requirements. The State IV-D agency may request from the Regional Office, a copy of the most recent Legislative/Regulatory Analysis Checklist which was used to analyze the State's compliance with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

When there are State legislative, regulatory or procedural changes, the State IV-D agency initiates the preparation of a plan amendment by updating an existing plan page or attachment or if appropriate, completing the new preprint page. Attachments must be kept current and should be revised when the content is no longer valid. States are required to officially submit deletions to the State plan when such deletions become necessary. The State must submit each new or amended State plan page to the Office of the State Governor for review and comment. The Transmittal and Notice of Approval of State Plan Material form (OCSE-21-U4) (transmittal) includes a section to document the Governor's review and action. If a designee other than the Governor of the State is authorized to review a State plan submittal, a copy of the delegation of authority from the Governor to his or her designee should be on file in the Regional Office.

Once the State receives the Governor's or designee's approval, two copies of the completed State plan page or amendment with two copies of any attachments should be submitted to the Regional Office using a completed and signed copy of the transmittal. One copy of the transmittal must have original signatures. The printed instructions on the transmittal sheet, which require the submission of "4 Copies" including "2 Original Signatures" should be disregarded. The State should assign a number to the transmittal. If there is no number assigned by the State, the Regional Office must assign a number and communicate the number to the State IV-D agency in the acknowledgement letter. If necessary, the State IV-D agency may request additional copies of the transmittal from the Regional Office.

DOCUMENTED RECEIPT BY THE REGIONAL OFFICE

The Regional Office should acknowledge receipt of the submittal in writing to the State IV-D agency and record the date of receipt on the transmittal. Under 45 CFR 301.13(e), OCSE has 90 days following the date on which the submittal is received to determine whether the State plan conforms to the requirements under Title IV-D of the Act and regulations. To extend the 90 day approval period, the Regional Office must secure a written agreement from the State IV-D agency.

REGIONAL OFFICE REVIEW

Under 45 CFR 301.13(c), each Regional Office exercises delegated authority to take affirmative action on each State plan and amendment on the basis of policy statements or precedents previously approved by the Director. The exercise of this authority must include a careful review of State plan material, including State laws and procedures, using the Legislative/Regulatory Analysis Checklist, if appropriate. Where State laws or procedures are required the State may meet the requirements through the enactment of State law, regulations (including court rules) and/or procedures which have the full force and effect of law. Each portion of the checklist must be completed and submitted with the appropriate State plan page and necessary attachments of the appropriate law, regulation and/or procedure to the Central Office.

In addition, care should be given to review State submissions of copies of statutes and regulations under Attachment 3.3A of the State plan which support State compliance with Federal requirements. However, approval of Attachment 3.3A alone does not constitute approval for purposes of compliance with Federal requirements; the appropriate State plan preprint pages certifying State compliance with a particular Federal requirement must be submitted and approved.

The Regional Office should review the submittal as follows: 1.Determine that the State plan submittal contains the language of the State plan preprint page and that the required attachments and supporting documentation have been included. Determine that the required information is furnished in the blank spaces of the State plan page. Examine all attachments to assure that they are properly identified and correct. No material other than that specified is to be submitted as an attachment. Insure that the Governor's Review section of the transmittal is completed. If appropriate, complete the Legislative/Regulatory Analysis Checklist with the citation to the new or current State law, regulations, and/or procedures which meets the requirement. Compare the State plan page with the content of the attachments to ensure that the information fully supports the plan requirements. Consult with the State IV-D agency staff if additional supporting documentation (e.g., State laws, regulations (including court rules), and or procedures) or clarification is needed. If the Regional Office staff is unable to determine whether a State has satisfied Federal requirements, the Regional Office should refer questions with Regional Office recommendations to OCSE's Division of Policy. Regional counsel review of the State plan amendments is not mandatory but Regional Office staff are strongly encouraged to consult with Regional counsel.

APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL

  1. If the Regional Office approves the State plan page and attachments, the bottom of each page of the approvable material should include the transmittal number, approval date and the effective date as follows:

    TN# __________ Approval Date __________ Effective Date __________

    The earliest effective date that can be assigned is the first day of the quarter in which all approvable material is postmarked. Approvable material includes attachments as well as preprinted pages.

  2. If the Regional Office has any questions about whether State plan material is approvable, they should consult with the Division of Policy.
  3. If approved, the Regional Administrator, the Regional Hub Director or their designees should sign a letter of approval to the State IV-D agency and the completed transmittal. The approval letter and one copy of the transmittal, the approved State plan page with attachments, and the Legislative/Regulatory Analysis Checklist, if appropriate, should be sent to the State IV-D agency. In addition, one copy of the approval letter, the transmittal, the approved State plan page with attachments, and the Legislative/Regulatory Analysis Checklist, if appropriate, should be sent to the Division of Policy (Attn: State Plan Processing). The Division of Policy is the official record keeper of State plan pages and the copy of the transmittal should include original signatures.
  4. If a State fails to submit the required State plan material by the specified date, the Regional Office should send a recommendation of disapproval with documentation to the Director of OCSE. In addition, if a State submits material, which the Regional Office review indicates is not in conformance with the Federal statute, the Regional Office should send a recommendation of disapproval with documentation to the Director of OCSE. The Regional Office should notify the State that they are recommending disapproval of its State plan including the reasons such a recommendation is necessary. The State should be advised that OCSE will follow the State plan disapproval process set forth in OCSE-AT-97-05.

     

    STATE PLAN
    CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
    (TITLE IV-D)

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Section 1 - SINGLE STATE AGENCY ORGANIZATION
     
    1.1            Designation, Authority, Organization and Staffing
    1.2            Statewide Operation
     
    Section 2 -  SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
     
    2.1           State Obligation to provide Child Support Enforcement Services
    2.2           Support Obligations
    2.4           Collection and Distribution of Support Payments
    2.5           Services to Individuals (pages 2.5-1, 2.5-2, 2.5-3)
    2.6           Provision of Services in Interstate IV-D Cases
    2.7           Parent Locator Service
    2.8           Medical Support Enforcement Activities
    2.9           Federal Tax Refund Offset
    2.10         Withholding of Unemployment Compensation
    2.11         Procedures for the Imposition of Late Payment Fees
    2.12         Procedures to Improve Program Effectiveness
    2.12-1     Income Withholding
    2.12-2     Expedited Administrative and Judicial Procedures
    2.12-3     State Income Tax Refund Offset
    2.12-4     Liens
    2.12-5     Paternity Establishment (pages 2.12-5-1, 2.12-5-2, 2.12-5-3)
    2.12-6     Posting Security, Bond, or Guarantee to Secure Payment of Overdue
                    Support
    2.12-7     Reporting Arrearages to Credit Bureaus
    2.12-8     Inclusion of a Wage Withholding Provision in All Support Order
                    Issued/Modified in the States
    2.12-8B   Immediate Wage Withholding in all Child Support Orders Initially
                    Issued in the States on or after January 1, 1994
    2.12-9      Requirement to Prohibit Retroactive Modification of Support
                    Arrearages
    2.12-10    Review and Adjustment of Child Support Order upon Request
    2.12-11    Full Faith and Credit for Determination of Paternity
    2.12-12    Access to Records for Location
    2.12-13    Collection and Use of Social Security Numbers for Use in Child
                    Support Enforcement
    2.12-14   Administrative Enforcement in Interstate Cases
    2.12-15   Work Requirements for Persons Owing Past Due Child Support
    2.12-16   State Law Authorizing Suspension of Licenses
    2.12-17   Financial Institution Data Matches
    2.12-18   Enforcement of Orders against Paternal or Maternal Grandparents of
                    Children of Minor Parents
    2.12-19   Enforcement of Orders for Health Care Coverage
    2.12-20   Adoption of Uniform State Laws
    2.12-21   Laws Voiding Fraudulent Transfers
    2.13        Incentive payments to States and Political Subdivisions
    2.14        Rights to Notification of Hearings
    2.15        Federal and State Reviews and Audits
     
    Section 3 - GENERAL PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION
     
    3.1         Cooperative Arrangements
    3.2         Reports and Maintenance of Records
    3.3         State Statutes
    3.4         Standards for an Effective Program
    3.5         Nondiscrimination
    3.6         Bonding of Employees
    3.7         Separation of Cash Handling and Accounting Functions
    3.8-1     Computerized Support Enforcement System 10/1/91
    3.8-2     Computerized Support Enforcement System 10/1/97
    3.8-3     Computerized Support Enforcement System 10/1/00
    3.9         Publicize Availability of Child Support Services
    3.10       Notice of Collection of Assigned Support
    3.11       Guideline for Setting Child Support Obligations within the State
                  Agency or Other Entity
    3.12       Payment of Support through the IV-D Agency or Other Entity
    3.13       Privacy Safeguards
    3.14       Collection and Disbursement of Support Payments
    3.15       State Directory of New Hires
    3.16       Cooperation by Applicants for and Recipients of Assistance
    3.17       Definitions for Collecting and Reporting Information
    3.18       Denial of Passports for Non-Payment of Child Support
    3.19       Request for Services by a Foreign Country
     
    Section 4 - FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION
     
    4.1        Fiscal Policies and Accountability
    4.2        State Financial Participation
     
    Section 5 - STATE PLAN ADMINISTRATION
     
    5.1       Plan Amendments
    5.2       State Governor's Review

    ATTACHMENTS

    *1.1A Organization and Staffing of IV-D Agency

    *2.5A Application Fees Charged to Individuals Not Receiving IV-A or Foster Care

    2.8A Cooperative Agreement between IV-D Agency and State Medicaid Agency

    2.12-2A List of Exemption(s) from Expedited Process

    2.12-5A Paternity Establishment

    2.12-9A Statute or Court Ruling to Prohibit Retroactive Modification of Child Support Obligation

    *3.1A List of Cooperative Agreements

    *3.3A List of Statutes and Regulations

    *3.5A Nondiscrimination

    *3.6A Bonding Arrangements Approved by the State IV-D Agency

    *3.11A Guidelines for Setting Child Support Obligations

    * (indicates that an attachment is required)