Use of the Revised Federal Income Withholding Order (IWO) for Support


Publication Date: September 2, 2008



DATE: September 2, 2008


RE: Use of the Revised Federal Income Withholding Order (IWO) for Support

Dear Colleague:

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) distributed a revised Federal Income Withholding Order (IWO) for Support on October 26, 2007 in Action Transmittal AT-07-07. OCSE developed the IWO in partnership with a workgroup of State and Tribal child support agencies, courts/tribunals, the American Payroll Association, private and public sector employers, and private collection agencies. Its use as a uniform format prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services is required by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193) for all entities ordering income withholding for child support for both IV-D and non IV-D cases. Private firms, attorneys, and courts should also use the IWO.

Since nearly 70% of all child support collections in 2007 are attributable to employer-implemented IWOs, the partnership of the child support community and employers is critical to the success of the child support program. Feedback from employers tells us that they continue to experience a significant volume of income withholding orders in which courts and other entities transmit non-standard income withholding forms with payments ordered to custodial parents, courts, CSE agencies, or private collection agencies instead of State Disbursement Units. Uniformity in formatting speeds the deduction and forwarding of payments to families and reduces the possibility of errors. It also decreases the administrative time spent by employers in maintaining the garnishment system at their businesses, especially when the employer is sending payments electronically to the SDUs.

To further our joint goal of increasing child support payments to families and children, OCSE is requesting that each State IV-D Director contact their State court administrator or other officials charged with implementing income withholding orders, share with them the revised IWO and explore ways in which this form can be transmitted to private attorneys, clerks of court, or other agencies preparing such orders for the courts. A draft letter containing suggested language which may be used to implement an appropriate outreach document and strategy in each State and a list of all State Court Administrators and their mailing addresses will be sent under different cover.

Specific instances of employer-reported variances from IWO requirements will be sent to you or your designated contact person as they are received from employers by the OCSE Employer Services Team. Please forward the name and contact information for the person whom you wish to designate for this purpose to Cindy Holdren, Employer Services Team, at or (240) 676-2808.

Thank you for your continued efforts to improve the lives of children and families.


Margot Bean
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Enclosure (Not available online)

cc: Regional Program Managers