February 26, 2002

Participating States:

Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington

OCSE Participants:

Linda Deimeke, Gina Barbaro, Nancy Benner, and State TS Team

Data Duplication

Duplication of employers on the database was considered the most pervasive problem. Several states employ matching routines to prevent automatic duplication of employer records. In addition, controlled access to the database can prevent manual duplication.

Data Integrity

Many states, including North Carolina and North Dakota, use commercial off-the-shelf software such as FINALIST or CODE ONE to clean up and format addresses before storing them in their databases. This process, known as scrubbing, can also validate address and zip code combinations. Other states, like Texas, employ their own in-house scrubbing routines.

The Key to the Employer Database

Controlling Access

Third Party Service Providers

The group discussed the problem of receiving a third party service provider’s address with a valid employer FEIN. Many states were not aware that this was occurring – either because their system solved the problem by using an address existing in their database for the indicated FEIN, or the third party service provider forwarded the income withholding order to the correct employer or returned it to the child support agency to correct.

Heath Insurance Information

Questions and Answers

  1. Question: Where can states find the list of federal agencies and their addresses for income withholding documents?

    Answer: The federal agencies and their addresses can be found at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/newhire/ndnh.htm

  2. Question: Some federal employers use the same FEIN for multiple agencies. How do we make sure we send the income withholding to the correct federal agency?

    Answer: Not all federal agencies have their own FEIN. Some larger agencies have FEINs and others have FIPS codes. Federal agencies use a variety of FEINs assigned by the General Services Administration. Smaller agencies may have no FEIN. Please note that OCSE sent states a list of addresses for federal agencies. The states should use these specified addresses to send income withholding notices. The OCSE website address for obtaining this information can be found in the response to Question #1 above.

  3. Question: Are all states sending SEINs and FEINs in the correct fields?

    Answer: Yes. (If any state discovers that this is not correct, please contact us.)

  4. Question: The Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals have many different sites for income withholding but one FEIN. How do you handle this?

    Answer: Minnesota creates one master employer for the payroll division and lists all others as "sub-sites." OCSE has produced a listing of VA income withholding addresses that is available on the OCSE website.

  5. Question: How do we handle Labor Ready? (Labor Ready is a temporary services employer that provides work site addresses in their new hire reports instead of the payroll address.)

    Answer: Having one FEIN for multiple employer locations may solve the problem. Colorado points all Labor Ready matches back to one income withholding address. OCSE determined after the conference call that Labor Ready is in the process of cleaning up its FEIN and income withholding addresses.

  6. Question: How are states handling attachments for Social Security benefits? Originally we were sending them to one location in Baltimore, MD. Now we send them to local offices.

    Answer: Colorado has multiple locations for one FEIN and does not have a "pointer" to a central payroll office, so notices go to individual offices. Also, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a locator service on their website. When effecting income withholding for SSA employees, Pennsylvania references their employer table and sends the income withholding to one central location in Denver, Colorado. If SSA benefit information is received, they refer to their "Other Party table" that contains each local SSA office within Pennsylvania. Caseworkers may select from this table when issuing income withholding for SSA benefits.

  7. Question: Where can states find Minnesota’s best practice for clean up of their employer database?

    Answer: This information can be found in Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) 00-08, dated January 14, 2000. This DCL transmits the Division of Federal Systems’ (formerly the Division of Program Operations) guide entitled "Tips, Techniques, and Technology, in Using FPLS Data." This guide will be posted to the Administration for Children and Families’ website soon.

  8. Question: What is the file name used when the NDNH returns corrected Social Security numbers to the SDNH?

Answer: This file name was created by each state and submitted to the SSA for transmission purposes through CONNECT:Direct. If a state would like to know its particular filename, please contact your State Technical Support Liaison: Amy Ballenger at 703-345-8092 or amy.ballenger@trw.com, Deborah Edwards at 703-345-8105 or deborah.edwards@trw.com, Kerry Newcombe at 703-345-8094 or kerry.newcombe@trw.com, or Linda Hudson at 205-991-6399 or linda.hudson@trw.com.