Checklist for Distribution options
Distribution Options under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
The questions under each practice are intended to assist readers in looking for methods to optimize their processes. The questions are organized into three categories for consideration: Organizational, Process, and Automation.
- Who are key stakeholders that should be consulted to consider distribution options and changes?
- State Legislature
- Governor's Office
- Budgetary Office
- Advocacy Groups
- How do the DRA distribution options fit into your State's current public policy approach to services to TANF and post-TANF families?
- Has your State reached out to the key decision makers for education and dialogue around child support distribution options and changes?
- Would any of the DRA distribution options require your State to enact new State legislation? If so, what would be estimated timelines for effective dates?
- How does your State's IV-D budget and the State's share of retained collections fit into the State budget?
- What would be the fiscal impact and benefit of implementing the DRA pass-through in Current Assistance cases? In Former Assistance cases?
- What would be the actual fiscal impact of satisfying all arrears owed to the family before retaining collections, including collections from Federal Tax Refund Offset (FTRO)?
- What would be the fiscal impact and benefit of discontinuing pre-1997 assignments of Pre-Assistance and During-Assistance arrearages?
- What would be the fiscal impact and benefit of discontinuing post-1997 assignments of Pre-Assistance arrearages?
- What would be the impact of any of the above options with respect to Current Assistance cases and your State's TANF Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement?
- Does your cost-benefit analysis include an assessment of how increased pass-through under the options may avoid costs in other public assistance programs such as TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Child Care?
- Does your front-line staff have access to training on PRWORA distribution? DRA distribution?
- Is your State a "Fill-the-Gap" State? If so, how would that impact your State's consideration of the optional DRA pass-through provision in Current Assistance and Former Assistance cases?
- How does your State currently disburse pass-through payments to TANF families? Through the State IV-D agency? Through the TANF IV-A agency? If the State increases or chooses to make pass-through payments in TANF cases, how would this affect staff and systems resources?
- Has your State identified a mechanism for communicating which distribution options the State has elected and the effects of these changes on the front-line workers? On obligees? On obligors?
- Does your State compromise arrearages? How would discontinuing assignments of arrearages address concerns about your State's program for compromising arrearages?
- Would passing through more collections to families improve collection rates? If so, would that improve your State's program performance?
- If your State elects to pass-through and disregard the Excepted Portion, how will that affect eligibility for other non-TANF assistance programs such as Child Care, Housing and Food Stamps? How will changes impact TANF program error rates and payment accuracy?
- Since your State's DRA distribution options impact interstate or intergovernmental cases, has your State considered soliciting feedback from and communicating with neighboring States and/or Tribes?
- What forms will need to be changed to accommodate the new distribution and disbursement options your State selects?
- Is your State in the process of updating its legacy system or developing a new system? Can the State fold-in programming needed for DRA distribution with the on-going systems upgrade?
- Does your State currently pass-through the State's share of collections to families? Has your State already programmed for pass-through payments in Current Assistance cases? In Former Assistance cases?
- Can your State's system distinguish between assignments executed before October 1, 1997 and assignments of Pre-Assistance arrearages that were executed on or after October 1, 1997?
- Can your State's system distinguish between assignments of Pre-Assistance and During-Assistance arrearages that were established before October 1, 1997?
- Has your State considered its programming needs for the new limited-assignment requirement under Section 408(a)(3) of the Social Security Act, which is effective October 1, 2009 or up to a year earlier at State option?
- If your State will pass-through a share of collections to Current TANF families, will you disburse this money through a stored value/debit card, or with a warrant/check?
- What kind of notification are you sending to families about any changes you are making to distribution and disbursements, especially for Current TANF families who will begin to receive pass-through payments?
- How are you changing your monthly notice of collections to include information about pass-through payments and other disbursements to Current TANF families?