Technical Corrections Final Rule


Publication Date: June 16, 2003



DATE: June 16, 2003

TO: State Agencies and Tribal Agencies Administering Child Support Enforcement Plans under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and Other Interested Parties

SUBJECT: Technical Corrections Final Rule

CONTENT: Review and Adjustment of Child Support Orders - We wish to point out that the review and adjustment of child support orders regulation at 45 CFR 303.8 has been redrafted in this final rule as a result of comments received on the interim final rule. Upon review of the comments, it became clear that the changes made by the interim final rule were not fully reflective of the statutory requirements in section 466(a)(10) of the Social Security Act. This was causing confusion about what states must do to meet review and adjustment requirements. We have highlighted some of the key provisions of the final regulation below:

(1) States must have procedures for review of child support orders and adjustment, if appropriate, at least every three years, upon request of either parent in any IV-D case, and upon request of the IV-D agency in any TANF case.

(2) States have three options in implementing their cyclical review and adjustment procedures, as specified in section 466(a)(10) of the Act and in 45 CFR 303.8(b). States must choose from the following procedures:

  1. Review and, if appropriate, adjust the order if the amount of the award under the order differs from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the guidelines; or
  2. Apply a cost-of-living adjustment to the order in accordance with a formula developed by the State; or
  3. Use automated methods (including automated comparisons with wage or state income tax data) to identify orders eligible for review, conduct the review, identify orders eligible for adjustment, and apply the appropriate adjustment to the orders eligible for adjustment under any threshold that may be established by the state.

If a state chooses either the second or third review methods, the state must have procedures permitting either party to contest the adjustment within 30 days after the date of the notice of the adjustment, by requesting a review and adjustment in accordance with the state's guidelines.

For guideline reviews requested within the normal cycle for review (at least every three years), the state must have procedures that provide for adjustment, if appropriate, without proof or showing of a change in circumstances. The order must be adjusted if it differs from the amount that would be awarded in accordance with the guidelines.

For reviews requested outside the normal cycle for review, the state must have procedures under which it will conduct a review and adjust the order according to the state's guidelines, if the requesting party demonstrates a substantial change in circumstances.

REGULATION REFERENCES: 45 CFR parts 301, 302, 303, 304 and 307

EFFECTIVE DATE: These regulations are effective on June 11, 2003, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

INQUIRIES: Regional Administrators

Sherri Z. Heller, Ed.D.
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Current as of: