Office of Child Support Enforcement
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Eighteenth Annual Report to Congress on the Child Support Enforcement program details child support enforcement activities of the past fiscal year and more importantly points to the challenge for the future. I offer this report with my strong commitment to answer that challenge.
For the fiscal year ending September 30, 1993, the child support enforcement program established paternity for over half a million children and collected nearly $9 billion in child support. However, even this record setting performance is diminished by the magnitude of the problem. As a Nation, we fail to protect the support rights of millions of children--support often needed to meet the most basic human needs of food, clothing and shelter.
Despite enhancements, the current system has clearly not kept pace with the rising number of families who should receive child support, and the demand for improvement cannot be met by stopgap measures. The President's Work and Responsibility Act of 1994 provides for the toughest child support enforcement program ever to make sure that parents support their children.
The aim for child support reform in the President's plan is three-fold: to establish paternity for every out-of-wedlock birth; to ensure that children are awarded fair support amounts; and, to ensure that support which is owed is paid. The Work and Responsibility Act includes bold new steps which support this vision and ensure that support is no longer viewed as an option.
In his State of the Union address, President Clinton said "People who bring children into this world cannot and must not walk away from them." I am committed to ensuring that the President's message is heard and that the system designed to protect these children succeeds.
Donna E. Shalala
CHAPTERS 1 - 5
The Child Support Enforcement program began when Congress enacted title IV-D of the Social Security Act in 1975 for the purpose of establishing and enforcing the support obligations owed by noncustodial parents to their children and the spouse or former spouse with whom the children may be living.
FY 1993 SERVICES PROVIDED
During FY 1993, State Child Support Enforcement (CSE) agencies were able to:
- Establish paternity for 554,205 children;
- Establish 1,044,517 support orders;
- Enforce or modify 5,372,591 support orders;
- Locate 4,484,231 parents or their employers, income or assets;
- Collect $8,908,123,000 in child support; and
- Recover 12 percent of AFDC payments.
In providing these services, the Federal and State governments shared expenditures of $2,241,094,000.
WHO RECEIVES SERVICES
The program serves families receiving assistance under the title IV-A Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program; families receiving assistance under the title IV-E Foster Care program; families receiving assistance under the title XIX Medicaid program; families who formerly received assistance under the above programs; and any other families who apply for services.
Most of the child support collected for families in the AFDC and title IV-E Foster Care programs is used to repay assistance that the families receive under those programs. However, AFDC families receive up to the first $50 of any current child support collected each month, as well as any current support collected that is above the amount of assistance received. For some families, the child support payments are enough to enable them to leave the AFDC rolls. Child support collected for families who are not receiving government assistance goes directly to those families to help them remain self-sufficient.
THE FEDERAL/STATE PARTNERSHIP
The Child Support Enforcement program is a joint undertaking involving Federal, State and local cooperative efforts.
The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal agency that oversees administration of the program. The Federal government sets Federal program standards and policy, evaluates States' performance in conducting their programs, and offers technical assistance and training to States. It also conducts audits of State program activities, and operates the Federal Parent Locator Service, National Training Center and National Reference Center. The Federal government pays the predominant share of the cost of funding the program. OCSE acts as the agent of the Internal Revenue Service in facilitating collection of overdue support from Federal income tax refunds. OCSE prepares this annual report to Congress based on States' reports of their activities.
State governments work directly with families through State CSE agencies or their local counterparts. These agencies work closely with officials of family or domestic relations courts or officials of administrative processes to establish paternity, establish support orders, collect support and distribute amounts collected. They also work with prosecuting attorneys and other law enforcement agencies to establish and enforce support orders. Each State CSE agency operates under a State plan approved by OCSE. State governments and, in some States, county governments participate in funding the program.
The Need for Child Support Enforcement
Today, when high divorce rates, growth in the number of out-of-wedlock births and family poverty translate into a host of social problems, it is more important than ever to reaffirm that both parents have a responsibility to support their children.
The Child Support Enforcement program encourages parents to support their children by establishing paternity and support orders where necessary and assisting in the collection of support. More and more families are finding themselves in need of these services.
SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES
The number of single parent families has increased in recent years due to high rates of divorce and separation and growing numbers of out-of-wedlock births. According to Census data, in the spring of 1992, 11.5 million parents were living with their own children under 21 years of age where the other biological parent was not living in the household. Over 86 percent of these single parents were women.
Not all custodial parents raising children without the other biological parent present are single parents. In the spring of 1992, nearly 30 percent of these custodial parents had remarried. The remaining 70 percent were either widowed (less than 1 percent), divorced (31 percent), separated (15 percent) or never married (23 percent). Over 95 percent of the 2.7 million never-married single parents were women./1/
In 1992, 1.2 million divorces were granted in the United States, only a 2 percent increase from 1991 but in total the largest number in American history. The divorce rate of 4.8 per 1,000 in 1992 was down 9 percent from the peak of 5.3 per thousand in 1981./2/
The number of children involved in divorce in the United States was estimated to be 1.0 million in 1988.
Generally, the number of children involved in divorce declined in the 1980's after steep increases in the 1960's and early 1970's.
However, the rate of children involved in divorce per 1,000 children under 18 years of age was 16.4 in 1988, double that of 25 years before, indicating that twice as many children per 1,000 experienced their parents' divorce in 1988 than a generation before./3/
The number of births to unmarried mothers in 1991, 1.2 million, was the highest number ever reported in a single year in the United States. This number has risen 82 percent since 1980. The birth rate for unmarried women rose to 45.2 per 1,000, an increase of 54 percent from 1980.
While there have been substantial increases in nonmarital childbearing, the number of births and the birth rate for married women both declined. As a consequence of these divergent trends during the 1980's, births to unmarried women as a proportion of all births has risen rapidly, from 18 percent in 1980 to almost 30 percent in 1991.
The pattern of increase in nonmarital birth rates in 1991 differs somewhat from that observed in recent years in that the increases were much greater for women under 25 years old than for women 25-34 years old. The reverse had been true from 1980 through 1990./4/
FAMILIES IN POVERTY
The relative poverty of households comprised solely of women and their children compared to other households points to the continued need for child support enforcement.
Average poverty thresholds in 1991 varied from $6,932 for a person living alone to $27,942 for a family of nine or more. The average poverty threshold for a family of four was $13,359 in 1991.
The number of persons below the official government poverty level was 35.7 million in 1991, a figure 2.1 million higher than in 1990.
The poverty rate was 14.2 percent in 1991, significantly higher than the 13.5 percent poverty rate in 1990.
Children are over-represented among the poor. Children under 18 comprised 40 percent of the poor in 1991. The poverty rate for children under 18 was just under 22 percent in 1991.
The number of poor families increased by 613,000 between 1990 and 1991 and the poverty rate for families increased to 11.5 percent. The increase in the number of poor families with a female householder accounted for almost two-thirds of the net increase in poor families between 1990 and 1991.
The mean amount of child support received by all women who received payments was $2,995 in 1989. The mean amount received by poor women in 1989 was $1,889, 57 percent of the mean payment of $3,304 received by women with incomes above the poverty level.
Child support payments, on average, were 37 percent of the total money income of mothers living in poverty, compared with 17 percent for other mothers./5/
FAMILIES DEPENDENT ON WELFARE
About 44 percent of the poor received cash assistance from government programs in 1991. About 27 percent of the poor received no assistance of any type, whether in the form of cash or noncash benefits.
Some 29 percent of the poor reported in Census Bureau surveys that they had no medical insurance in 1991./6/
Between 1970 and 1992, the number of recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children increased 83 percent, from 7.4 million in 1970 to 13.6 million in 1992. The number of families receiving AFDC increased by 150 percent over the same period, from 1.9 million to 4.8 million. AFDC benefit expenditures increased 51 percent, after adjusting for inflation, from $14.8 billion in 1970 to $22.2 billion in 1992. After accounting for inflation, the average monthly AFDC benefit per family was $644 in 1970 and $388 in 1992, a 40 percent reduction./7/
In 1991 twenty percent of AFDC families had non-assistance income. About 8 percent of AFDC families had earned income with an average monthly amount of $330. About 1 in 8 had unearned income averaging about $161 per family. Thirty-four percent of the families with unearned income, or less than 5 percent of the total caseload, received the pass-through of up to $50 a month of current child support./8/
Growth in Program Operations
In FY 1993 the IV-D child support enforcement caseload exceeded 17 million cases--9.6 million AFDC and Foster Care-related cases and 7.5 million non-AFDC cases.
The Child Support Enforcement program collected over $8.9 billion in child support in FY 1993. Non-AFDC collections, which are paid to families, accounted for $6.5 billion of that total.
The $2.4 billion in AFDC and Foster Care-related collections were distributed in part to families and in part to Federal and State governments. Payments of child support to families, over and above the assistance they received, accounted for over $453 million of this amount. The remaining AFDC and Foster Care-related collections went to reimburse assistance payments ($777 million to the Federal government and $847 million to the State governments) and to pay incentives to States ($339 million).
Over 242,000 families who left AFDC in FY 1993 had child support collections in the month of ineligibility. Over $364 million in support was paid during the year to AFDC families under the $50 pass-through provision where up to the first $50 of current support collected in a month is paid to the family and disregarded in determining AFDC eligibility. Almost 2 million non-AFDC families received some support during the year through the Child Support Enforcement program.
The following chart compares percent increases in collections, expenditures and caseloads over 10 years.
Focus on the Future
Much more needs to be done to ensure that both parents participate in supporting their children. The Child Support Enforcement program needs to:
Raise paternity establishment rates
Five years ago, in FY 1989, paternity was established by the Child Support Enforcement program for about 339,000 children. In FY 1993 paternity was established for 554,205 children, but this amounts to only a small proportion of the nearly 3.5 million children in the program who needed this service.
Improve the adequacy of support awards and update more awards to meet changing circumstances
Although every State uses guidelines to determine the amount of the support obligation, the noncustodial parent's income typically increases after the award is set and inflation reduces the value of the award. Historically, many awards have never been changed once they were set.
More effectively enforce orders for support
1992 census data show that only about half of those awarded support received the full amount they were owed. About $11.2 billion was collected from an estimated $16.3 billion due. Meeting these challenges will require continued Federal, State and local partnerships to implement approaches that widely improve program results for greater numbers of cases.
- U.S. Bureau of the Census, unpublished data.
- National Center for Health Statistics, Annual Summary of Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: United States, 1992. Monthly Vital Statistics Report; vol. 41, no. 13. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service. 1993.
- National Center for Health Statistics, Advance Report of Final Divorce Statistics, 1988. Monthly Vital Statistics Report; vol. 309, no. 12, suppl. 2. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service. 1991.
- National Center for Health Statistics, Advance Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1991. Monthly Vital Statistics Report; vol. 42, no. 3, suppl. Hyattsville, MD: Public Health Service. 1993.
- U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-60, No. 181, Poverty in the United States: 1991, and unpublished data.
- Poverty in the United States: 1991.
- Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives, 1993 Green Book, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC. 1993.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Characteristics and Financial Circumstances of AFDC Recipients, FY 1991.
Implementation of the Family Support Act
The Family Support Act of 1988 made important changes to the Child Support Enforcement program, many of which were to be phased in over a period of time. As of the close of FY 1993, significant progress toward implementation had occurred.
APPROVED STATE PLANS
The table below shows the key provisions and the number of States and other jurisdictions that have approved State plans (wherein the State attests to having in place and using the tools called for in Federal statute and regulations) for each provision as of September 30, 1993. A State plan is approved if it meets both statutory and regulatory requirements. "Interim" approval means that a State plan meets all statutory requirements, but one or more regulatory requirements are still to be met.
Implementation of Family Support Act as of September 30, 1993
|Provision||Number of States with Approved State Plans|
|Establishing paternity to age 18,
|51 (remainder approved subsequently or granted waiver)
Genetic testing in contested cases,
|Genetic testing in contested case,
|Guidelines for support awards,
|Wage withholding procedures,
|Review and adjustment of orders,
effective 10-13-90 (review plan)
and 10-13-93 (periodic review)
|Monthly notice of support collected,
States that do not have approved State plans typically have implemented a procedure, but not in complete conformity with statutory and regulatory requirements. This is the case with wage withholding, where all States have implemented some type of wage withholding program. OCSE continues to work with the States that have not yet met all requirements.
The remainder of this chapter discusses in more detail specific State program activities and innovations.
Innovations in State Child Support Programs
Paternity establishment can provide social, economic and medical benefits to children. In FY 1993, over 554,000 children had paternity established for them by the Child Support Enforcement program.
A legally established relationship can be a first step in creating a bond between a father and his child, giving the child a sense of family heritage.
Knowledge of a parent's medical history may help predict susceptibility to certain medical disorders and aid in diagnosis in case of illness.
Establishing paternity for a child born out-of-wedlock and having that parent contribute financial assistance for the child's upbringing benefits society and the child. In addition to this source of income for the family, noncustodial parents provide their children with legal access to other important income security benefits such as Social Security benefits, pension benefits, veterans' benefits, and other rights of inheritance.
The Family Support Act of 1988 placed increased emphasis on paternity establishment by setting standards of performance, mandating genetic testing upon request, increasing Federal sharing in necessary laboratory testing costs, and encouraging simple civil processes to establish paternity. Some of the most exciting innovations in the program are in this area. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1993 capitalizes on some of the pioneering State innovations in paternity establishment by requiring States to have programs for in-hospital paternity establishment and administrative establishment of paternity.
In-hospital paternity establishment. By the end of FY 1993, hospital-based paternity programs already existed or were under development in about half the States, including Arkansas, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia, although on less than a statewide basis in many instances. Parents are presented with information about the benefits and responsibilities of establishing paternity as well as their rights and given the opportunity to acknowledge paternity voluntarily at the hospital.
In Washington and West Virginia, hospital programs have been successful in achieving voluntary acknowledgments of paternity for approximately 40 percent of out-of-wedlock births. The Virginia program has been able to establish paternity in 25 to 30 percent of out-of-wedlock births. Officials in the States believe that rates may go much higher as these programs gain more experience.
The programs appear to be most effective when they establish contact with the parents at the time of birth, have trained hospital staff furnish information to both parents, and allow the parents to submit a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity even after leaving the hospital since most mothers now stay in the hospital for only a very short time.
Collaboration among several organizations in Ohio led to development of the Ohio Paternity Establishment Program. PEP is the result of a joint legislative effort by the Ohio Department of Human Services' Child Support Enforcement Administration, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Hospital Association, and the Ohio Children's Defense Fund. In 1991, the Ohio Children's Defense Fund documented a striking increase over a 10-year period in the percentage of Ohio's children who needed child support because they were born to unwed mothers. Between 1980 and 1989, the percentage of out-of-wedlock births in the Ohio child support caseload rose from 33 percent to 50 percent.
The PEP statute, effective on July 15, 1992, was enacted with the intent of making major improvements in Ohio's paternity establishment rates. It requires county child support agencies to prepare paternity establishment compliance plans and to report regularly on their progress. It also requires all hospitals to provide staff to disseminate information on paternity establishment.
PEP is being implemented through contracts written between the Ohio Department of Health and each hospital. The Child Support Enforcement Administration has a fund which it allocates to the hospitals based on their rates of births to unmarried women. Each hospital is reimbursed a nominal amount for each paternity establishment information packet it delivers to a birthing mother in the hospital setting.
Under the terms of the contract, hospitals are required to inform the mother, and if possible, the father, of the benefits of establishing paternity and the importance of the paternal relationship. Designated hospital personnel, such as social services, medical records, and nursing staff, discuss these matters with the parents, inform them of their rights, and give them a packet of materials which includes a voluntary acknowledgment form, information about genetic testing, birth certificate information, and an application for child support services.
Fathers can acknowledge paternity in the hospital by signing the birth certificate or a standard acknowledgment of paternity. Both create a legal presumption of paternity and establish a duty of support. At either parent's request, the hospital must send the acknowledgment to the probate court in the county where the mother resides.
Administrative paternity establishment. Administrative establishment of paternity is an innovation that has begun to take hold in several States, including Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Ohio and Oregon. OBRA 1993 requires that States have expedited processes for establishing paternity; at State option, this may be an administrative or a quasi-judicial process.
The Ohio law that established PEP also set up an administrative paternity process to be used in the Ohio child support program. On the basis of the parents' signed birth certificate application, acknowledgment, or signed genetic testing agreement (with test results showing a 95 percent or greater probability of paternity), an administrative hearing officer issues the paternity order. For the non-AFDC mother, this remains in place and forms the basis of a later support order if she seeks one. For the AFDC mother, an administrative hearing for support is scheduled 30 to 60 days later. For 30 days after the paternity order or the support order is issued, the parties have the right to object by filing an action in court. If there is no objection, the administrative order becomes final.
Establishing a support order can be an important step toward self-sufficiency and peace of mind for custodial parents who are struggling on a daily basis to make ends meet. Orders for support cover both money payments and medical support, the latter usually in the form of health insurance coverage. In FY 1993 over 1 million new support orders were established and nearly 5.4 million support orders were enforced or modified by the Child Support Enforcement program. Almost 53 percent of newly established orders require health insurance coverage of the children.
Many improvements in social programs result from State and local innovations in program design and operations that directly affect the individuals the program serves. An example of this is Illinois' Expedited Child Support Center.
The Expedited Child Support Center, a pilot program in Chicago (Cook County) that centralizes all child support enforcement functions in one building, opened its doors on June 15, 1993. The Governor of Illinois joined court and county officials at the opening ceremony for the program. The system is designed to increase child support payments in Cook County by at least $6 million next year.
The Center, located in the heart of Chicago's "Loop," is the culmination of three years of cooperative efforts by the Illinois Department of Public Aid (IDPA), the Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court, the Cook County State's Attorney, the Cook County Circuit Clerk, and the Cook County Sheriff.
Building on Illinois' use of hearing officers in child support cases, the Expedited Child Support Center is expected to ensure an efficient team operation in case processing, increase child support payments to single parents, and improve court efficiency in Cook County. It has set goals of (1) freeing up judges' time and eliminating court backlogs of paternity and support cases within two years; (2) eliminating most continuances; and (3) reducing the time between filing and hearing dates.
Working as a team, eight hearing officers will review evidence and testimony and will make recommendations to the judges regarding paternity and support establishment. Orders, once signed by the judges, eliminate the need for the parties to appear in court. Parents who cannot come to agreement with the hearing officer have the opportunity to be heard by a judge, possibly the same day. Where blood testing is needed for paternity establishment, there are on-site facilities and technicians.
The Center's other features include state-of-the-art computer access, so that each hearing room and courtroom can have the most recent case, employment, and payment information available from the State's family support information system. Computer processing also turns handwritten material into a final typed document, for example, the order for the judge's review.
Before the Center was opened, 34 judges in courtrooms throughout Chicago and its suburbs handled the large caseload, which totaled 257,638 in the Cook County CSE program. The Center will be able to handle an estimated 1,200 new filings a week. It is thought to be the largest child support operation in one location in the country.
* SUPPORT AMOUNTS
The challenge of setting adequate child support orders and keeping those orders up-to-date has emerged as an issue of concern for legislators, policy makers, child support enforcement personnel, the judiciary, child advocates and parents. Child support orders established prior to the adoption of State guidelines may be grossly inadequate. The Federal government first called upon States to establish child support guidelines in the 1984 Child Support Enforcement Amendments; in 1988 the Family Support Act mandated their use as a rebuttable presumption in setting any child support order.
While all States now set orders using guidelines, their use in establishing the initial award amount does not ensure that orders, over time, continue to meet the support standards set by the guidelines. To address this problem, the Family Support Act phased in requirements for the periodic review and adjustment of support orders, in accordance with the support guidelines in each State.
States were allowed considerable discretion in how they applied review and adjustment between 1990 and 1993. Effective October 13, 1993, States were required to have and use a process for reviewing child support orders not later than 36 months after the establishment of the order or the most recent review, and if appropriate, adjusting child support orders that are in effect in the State. In non-AFDC cases, it should be noted, orders are reviewed only upon the request of at least one party to the order.
The new approach reflects a movement away from the restrictive standards as to what constitutes a change of circumstance that many States followed in the past for reviewing and adjusting award amounts. However, States have flexibility in designating the forum(s) for conducting reviews and adjustments of award amounts. The process may be conducted in a State's judicial arena, in the administrative process structure of an executive agency, in a combination of judicial and administrative systems, or in any other forum the State selects.
The Family Support Act also provided for four State demonstration projects "to test and evaluate model procedures for reviewing child support awards." The results were submitted in a "Report to Congress on Child Support Review and Modification Demonstration Projects" in August 1993.
The demonstrations produced positive results while showing that a variety of methods in a mixture of State, judicial and administrative environments can be successfully used to review and adjust child support orders. Colorado and Florida used an out-of-court stipulation process, Delaware conducted mediation sessions, and Illinois relied on the judicial process.
In the four demonstration States over the two-year period of the project, a total of 3,023 awards were modified, or 47 percent of the 6,408 cases reviewed. Ninety-two percent of the modifications resulted in increased orders, while just 5 percent resulted in lower orders. In the remaining 3 percent, no changes were made in the order amount, but new medical support and/or immediate income withholding provisions were added. The average net dollar value of the adjustments was $122 per month for AFDC cases and $110 per month for non-AFDC cases.
One lesson learned from the demonstrations is that the review and adjustment process can be a lengthy one, consuming over six months to take a case from selection to adjustment. Generally, this was due to factors such as case backlogs, the time needed for manual case screening, case location, case clean-up activities, and the difficulty in obtaining information needed to conduct the review. The resource requirements for agency staff and the courts can be expected to vary in accordance with the process used for review and adjustment, as well as other operational factors.
Four-year review of State guidelines. In addition to requiring States to have and use presumptive child support guidelines, the Family Support Act requires States to review their guidelines at least once every four years. Accordingly States are beginning to conduct their first reviews.
In reviewing its guidelines, a State must consider economic data on the cost of raising children and must analyze case data that it has gathered through sampling or other methods on the application of, and deviations from, the guidelines.
In gathering data, States may sample cases within a representative sample of jurisdictions within the State. In analyzing data, the State must determine whether the application of guidelines is adequate and results in the correct amount of support paid, i.e., that the data support no change, a reduction, or an increase in guideline amounts. Guidelines must be revised if the State's analysis indicates a need to do so. The data analysis must also be used to ensure that deviations from the guidelines are limited.
According to a recent OCSE survey of State CSE directors, New York, Kansas and Washington State have completed reviews of case data on the application of guidelines and the amount, direction, and extent of deviations from the guidelines. Several other States, including Michigan, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Kentucky, have recently surveyed judges and other court or administrative personnel concerning guidelines.
Kansas is now conducting a comprehensive review of its child support guidelines using the following features:
- a State Supreme Court Advisory Committee with published meeting dates;
- public hearings at several sites throughout the State;
- distribution of questionnaires on the guidelines to lawyers, administrators, judicial personnel and public interest groups that use or are affected by guidelines;
- review and analysis of the economic data concerning guidelines by Kansas State University with assistance from the Family Economics Research Group of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and
- a case-based study of deviations.
As part of the latter study, 179 cases were sampled from presumptive guidelines cases. Of the 109 cases with work sheets on file, Kansas found a deviation rate of 60 percent. Deviations varied from $2 to $215 per month; orders set at less than the guideline amount accounted for 88 percent of the deviations, and orders set at more than the guideline amount accounted for 12 percent of the deviations. The primary reasons for deviations included consideration of such factors as: income tax exemptions, financial hardship, costs of long distance visitation, time spent with the noncustodial parent, special needs, split custody, fluctuating income, and cost-of-living differentials.
IMMEDIATE WAGE WITHHOLDING
Another requirement of the Family Support Act, immediate wage withholding, is now a key component of the Child Support Enforcement program. Immediate wage withholding refers to the routine collection of support by wage withholding beginning when a support order is entered. Prior to the Family Support Act, wage withholding was required only when support was past due.
Wage withholding is now the most powerful collection technique for obtaining child support payments; it accounts for the highest proportion of support collections. National wage withholding collections have increased dramatically in recent years, from $26 million in 1985 to $4.7 billion in 1993. In FY 1993, wage withholding collections for child support rose 19 percent over the previous fiscal year, and were 124 percent more than the FY 1989 figure of $2.1 billion.
The immediate wage withholding provisions of the Family Support Act require that, with certain exceptions, in all new and modified child support orders, child support payments are to be withheld from an obligated parent's paycheck immediately--for all current and back support. The statute allows exceptions to immediate withholding if there is good cause or an alternative arrangement between the parties. States can, at their option, apply withholding to income other than wages; for example, commissions, dividends, retirement benefits, lottery winnings, and other types of compensation.
Reporting of new hires. The lack of ready access to timely employment information delays implementation of wage withholding and prevents child support from being collected at its source before an obligor moves to another job. To achieve this access, Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia have enacted new hire reporting programs using the IRS's W-4 form, the Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate.
In a new hire reporting system, an employer immediately forwards a copy of the W-4 or the W-4 information completed by a new hire to a State data base housed at either the State Employment Security or CSE agency. The information can then be used as a locate tool that is matched against the State's support enforcement caseload to search for noncustodial parents for whom employment or location information is needed to establish an order or to enforce an existing order. A new hire reporting system can reduce from months to days the time it takes to locate the income source for someone who has moved to a new job.
Extension to non-IV-D families. By the end of FY 1993, several States had already extended immediate wage withholding to non-IV-D families, although the Family Support Act does not require this procedure until January 1, 1994.
The following examples drawn from three States illustrate some of the approaches to organizing immediate wage withholding in non-IV-D cases. Other approaches which meet the Federal requirements are also possible.
Illinois - No CSE agency involvement. In Illinois, the IV-D agency has no role in immediate non-IV-D wage withholding. For these cases, the Clerk of the Circuit Court is responsible for receiving and distributing child support payments withheld by employers unless the court orders payments directly to the family. The Clerk collects and distributes the payments, maintains records of the names and addresses of the parties, and lists the amounts of the payments and the dates they are required to be made.
The wage withholding order is a separate document from the support order and is sent to the employer by the custodial parent or her/his attorney. Generally, the Clerk performs no monitoring or enforcement other than keeping a record of payments. In most counties, the custodial parent or attorney has to take steps to reinstate the wage withholding when the parent changes jobs. If the employer knowingly or willfully fails to withhold or disburse income withheld for support, the obligee or attorney can petition the court for a judgment and/or penalties against the employer.
The obligor can be charged a $36 annual fee by the county for processing support payments from wage withholding.
Michigan - CSE agency provides the full range of non-IV-D services in addition to wage withholding. In Michigan, the entire non-IV-D process for immediate wage withholding is the responsibility of the Friend of the Court system. This is made up of local circuit court-based agencies which are responsible for enforcing all IV-D and non-IV-D support and visitation orders. The State has been using income withholding in all orders issued in the State since 1983.
The Friends of the Court perform the entire range of withholding services for non-IV-D cases as for IV-D cases, and in doing so, exceed Federal requirements for non-IV-D cases. For instance, they:
- send notices to employers;
- take enforcement actions against employers;
- identify subsequent employers for wage withholding notification; and
- suspend the withholding when the parties make alternative arrangements.
In addition, the State applies several Federal requirements for IV-D cases to non-IV-D cases, including allowable time frames from receipt of payment to distribution, monitoring and enforcement remedies (except those applicable to only IV-D cases, such as Federal tax offset).
Automation of the wage withholding process varies by locality. Statewide automation is currently in development and will include electronic funds transfer.
Vermont - CSE agency functions as a fiscal agent. For non-IV-D wage withholding in Vermont, the CSE agency functions as a fiscal agent. It receives support payments from the employer and distributes them to the families. The IV-D Cash Receipts Unit is notified of wage withholding orders by the Family Court, then:
- sets up the cases on its ADP system;
- sends immediate wage withholding notices to employers; and
- receives, records and distributes collections, on average, within 2-3 days of receipt.
While payment histories are kept for the purpose of verifying collections and their distribution, if families do not receive payments as ordered, no enforcement action is taken on their behalf by the CSE agency. If the agency becomes aware of a change in the obligor's employer, the wage withholding order is forwarded to the new employer.
One significant by-product of this limited service to non-IV-D cases is that more custodial parents are applying for CSE services. When the CSE agency sent notices to all non-IV-D custodial parents inviting them to apply for services, informing them that as IV-D clients they would have the full range of services available to them if needed, there was a strong response and the State picked up a large number of new IV-D cases.
ENFORCEMENT OF ORDERS
A significant aspect of child support enforcement is finding ways to collect support from those who seek to avoid their obligations. States are exploring new techniques for pursuing support owed.
California's use of tax authority. In September 1992, California gave its State tax agency, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), the authority to collect delinquent child support accounts.
Operating as a pilot program in six counties of varying population size, the FTB will have access to the same information as the CSE agency, and use the full array of collection methods available in delinquent State personal income tax situations. The objective is to see if the FTB's collection expertise, automated systems, administrative remedies, and statewide jurisdiction can help lower costs and increase collections of past-due child support.
The demonstration began in January 1993 and will continue through December 1995. Participating counties are Los Angeles, Fresno, Nevada, Santa Clara, Solano and Ventura.
License restrictions. In recent years, many States have enacted legislation directing State licensing authorities to restrict professional, trade, sporting, business, and/or vehicle driving and registration licenses of people with child support arrearages. Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Vermont have some type of license restriction.
Restricting or revoking licenses for past-due child support is a powerful enforcement remedy. It can be especially useful with parents who depend on their licenses to earn a living, who are self-employed, or earn income through means other than a regular paycheck from which child support can be withheld. For some States, the trigger for the licensing remedy is a 30, 60 or 90 day arrearage, while for others it is a specific dollar amount. Other events triggering the license remedy include failure to appear under a warrant; a court finding that the arrearage was deliberate; or the custodial parent's petition alleging a delinquency.
Procedures used by the States vary considerably. In Vermont, one of the first States to adopt a licensing restriction law for child support arrears, applicants for trade, business and professional licenses complete a form in which they attest that they are in "good standing" with respect to their child support payments. Failure to do so results in a referral to the State CSE agency.
Interim provisions such as grace periods or the granting of temporary licenses are common features of the remedy. Obligors in Montana have a 60-day grace period to appeal or make satisfactory payment arrangements; in New York, the obligor has 45 days.
Because license restriction is a strong remedy, implementation must be carefully planned with proper due process safeguards. Minnesota requires that a hearing (only addressing mistakes of fact) be held in 30 days. California's case reviews remain with individual licensing boards, and a person always has the right to take a case to court.
At the same time, States generally hold that obtaining a license is an individual's privilege, not a right, and that the State has an interest in seeing that the license holder is law-abiding, and honors the State's judicial orders.
Over 5 million people in California hold professional, business, trade, commercial drivers, sporting, and other licenses from over 50 separate licensing boards. The CSE agency has cooperative agreements with 47 boards and expects to add those that license notary publics, home health care providers, and public school teachers. The law permits no exceptions to classes of licenses for implementing the remedy.
License restriction for obligors owing child support is triggered after the support is 30 days past due. So that the parent can continue working, the licensing boards (with the exception of the State Bar) will issue a one-time, temporary five-month license. The license will not be made permanent unless the parent either pays the arrearage or makes an agreement to do so with the CSE agency.
Names are submitted monthly by the State CSE agency to the licensing boards. In June 1993, California submitted 284,000 names for matching by the participating State boards. From July to September 1993, 3,004 individuals who owed support were identified as holding licenses from these boards. During this period, payment agreements were successfully negotiated with 1,067 of these individuals.
One of the first questions raised by many of the boards was that of potentially hostile reactions from people informed that their licenses would be restricted. Safety was of particular concern to the DMV, which operates 185 satellite offices in the State for walk-in applicants. As a security precaution and a privacy measure, when someone whose name is on the CSE agency's list for license restriction enters a DMV office with an application, the person's name comes up on the computer screen with a flag. The DVM worker is told not to process the application, but is not told why. The message simply instructs the worker to refer the applicant to the central DMV office where he or she is directed to the County District Attorney's Family Support Division (the focal point for support enforcement in California).
The Child Support Enforcement program is approaching the date, September 30, 1995, when all States must have operational, automated statewide child support enforcement management information systems. The Family Support Act mandated this undertaking and authorized 90 percent Federal funding to help States accomplish it.
All 54 States and jurisdictions submitted approvable implementation planning documents by the October 1, 1991 deadline, but moving from a plan to an operational system is a major challenge. As of September 30, 1993, 48 States and jurisdictions have completed the planning phase of their projects, 32 are in the development phase, and 2 are engaged in implementation.
Conversion of cases to new statewide systems. Critical to the systems development effort is the conversion of cases from the existing system, whether automated or manual, to the new system. This may be the most difficult and important aspect of implementing a statewide information management system, as there is a tendency to underestimate the time and resources needed for this part of the development. In general States with successful conversion projects are those that are realistic about the time and effort involved, and therefore begin their work early.
Arizona's data conversion project was essentially a manual effort performed on-site, county by county, and included data clean-up and verification of payments and arrearages. Conversion specialists extracted case data from hard copy files, performed a financial reconciliation of each case and calculated the debt before copying the demographic and financial case data onto data entry forms. The State stressed the importance of quality assurance and had several verification check points throughout the process. When its quality and accuracy were assured, the data was converted to the new statewide system.
When Arizona began its case conversion project, managers anticipated the entire project to be done in-house by CSE staff, augmented with temporary personnel. The State successfully converted the pilot offices using this approach. However, it became clear that to finish the work within the implementation schedule, contractor support would be needed; this was arranged for the remaining caseload. The project took 34 months to complete and a total of 266,657 IV-D cases were converted. After conversion, Arizona could pursue cases that had been labeled "non-workable" under the prior system.
Massachusetts' case conversion was complicated because child support data were spread among many State entities. Realizing that conversion would be labor intensive, the Commonwealth began working on it four years before the start of its systems transfer and implementation project.
The Massachusetts CSE program has been in the Department of Revenue (DOR) since 1987. At that time, to centralize all IV-D activities, it was necessary to convert all the child support data from numerous courts to a single DOR/CSE computer system. Reconciliation and purification of the data was a secondary objective.
The conversion effort was extremely complex because CSE activities were not supported by a single integrated computer system, but rather by several computer systems and numerous manual files containing contradictory information. Using only State staff, DOR/CSE initiated a project with the Trial Courts to reconcile and convert the case data, both manual and automated, then residing in 84 Commonwealth courts. After a year of work, it was apparent that the effort would require contractor assistance to be completed in a timely manner. The contractor reconciled and converted 51,035 cases over a three-year period. Today, DOR is able to implement some of its more innovative collection techniques, such as bank account attachments, because of this single converted file.
Rhode Island, with an existing statewide CSE system, began its systems transfer and implementation project under more ideal conditions than most States. Rhode Island developed an effective two-phase approach to case conversion. Phase 1 involved the purification and automatic conversion of case data from the old CSE system, and Phase 2 consisted of the manual conversion of additional required data elements not maintained on the old CSE system.
A key feature of this approach was to have State staff focus on cleaning up the data on the old system before automatic conversion. Verification software developed by the implementation contractor edited the old CSE system files and produced error reports which enabled staff to identify and correct errors efficiently as they continued to perform ongoing program operations. The purification process took about nine months to complete, at which time about 98 percent of the State's 61,000 IV-D cases were converted automatically.
In the last step, each case file was reviewed to convert manually additional data elements required by the new statewide CSE system. Rhode Island used contractor support for this nine-month task.
Texas in 1993 was in the process of data purification and conversion. Although Texas also had an existing statewide automated CSE system, it lacked many of the data elements required by its new system. As soon as the State identified what was needed, it devised a data acquisition methodology to capture the new information.
About 1,600 Texas CSE field staff in 75 offices are involved in the data conversion effort, augmented by a number of temporary employees and by significant amounts of overtime among regular employees. While continuing to work their own caseloads, caseworkers add the pertinent new information to special data collection screens on the current system.
Texas expects to have its statewide system in operation in 1994. The early conversion effort will allow almost the entire caseload of 800,000 to be automatically converted upon implementation of the new management information system.
Automated collection and distribution. Because collection and distribution of child support payments is complex, it is an area that benefits significantly from automation. Payments must be matched and credited to the correct cases, the AFDC collections must be distributed, and non-AFDC collections disbursed promptly. Other activities include billing the paying parent and monitoring the payments on each case.
Currently, State CSE programs use several different agencies for receiving and disbursing payments. However, these agencies, such as county court clerks, the central IV-D agency, or a central payment clearinghouse, may not be handling all cases or may not be conducting case monitoring or billing.
Handling large numbers of payments, maintaining internal controls, and decreasing the risk of errors and delays can be done more effectively when States designate only one point for receiving, accounting for, and disbursing child support payments. Colorado and New York have embarked on initiatives to apply technology to centralized collections operations.
Colorado's Family Support Registry (FSR) provides a single point of contact for IV-D case payments and inquiries from parents, employers, and other State CSE agencies. Now in the pilot phase, which began in July 1993, the system is operating in six counties, comprising 25 percent of the State's payments, which number about 30,000 per month and total $6.5 million. The FSR is expected to begin statewide implementation in 1994.
The challenge for Colorado, a county-administered CSE program, was to create a system that accurately supports reconciliation and the transfer of funds between the FSR and 63 judicial jurisdictions and county CSE units. Before the pilot began, Colorado authorities estimated that workers spent over 78,000 hours per year on activities that were duplicative. Another 10,000 hours were spent traveling to the 54 jurisdictions where courts maintained records manually, and staff had to copy needed information from ledger cards, compile the data, and prepare the reports mandated by State and Federal requirements.
In designing the FSR, the State has completely re-engineered the payment processing function and integrated it into the CSE program. Payment processing is conducted under contract to a fiscal agent and local CSE units maintain control while taking advantage of technology and economies of scale to enhance productivity.
In New York in calendar year 1990, the 58 support collection units (SCUs) managed 291,000 payment accounts, processing 5,300,000 individual payments totalling $360 million. In the same year, to improve efficiency and reduce costs, the New York legislature passed a law requiring a centralized payment and distribution system for all 58 local districts.
New York began a centralized collection pilot project in March 1993 in two districts and expanded it to 11 districts in June. The pilot districts comprise about 26 percent of the State's cases with support orders. The processing is being performed by a private fiscal agent under contract to the State Department of Social Services (DSS). The contractor began working in January 1993 to develop procedures, design forms and notices, and establish its operational facility.
The test period runs through March 1994, and is being assessed by an independent evaluator. If the evaluation shows that the centralized system is cost-effective and meets standards for accuracy, timeliness, and accountability, the contract will continue with statewide implementation beginning in June 1994.
Under the pilot, noncustodial parents and employers send child support payments directly to the fiscal agent, which records each payment, then transmits the payment information electronically each day to the DSS Child Support Management System (CSMS) to update the collection account records. Each morning, CSMS provides an electronic data file to the fiscal agent containing disbursement information, which the fiscal agent uses to print and mail support checks.
CSMS is New York's automated on-line child support case management and accounts tracking system. It is operated through mainframe computers in Albany and New York City. Each district SCU manages its enforcement caseload with a telecommunications link between its office's computer terminals and the mainframe.
New York's contractor also designed and operates an interactive voice response system, the Child Support Information Line which provides information to a large volume of callers. Information on the most recent collections and disbursements is updated daily by CSMS and is provided to callers on a 24-hour basis. It also describes general child support program services and gives the addresses of local child support units where services are available.
MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENTS AND QUALITY ASSURANCE
Federal time frame standards for processing child support cases have been in effect since October 1990. Recognizing their value as a management tool for improving program effectiveness, efficiency, and service to clients, State IV-D agencies have adopted a variety of approaches to implementing the standards. The time limits apply to requests to locate noncustodial parents, establish paternity, initiate proceedings to establish and collect support awards, and distribute amounts collected as child support.
Many States have developed systems to actively review and monitor their own programs, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, and Washington. These seven States are at varying stages of developing, modifying and implementing their statewide automated CSE management information systems.
All seven have established teams of specialized staff dedicated to monitoring IV-D case processing. Variously called auditors, quality assurance or quality control workers, most are based at the State level. The basic process includes selecting a case sample, reviewing those cases, reporting the results, developing corrective action plans to remedy problems uncovered, and follow-up activity. In some States, like Washington and Delaware, much of the process is automated. In others, like Mississippi, the process is a manual one.
Some States have gone beyond monitoring for compliance with time frame standards. California has developed a two-tiered, performance-based financial incentive system. The first tier provides a base incentive payment for counties that meet case processing time standards. The second tier provides an additional financial incentive to counties for performance in certain program areas, such as paternity establishment, and for collection increases. [California's IV-D program is State-supervised and county-administered.]
Although most of the seven States have only been actively monitoring time frame requirements since 1990, all report improvements in compliance rates. While firm statistics are tentative, benefits have been widely reported such as: increased uniformity in case activity and better working relationships between IV-D offices and the agencies with which they have cooperative agreements to conduct certain enforcement functions. These results translate into enhanced public service and increased collections.
Capacity Building Initiatives
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (ABA) CHILD SUPPORT PROJECT
OCSE's contract with the ABA Child Support Project continued in 1993 to serve as a link to the legal community nationwide, including court personnel, through technical assistance, training, and articles and publications. The Project conducted 10 one-day interstate case processing courses for court personnel; provided six continuing legal education programs for the private bar; and sent speakers to seven national and State CSE conferences. Project personnel chaired OCSE's work group to revise the mandatory Federal interstate forms; the project co-sponsored with OCSE the Third National Child Support Enforcement Training Workshop; and through its clearinghouse, it provided technical assistance to public and private attorneys, judges, other child support personnel, parents, and legislative staff on child support legal issues.
In addition, the ABA Child Support Project published a quarterly newsletter, "The Child Support Prosecutors Bulletin", as well as a paper entitled "A Summary of the Differences between the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act".
MONITORING OF STATE INITIATIVES
Throughout the year, OCSE has been monitoring State legislative activity and implementation of W-4/employer reporting of new hires, a relatively recent innovation described in Chapter 2. W-4 reporting allows CSE agencies to quickly obtain information about changes in the obligor's income and employment and can minimize the likelihood of delays in child support payments when the noncustodial parent changes employers.
Thirteen States had enacted new hire reporting programs by the end of FY 1993.
As discussed earlier, many States are restricting or revoking the licenses of people with child support arrearages.
By the end of FY 1993, 15 States had enacted legislation to revoke or impose restriction on a wide range of licenses issued by States. Some of the licenses affected include driver's licenses (individual and/or commercial), vehicle registration, professional licenses (medical, legal, real estate, etc.), commercial business licenses, trade licenses (plumbers, electricians, beauticians, etc.) and sporting licenses (hunting, fishing, gun ownerships, etc.).
OCSE maintains a State-by-State matrix on the status of State revocation legislation, the license affected, the "trigger criteria", the match process and the interim penalty provisions. Status reports were mailed to all States and an article on the initiative appeared in the Child Support Report.
PROMOTION OF ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER (EFT) AND ELECTRONIC DATA INTERCHANGE (EDI)
Pilot projects sponsored by OCSE in Iowa and Nebraska tested the use of EFT/EDI technology for transmitting wage withholding payments. They showed that EFT/EDI can eliminate the preparation and transmission of checks by employers, eliminate manual posting and deposit of checks by the CSE agencies and, due to the speed of electronic transmission, reduce mail time to less than two days.
As a result of these efforts, OCSE is actively promoting the use of EFT/EDI by employers and CSE agencies. OCSE established a work group comprised of employers, CSE agency personnel, and personnel from financial institutions and the payroll industry to develop a standard EFT/EDI format. Once approved by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) and the American Banker's Association EDI Council, the EFT/EDI format was sent to State CSE directors in early summer, 1993. In addition, OCSE is developing a standard income withholding form which incorporates the EFT/EDI elements. OCSE is working with NACHA, payroll associations, and bankers' groups to obtain their cooperation in promoting this technology.
IN-HOSPITAL PATERNITY ESTABLISHMENT WORK GROUP
As required by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, States must establish hospital-based programs for the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity around the time of the child's birth. To assist States, OCSE planned and conducted a work group meeting of representatives from 5 States (West Virginia, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, and Ohio) to discuss and learn from their experience as pioneers in the implementation of in-hospital paternity establishment programs.
The meeting yielded an array of legislative, programmatic, and policy issues that should be considered by States when designing an in-hospital program. The information obtained from this meeting was documented and distributed to State CSE agencies to assist them in their implementation efforts.
PRO SE PROJECT IN SOUTH CAROLINA
OCSE and the State Justice Institute (SJI) jointly funded a "Pro Se Modification of Child Support Awards Through the Courts" demonstration project in South Carolina. The purpose of the project, which is directed by the American Bar Association, is to determine how well pro se (self-representation in court) works for the review and adjustment of child support orders.
The South Carolina project is developing simplified forms and procedures for parents not represented by counsel to update their support orders without creating undue burdens on the courts. The project will also look at the impact of pro se procedures on the courts and litigants' satisfaction with the procedures as a fair, effective and cost-efficient way of updating their orders. All of the materials developed and information learned from this project will be shared with other States to assist them in implementing pro se procedures.
PHILADELPHIA PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (PPEP)
OCSE staff conducted a program improvement project in the Domestic Relations Branch (DRB) of the Philadelphia Family Court to identify ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the CSE program in Philadelphia. The cornerstone of this program review project was to involve a number of core DRB staff and train them in management analysis techniques through both formal instruction and demonstration. The intention was to provide local office personnel with the skills to continue the process of self-analysis and improvement.
The team examined organizational structure, staffing, work flow, case processing and management procedures to determine their impact on the office. The team went on to identify opportunities for improvement and formulate recommendations. As a result of this project, the DRB has initiated a long-term quality improvement effort to enhance the delivery of CSE services in Philadelphia. Based on improvements recommended in the report, the locate unit has experienced a 34 percent increase in the number of noncustodial parents located.
Federal Collection Programs
FEDERAL INCOME TAX REFUND OFFSET
OCSE acts as an intermediary between the States and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the operation of the Federal income tax refund offset program for the collection of past-due child support. Federal income tax refund offset is the second most effective collection method resulting in nationwide collections of over $609 million in 1993. $442 million was offset on behalf of families receiving public assistance and $167 million was offset on behalf of non-AFDC families. Actual distributed collections from this technique are lower, reflecting delays in distribution and refunds IRS makes to certain parents or their spouses under post-offset procedures.
Total collections for 1993 from Federal income tax refund offsets decreased 3.8 percent from $632 million collected in 1992. The decrease is attributable to the decrease in withholdings at the beginning of the tax year, which reduced the amount of money available for offset. The IRS charged a fee of $5.19 per offset for 1993 to administer the program.
Since the beginning of the offset program in 1982, total collections amount to $4.5 billion, representing nearly 8.9 million offsets. These figures demonstrate the magnitude of the success of this program.
IRS FULL COLLECTION PROCESS
When States' attempts to recover delinquent child support have failed, the law provides State CSE agencies with a collection mechanism referred to as the full collection process. This mechanism is used only when there is a good chance that the IRS can make a collection and only for cases in which a child support obligation is delinquent and the amount certified is at least $750.
Historically, the IRS full collection process has been used sparingly. OCSE and IRS are now conducting a full collection pilot project to assess how to improve this process. In September 1993, OCSE submitted 698 full collection cases to the IRS representing over $14 million in arrearages. Twelve States are participating in the pilot project: Arkansas, California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington. Collections will be monitored and recommendations for improvement of the current process will be developed during FY 1994.
The current full collection process is operating simultaneously with the pilot project. In FY 1992, 30 new full collections cases were certified and 409 collections were made totaling $293,420. In FY 1993, 20 new cases were certified and 327 collections were made totaling $160,000.
The FPLS and Other Federal Systems
FEDERAL PARENT LOCATOR SERVICE (FPLS)
The FPLS is a computerized national location network operated by OCSE to provide social security numbers, address information, and employer and wage information to State and local CSE agencies which assists them in locating noncustodial parents to establish or enforce a child support order. The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980 broadened the use of the FPLS to include providing information in parental kidnapping and child custody cases.
The FPLS receives information from the Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, National Personnel Records Center, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Selective Service System, and State Employment Security Agencies. The information the FPLS receives is the most current information available from these agencies. During FY 1992 and 1993, the FPLS processed nearly four million requests for information from State and local CSE agencies.
FPLS/STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY AGENCIES (SESA) CROSSMATCHES
The FPLS obtains employer addresses, wage and unemployment compensation data from the SESAs. This information is extremely useful in assisting CSE agencies to process interstate cases where the custodial parent and children reside in one State and the noncustodial parent lives or works in another State. The data from the SESAs are the most current data available; the employment data are updated quarterly, and the unemployment data are updated continually.
The FPLS began quarterly crossmatches with the SESAs in 1990. However, the number of cases processed was limited to 200,000 a quarter, a fraction of the approximately 4 million cases that could benefit from this crossmatch. Since the SESA information is the most current data available and proved to be valuable in helping CSE agencies locate noncustodial parents, OCSE negotiated with the SESAs to expand the frequency of the crossmatches and eliminate the restriction on the number of cases submitted. Beginning in FY 1993, the frequency of the SESA crossmatches was expanded from quarterly to monthly; and the case limit was eliminated to accommodate processing all of the cases submitted by the CSE agencies. In FY 1993, approximately 2.2 million cases were processed with the SESAs.
In October 1984, OCSE began participating in Project 1099 which provided all earned and unearned income information reported to IRS by employers and financial institutions. In 1988, the project was expanded to include wage and employer information. Project 1099 information can facilitate States' efforts to locate income and asset sources of self-employed and nonwage earning obligors, as well as to locate additional nonwage income and assets of regular wage earning obligors. Such information is useful in determining the noncustodial parent's ability to pay; reviewing and modifying child support orders; and/or levying financial accounts, real or personal property to pay delinquent child support.
In FY 1992, over 4.2 million cases were submitted to Project 1099; nearly 3.2 million were matched resulting in a 75 percent match rate. For FY 1993, the match rate was equally successful with nearly 4.3 million cases submitted to Project 1099 and over 3.2 million cases matched, a rate of 76 percent. States have begun using this information on a large scale to verify employment and wages and identify other assets. For example, New York plans to use a one-step process to attach accounts from various sources which will allow them to verify the account and levy and freeze it. States are encouraged to utilize the Project 1099 information to the maximum extent possible.
ENUMERATION VERIFICATION SYSTEM (EVS)
The EVS is a multi-purpose social security number (SSN) verification system. While States may use the FPLS to identify SSNs for noncustodial parents, the EVS verifies and corrects SSNs and identifies multiple SSNs.
The EVS is comprised of two systems. The first system provides a State with multiple SSNs for an individual who has been legally issued more than one SSN. The second system provides a corrected SSN in cases where the State has made a transposition or slight error in the SSN that they already have for an individual. Submittal of these cases to EVS can help ensure the accuracy of SSNs for use in location, enforcement, and collection of child support. States may continuously submit cases for the EVS to verify and/or correct SSNs. In FY 1993, 3.3 million SSNs were submitted to EVS; nearly 186,000 SSNs were corrected and over 13,700 multiple SSNs were identified. These verified and corrected SSNs represent a significant potential increase in collections.
The EVS system has also been expanded to verify SSNs for the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program. Each year a significant number of no-match cases fall out of the offset program because of invalid SSNs; these SSNs were processed through EVS. In FY 1993, over 330,000 tax refund offset cases were submitted through the EVS system and over 70,000 cases were returned with corrected SSNs. Based on the tax refund offset rate of 28 percent of submitted cases with an average offset of $658, if these corrected cases are resubmitted for a tax refund offset the next processing year, there is a potential for collecting almost $13 million in additional offsets.
National Training Center
In FY 1993, OCSE's National Training Center continued to operate an information services and publications component, a training resources library, and a speakers bureau. The Center also sponsored and participated in training workshops and conferences and provided oversight for contractual and in-house program initiatives.
The information services and publications component of the National Training Center continued to respond to inquiries and requests for technical and Child Support Enforcement program information. This component routinely distributed publications, Action Transmittals, and Information Memoranda to 5,000 State and county CSE agencies, and upon request, to Federal personnel, members of Congress, State and county governments, and the general public.
OCSE issued an updated list of the Center's publications which resulted in over 4,400 requests for such materials. Since many requests were for multiple copies of several publications, nearly 200,000 copies of publications were distributed during the year.
The National Training Center continued to promote its services and publications through articles in the Child Support Report, and, as a result, was frequently responsible for providing assistance in the selection of materials for requestors' own constituents and conference agendas.
TRAINING AND CONFERENCES
Third National Child Support Enforcement Training Workshop - OCSE co-sponsored with the American Bar Association the Third National Child Support Enforcement Training Workshop. Approximately 180 State and local CSE trainers from 40 States attended the workshop which focused on interstate case processing, review and modification, and Federal CSE initiatives. A primary objective was to give participants an introduction to and understanding of the new Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).
Training of Trainers Workshop - OCSE conducted a Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop for 22 State CSE trainers from 5 States, which provided training in curriculum design, delivery, and evaluation. The TOT courses achieve a significant multiplier effect, since those trained return to their home jurisdictions with the specific task of educating other program staff.
Association Conferences - Training Center staff made presentations at the annual conferences of the American Payroll Association (concerning electronic funds transfer of State child support collections and mandatory income withholding), the National Child Support Enforcement Association, the Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association as well as numerous State training conferences.
In FY 1993 OCSE continued to extend its outreach efforts to parents who need child support services, with special emphasis on Federal government employees.
With the cooperation of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), OCSE conducted outreach seminars at several Federal departments and agencies in the Washington metropolitan area: the Departments of Justice, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the National Labor Relations Board; and the Social Security Administration. Employees in attendance were given an overview of the child support program and helpful printed material.
In addition, during the fiscal year, OCSE made a training video aimed at Federal workers outside of the Washington metropolitan area. The video was distributed to OPM Employee Assistance Program representatives across the nation for showing to Federal employees in their areas.
OCSE also initiated a mentor program, offering assistance to individual employees in its parent Administration for Children and Families who needed help with their own child support enforcement cases.
Public inquiries to OCSE increased substantially in the last year. OCSE received 4,500 written inquiries in FY 1993, three times the number received in FY 1992.
In addition OCSE:
- Worked with the news media on stories dealing with child support program performance and program improvements.
- Prepared a handbook on State best public awareness practices.
- Reprinted our popular Handbook on Child Support Enforcement, a "how to" guide for custodial parents. The number of copies in circulation exceeds a million.
- Reprinted the publication, Wage Withholding for Child Support: An Employer's Guide, another commonly requested publication.
The following is a list of publications written and/or widely distributed by OCSE in FY 1993.
- "Directory for Genetic Testing: Third Edition"--a reference guide to assist States in identifying laboratories that perform legally and medically acceptable genetic tests to determine parentage.
- "Genetic Testing for Paternity Establishment"--a monograph and training tool to provide front line CSE caseworkers and other interested persons a short, nontechnical introduction to the science of genetic testing as it applies to establishing paternity in child support cases.
- "State Advancements in Paternity Establishment: Legislative, Gubernatorial, and Program Initiatives"--a monograph for sharing information, ideas, and approaches currently being implemented and/or tested by States in establishing paternity.
- "Essentials for Attorneys in Child Support Enforcement: Second Edition"--a legal reference manual for program attorneys to help them understand the various legal concepts in child support enforcement and to aid them in their legal research.
- "Child Support Report (CSR)"--a newsletter with a distribution of 15,000 nationally that highlights best practices and other child support enforcement topics for the support enforcement community across the country.
- "Compendium of State Best Practices in Child Support"--a compendium of best practices in support order establishment and enforcement to facilitate the sharing of ideas on successful program practices which States view as exceptionally effective or innovative.
- "Information Materials on In-Hospital Paternity Establishment"--a compendium of informational materials to assist States in developing in-hospital programs as required by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.
- "For Your Child's Sake...Establish Paternity"--a brochure on paternity which complements the outreach efforts of State and local CSE agencies and encourages dissemination of information on paternity establishment and CSE services via the medical profession.
Federal Financing of the Program
FEDERAL MATCHING FUNDS
Except as noted below, the Federal Government matches 66 percent of costs incurred by States in the administration of the program. It matches 90 percent of the laboratory costs of establishing paternity and, through September 30, 1995, 90 percent of the costs of developing comprehensive Statewide automated management information systems.
STATE PERFORMANCE INCENTIVES
To encourage States to operate effective programs, the Federal Government pays States an incentive amount ranging from 6 to 10 percent of AFDC and non-AFDC collections. These incentive payments must be shared with political subdivisions that contribute to the costs of operating the program, taking into account their efficiency and effectiveness.
NET FEDERAL COST
Overall, for every one dollar spent on the Child Support Enforcement program, four dollars of support was collected in FY 1993. However, because of the statutory configuration for financing the program and distributing collections as well as other factors, Federal expenditures are not offset by the Federal portion of collections, and there is a net program cost to the Federal Government. Without accounting for cost avoidance, Federal expenditures exceeded revenues by $740 million in FY 1993.
Collections are distributed among the Federal and State governments and families in AFDC cases, and to families in non-AFDC cases. AFDC families receive up to the first $50 of current support collected on their behalf each month. States retain up to 50 percent of AFDC-related support monies collected to offset the State costs of AFDC. The actual rate retained is based on the State's Federal matching rate for AFDC assistance payments. The Federal portion of collections in AFDC cases is used to pay States incentives and to offset Federal AFDC costs. In FY 1993, 12 percent of AFDC assistance payments were recouped through child support collections.
The Child Support Enforcement program produces indirect taxpayer benefits through cost avoidance.
Cost avoidance refers to savings in public assistance programs (i.e., AFDC, Food Stamps or Medicaid), in which benefits are either reduced or not paid as a result of the receipt of child support. For example, services are provided to non-AFDC families who, without income from child support, might be forced to turn to public assistance. Similarly, sufficient support is collected on behalf of some AFDC families to eliminate their dependence on welfare and related assistance programs. We do not have current estimates of cost avoidance savings as it is difficult to determine for a variety of reasons how much might have been spent on various assistance programs had it not been for child support income.
FY 1993 Regulations
During FY 1993, OCSE published one proposed regulation and four final regulations.
A proposed regulation was published on September 9, 1993 which would amend the Child Support Enforcement program regulations governing the audit of State Child Support Enforcement programs and the imposition of financial penalties for failure to substantially comply with the requirements of title IV-D of the Social Security Act, including requirements resulting from the Family Support Act of 1988. The rule would redefine substantial compliance to place greater focus on results and streamline existing audit regulations by removing unnecessary sections. This proposed regulation would be effective for audits conducted for periods beginning subsequent to publication of the final rule.
A final regulation published on August 4, 1993, extends indefinitely the use of the Federal income tax refund offset process to non-AFDC cases. It also allows use of this process for non-AFDC cases in which support is due on behalf of certain disabled adults with a current support order; and on behalf of a spouse when the custodial parent is living with the child and spousal support and child support are included in the same support order. In addition, this final regulation amends the safeguarding information requirements to permit disclosure to the appropriate agency or official of information that involves known or suspected instances of mental or physical injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment of a child receiving AFDC.
A final regulation published on December 28, 1992, requires periodic review of child support orders and adjustment, as appropriate, in accordance with State guidelines for support award amounts. These regulations implement the requirement that States have a process under which child support orders in IV-D cases are, with certain exceptions, periodically reviewed not later than 36 months after the establishment of the order or the most recent review, and adjusted, as appropriate, in accordance with State guidelines. These regulations also implement the requirement that States notify each parent subject to a child support order in the State, being enforced under title IV-D, of the right to request a review of the order.
A final regulation published on November 19, 1992, revises the time frames for distribution of the $50 pass-through payments made by either the State IV-A or IV-D agencies, other child support collections to families receiving AFDC, and certain collections in title IV-E Foster Care cases.
Another final regulation published on November 19, 1992, specified that Federal funding under the Child Support Enforcement program is not available for the costs of guardian ad litem in IV-D cases. This change makes clear in regulation OCSE policy that costs of guardians ad litem are not necessary expenditures under the IV-D program and, therefore, are not eligible for Federal financial participation under title IV-D of the Social Security Act.
THE AUDIT PROCESS
OCSE audits State CSE programs to ensure that they meet Federal requirements. Federal law specifies that a State that has been audited and found not to be in substantial compliance is subject to a financial penalty. The penalty may be held in abeyance for up to one year to allow a State the opportunity to implement corrective actions to remedy the program deficiency.
At the end of the corrective action period, a follow-up audit is conducted in the area of deficiency. If the follow-up audit shows that the deficiency has been corrected, the penalty is rescinded.
If it is determined that the State remains out of compliance with Federal requirements, a graduated penalty, as provided by law, is assessed. The penalty ranges from one to five percent of the total payments made to the State by the Federal government for the AFDC program. The actual amount of the penalty depends on the severity and duration of the deficiency. If a State is under penalty, a comprehensive audit is conducted annually until previously cited deficiencies are corrected.
FY 1993 AUDIT RESULTS
The OCSE Division of Audit issued final reports to 19 States based on comprehensive audits of their programs during FY 1993. Also, during FY 1993, OCSE sent notices to 15 States to inform them that audits of their programs indicated that they were not in substantial compliance with Federal requirements. Twelve of these notices were based on the final audit reports issued during FY 1993, and three were based on reports issued during FY 1992. In addition, five States' programs achieved substantial compliance with the Federal requirements during FY 1993. The remaining two States with reports issued in FY 1993 will be notified of any areas of noncompliance in FY 1994, after the final audit report results are evaluated as to whether or not they warrant penalty determinations.
Two of the 15 notices of noncompliance were based on 1988 audits, 2 notices were based on 1989 audits, three notices were based on 1990 audits, and two notices were based on 1991 audits. The remaining six States received notices based on annual audits. All 15 States that received notices of noncompliance during FY 1993 were within their permissible corrective action period at the close of FY 1993.
FY 1993 DEFICIENCIES
Altogether, 20 types of deficiencies were identified among the 15 States that received notices of noncompliance. Six areas were repeatedly cited as deficient:
- Medical support enforcement;
- Services to non-AFDC families;
- Wage or income withholding;
- Reports and maintenance of records;
- Provision of services in interstate cases; and
- Distribution of support collected.
Twelve States were deficient in facets of medical support enforcement, i.e., obtaining noncustodial parent health insurance coverage information or obtaining and enforcing health insurance coverage provisions in child support orders.
Nine States were deficient in providing CSE services to individuals who applied for services or who continued to be part of the CSE caseload after leaving the AFDC rolls.
Six States were deficient in enforcing delinquent orders through wage withholding or ensuring that a provision for wage withholding was included in new or modified child support orders. Six States were deficient in maintaining adequate documentation necessary for accurate reporting, and for proper and efficient operations.
Five States were deficient in providing or requesting services to meet Federal interstate support enforcement requirements.
Distribution of child support collections was not handled in accordance with Federal requirements in six States.
Other areas of deficiency identified in one or more States were failure to:
- Use appropriate enforcement techniques, such as State income tax refund offset, withholding of unemployment compensation, etc;
- Have required guidelines for imposition of liens or posting security, bond, or guarantee to secure payment of overdue support;
- Implement internal controls for separation of cash handling and accounting functions at child support collection centers;
- Provide basic CSE services to locate noncustodial parents or to establish paternity;
- Establish child support orders in all appropriate cases or take basic enforcement actions on delinquent cases;
- Provide notices of collections to recipients who had assigned their rights to support to the State;
- Make required payments to the family, to the resident parent, legal guardian, or caretaker relative having custody of, or responsibility for, the child or children;
- Make all IV-D services and functions available statewide;
- Maintain a program to account for the recovery of direct payments; and
- Have adequate procedures as required for obtaining payment of past-due support from Federal or State income tax refunds.
AUDIT PENALTIES RESCINDED AND IMPOSED
During FY 1993, follow-up audit reports were issued to seven States that had been sent notices of substantial noncompliance in prior years. Five of these States achieved substantial compliance with criteria on which they had previously failed. As a result, penalties were rescinded in these States. The remaining two States that received follow-up review reports will be evaluated to determine if the penalty should be rescinded or imposed during FY 1994.
In addition, during FY 1993, two States' penalties were rescinded during the appeal process.
Seven comprehensive annual audit reports were issued in FY 1993. One State's penalty of one percent was rescinded as a result of the appeal process. However, two States received two percent penalty notices for failing to achieve substantial compliance with the same unmet criteria cited in their previous penalty notices. Two States had a two percent penalty rescinded and the remaining two States' status remained pending at the end of FY 1993.
Also, of two States with audit reports issued late in FY 1992, one had a two percent penalty rescinded and one State had a three percent penalty imposed.
AUDIT APPEALS DECIDED
If a penalty is imposed after a follow-up review, a State may appeal the audit penalty to the Departmental Appeals Board (DAB), HHS's administrative process for dispute resolution. Payment of the penalty may be delayed while the appeal is being decided. The DAB reviews the written records (which both parties are given ample opportunity to develop), consisting of relevant documents and statements submitted by both parties. In addition, the written records may be supplemented by both informal conferences and evidentiary hearings.
Three States appealed an audit penalty before the DAB in FY 1993. The DAB upheld two of the three penalties and one of these cases was withdrawn by the end of FY 1993. During FY 1993, the U.S. District Court upheld the penalty assessed for one of the cases pending from FY 1992. In one other case where the State had previously appealed the District Court decision, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case at the States' request: this State also withdrew its appeal of a subsequent penalty case pending with DAB from FY 1992. Three additional cases pending at various appeal levels from FY 1992 were withdrawn by the two States during FY 1993. In addition, in two cases where penalties were pending appeal with DAB at the end of FY 1992, the appeals were dismissed by DAB during FY 1993 after OCSE rescinded the penalties based on further review of additional case documentation. Penalties and associated interest paid to the Federal Government totaled $7,950,405 in FY 1993.
This chapter presents selected financial and program data aggregated for the United States as a whole. The data are from reports completed by State CSE agencies. The appendices contain individual State data.
There are various ways to measure performance and trends in the Child Support Enforcement program. The following series of charts and graphs with accompanying analyses highlight selected program information for FY 1993 or show five year programmatic trends.
States report to OCSE the number of noncustodial parents who are now or may eventually be obligated under law for the support of one or more dependent children. These noncustodial parents constitute the CSE caseload. CSE cases where the custodial parents are referred to the CSE agency because they are receiving AFDC, title IV-E Foster Care or Medicaid are classified as AFDC CSE cases and, with the exception of IV-E cases, these custodial parents must cooperate in establishing paternity and securing support. CSE cases where the custodial parents have applied for CSE services are called non-AFDC CSE cases.
In FY 1993, State IV-D agencies reported an aggregate caseload of 17.1 million noncustodial parents, an increase of 12.9 percent over the prior year and 44.1 percent since FY 1989. During this five-year period, the non-AFDC portion of the caseload increased by 75.6 percent, while the AFDC portion grew by only 26.4 percent.
Legal establishment of paternity is a prerequisite for receiving child support. States have put increased effort into paternity establishment as a result of the Family Support Act and as an out-growth of previous audit failures.
A record 554,205 children had their paternity established by the CSE program in FY 1993. This represents an increase of 7.4 percent over the prior year and a 63.4 percent increase in five years.
The average number of children in the CSE caseload requiring paternity establishment was 3.5 million in FY 1993.
Data include in-hospital paternity acknowledgments in IV-D cases only
Support Orders Established
Legal establishment of an order to pay is another prerequisite for collecting child support.
In FY 1993, the CSE program established over 1 million support orders, an increase of 17 percent over the prior year. Note that figures for years before FY 1991 are not comparable due to a change in reporting requirements. Current figures do not include modifications of orders, whereas pre-FY 1991 figures were comprised of both new orders and modifications.
The average number of CSE cases requiring a support obligation to be established was 3.0 million in FY 1993.
Cases With and Without Orders
Last year the CSE caseload grew at a faster rate than the number of new support orders established (a 13 percent growth in caseload versus a 8.7 percent increase in support order establishment in FY 1992). In FY 1993 this trend was reversed and order establishment proceeded at a faster rate (17 percent) than the growth in caseload (12.9 percent).
Of the total CSE caseload, 9.5 million cases or 55.4 percent have orders. Just over half of AFDC cases have orders (51.3 percent), while 60.7 percent of non-AFDC cases have orders.
Cases for Which a Collection Was Made
One of the measures of effectiveness in the CSE program is the number of cases with collections. States report the number of cases in which a collection was made during the second month of each quarter and the data are averaged to get an estimate for the year of the average number of cases per month that had collections.
In FY 1993 there was an average of 3.1 million cases per month with a collection. This is an increase of 10 percent over the prior year and 48 percent over the figure for FY 1989. Of the cases with collections, 62.7 percent were non-AFDC and 37.3 percent were AFDC/FC and AFDC arrears only cases.
Paying cases accounted for 18.2 percent of the CSE caseload; this figure has remained fairly stable since FY 1989 when paying cases comprised 17.7 percent of the total caseload. Collections per paying case averaged $2,856 in FY 1993, increasing from $2,809 in FY 1992, $2,660 in FY 1991, $2,627 in FY 1990 and $2,487 in FY 1989.
Total child support collections are the amounts collected by the program and distributed during the year on behalf of (1) families receiving benefits from the AFDC, title IV-E Foster Care and Medicaid programs and (2) families who have applied for child support services (non-AFDC).
In FY 1993 collections reached a record high of over $8.9 billion, a 11.8 percent increase over the prior year. This percent increase in collections is lower than the percent increase of recent prior years when collections grew by 14.7 percent (FY 1989 to 1990), 14.6 percent (FY 1990 to 1991) and 15.7 percent (FY 1991 to 1992). Non-AFDC collections accounted for 72.9 percent of the total collected in FY 1993.
Collections are compared to the amount of support owed in the Accounts Receivable chart appearing later in this chapter.
AFDC collections, including title IV-E Foster Care and Medicaid collections, amounted to $2.4 billion in FY 1993, an increase of 7.0 percent over the prior year and 51.7 percent since FY 1989. In FY 1993 AFDC collections were 27.1 percent of total collections compared to 30.4 percent of total collections in FY 1989.
Distribution of AFDC Collections
AFDC collections are distributed partly to the Federal and State governments and partly to families. The Federal and State governments retain collections to reimburse themselves for the AFDC payments they have made to families on whose behalf the support is collected. AFDC families receive up to the first $50 of current child support collected on their behalf each month, as well as support payments collected in excess of monthly AFDC payments.
In FY 1993 AFDC families received over $453 million in support collections through the CSE program. A total of $364 million of this amount was paid as a result of the $50 monthly pass-through; $89 million was support collected in excess of monthly AFDC payments. States retained $847 million as their share of past AFDC payments and received an additional $339 million in collection incentives from the Federal share of past AFDC payments. The Federal government retained the remaining $777 million of the over $2.4 billion collected in AFDC cases.
AFDC $50 Disregard Collections
Distributed to Families
A pass-through of up to $50 a month is paid to AFDC families from current child support payments collected by the CSE agency. The families receiving these pass-through payments benefit from the extra income each month, which is disregarded in determining their continued eligibility for AFDC. Prior to the creation of the pass-through, these support collections were retained by the Federal and State governments to reimburse AFDC payments made to these families.
Under the pass-through provision, AFDC families received $364 million in FY 1993, 15.1 percent of the total AFDC collections for the year. Pass-through payment totals increased by 3.5 percent over the prior year and by 35.3 percent over five years.
Percent of AFDC Recovered
The percent of AFDC assistance payments recovered through child support collections is the amount of AFDC and title IV-E Foster Care support collections in a year, divided by the the amount of AFDC and title IV-E Foster Care assistance payments in the same year (excluding AFDC unemployed parent payments) .
This proportion has risen slowly. The percent of AFDC recovered rose to a high of 12.0 percent in FY 1993, from 11.4 percent the year before and 10.0 percent in FY 1989.
Non-AFDC distributed collections are the portion of total collections made on behalf of families who have applied for CSE services (those not receiving assistance under the AFDC, title IV-E Foster Care or Medicaid programs) and distributed to those families during the year.
Non-AFDC collections in FY 1993 rose to $6.5 billion, an increase of 13.8 percent from the prior year and 78.0 percent over five years. This growth in collections for non-AFDC cases closely parallels the growth in the non-AFDC caseload (75.6 percent in five years).
Interstate collections, or collections made on behalf of other States, totaled a record $725 million in FY 1993, an increase of 15.8 percent compared to a 11.8 percent increase in overall collections during the year. In five years, interstate collections rose by 79 percent.
Despite the increases, interstate collections amounted to only 8.1 percent of total collections, while the interstate caseload is estimated to be about 30 percent of the total CSE caseload. This disparity reflects the many problems in successfully working interstate cases.
Total Collections by Method of Collection
The most successful techniques for collection of support are wage withholding, Federal tax refund offset, withholding of unemployment compensation and State tax refund offset. Together these four techniques accounted for 63.6 percent of total collections in FY 1993. Wage withholding was by far the most effective collection technique, bringing in 53.1 percent of all collections. Federal and State income tax refund offset resulted in collections of 6.4 percent and 0.9 percent of the total, respectively. Withholding of unemployment compensation led to 3.2 percent of total collections.
We do not know how the remaining 36.4 percent of collections were obtained. Most may have been received from parents who sent their child support payments directly to the State IV-D agency as ordered or who sent in voluntary payments without an order. To an unknown extent, on the other hand, these collections may have been obtained through the methods described above without being reported as such.
Accounts receivable data represent the total dollar amount of current and prior year child support owed by noncustodial parents whose cases were being handled by IV-D agencies.
Reported data indicate $13.0 billion receivable for current support in FY 1993 and $26.9 billion receivable for prior years support. $6.9 billion or 52.7 percent of the current support due was collected. This was a decrease from 55.4 percent in FY 1992. Of the prior years support receivable, only $2.0 billion or 7.5 percent was collected, up from 7.4 percent in the prior year. Overall, 22.3 percent of all reported receivables were collected in FY 1993. This compares with 22.8 percent in FY 1992, 21.5 percent in FY 1991, 23.3 percent in FY 1990 and 20.9 percent in FY 1989.
Please note that the total amount of receivables States report to have collected is slightly less than the total collections figure reported by States in a separate data element. This discrepancy occurs because some States do not report accounts receivable and accounts collected data.
Comparisons of States' accounts receivable data are complicated by the fact that States count arrearages differently based on State laws and practices. For example, some States include unreimbursed assistance as a debt and others do not. Some have statutes of limitations governing collection of debts and some have policies for writing off bad debts.
Total expenditures are expenditures for program administration that are eligible for Federal funding and claimed by the States during the year.
Total expenditures were $2.2 billion in FY 1993, an increase of 12.4 percent over the prior year, up from an increase of 10.6 percent in FY 1992. The State share was $724 million or 32.3 percent of the total. Increases in expenditures are consistent with increasing caseloads and phasing in of requirements imposed by the Family Support Act of 1988.
Total Collections per Dollar of Administrative Costs
During the five-year period FY 1989 to FY 1993, the ratio of total collections of child support to total administrative costs for the program has increased slowly from $3.84 in collections per $1 spent to $3.97 in collections per $1 spent. The increase is a function of the growth in non-AFDC collections compared to total expenditures. Collections in AFDC cases per dollar of total expenditures have declined during this period.
The nearly 4 to 1 collections to cost ratio for FY 1993 is virtually the same as the ratio for FY 1992.
- Total Distributed Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 13(A+B+C))
- Total amount of collections distributed during the year on behalf of both AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) and non-AFDC families. Total collections can be calculated as the sum of AFDC/Foster Care and non-AFDC collections as defined below.
- Distributed AFDC/Foster Care Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 13(A+C))
- The portion of total collections received on behalf of families receiving assistance under the AFDC program or children placed in foster care facilities. These collections are distributed by the State during the year either to reimburse itself or the Federal Government or directly to the families and facilities involved.
- Distributed Non-AFDC Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 13(B))
- The portion of total collections received on behalf of families not receiving assistance under the AFDC/Foster Care programs and distributed to those families during the year.
- Total Collections Per Dollar of Total Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-34, Line 13(A+B+C) divided by Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
- The amount of total IV-D collections made for every dollar expended to administer the Child Support Enforcement program. Refer to definitions of total IV-D collections and total IV-D administrative expenditures.
- AFDC/Foster Care Collections Per Dollar of Total Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-34, Line 13(A+C) divided by Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
- The amount of IV-D AFDC/FC child support collections made for every dollar expended to administer the Child Support Enforcement program. Refer to definitions of IV-D AFDC/FC collections and total IV-D administrative expenditures.
- Non-AFDC Collections Per Dollar of Total Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-34, Line 13(B) divided by Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
- The amount of IV-D non-AFDC collections made for every dollar expended to administer the Child Support Enforcement program. Refer to definitions of IV-D non-AFDC collections and total IV-D administrative expenditures.
- Net Federal Share of AFDC/Foster Care Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 17(A+C))
- The portion of AFDC/Foster Care collections that is kept by the Federal Government as a reimbursement of its share of past assistance payments under the AFDC program. The amount reported has been reduced by incentive payments made to the States. The Federal share of collections is used to reduce Federal grants awarded to State agencies under the AFDC program.
- State Share of AFDC/Foster Care Collections (Form OCSE-34, Line 13(A+C) - Line 16(A+C))
- The portion of AFDC collections that is kept by the States as a reimbursement of their shares of past assistance payments under the AFDC program.
- Incentive Payments (Form OCSE-34, Line 16(A+B))
- The portion of the gross Federal share of AFDC collections that is retained by the State in addition to its share of AFDC/Foster Care collections. This amount is estimated by OCSE prior to the start of the fiscal year and is reported by the State on a quarterly basis. The OCSE estimate is based on the State's estimated AFDC and non-AFDC collections in relation to total expenditures and is calculated pursuant to a methodology found in section 458 of the Social Security Act. Actual incentive amounts are computed after the end of the fiscal year and appropriate adjustments are made in State grant awards.
- AFDC/Foster Care Payments to Families (Form OCSE-34, Line 10(A) + 11(A+C))
- Total amount of collections distributed by the State during the year to AFDC families and Foster Care maintenance facilities under the distribution procedures found in sections 457(b)(1), (b)(3), (b)(4)(B), and (d)(2) of the Social Security Act. This includes the "AFDC disregard" payments as defined below.
- AFDC Collections Distributed as Payments to Families and Disregarded in AFDC Eligibility (Form OCSE-34, Line 10(A))
- Portion of collections distributed by the State during the year to AFDC families, pursuant to section 457(b)(1) of the Social Security Act, that is disregarded in determining families' continuing eligibility for assistance payments. Beginning in FY 1985, States were required to make these "AFDC disregard payments," which are up to $50 per month per family from the collections received for each AFDC family.
- Collections from Federal Income Tax Refund Offset (Form OCSE-34, Line 2(A+B+C))
- Total amount of collections received by the State during the year from the offset of child support payments from individuals' Federal income tax refunds through the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's Income Tax Refund Offset Program.
- Collections from State Income Tax Refund Offset (Form OCSE-34, Line 3(A+B+C))
- Total amount of collections received by the State during the year from the offset of child support payments from individuals' State income tax refunds. (Applicable only to States that impose a personal income tax.)
- Collections from Unemployment Compensation (Form OCSE-34, Line 4(A+B+C))
- Total amount of collections received by the State during the year from the offset of individuals' Unemployment Compensation Insurance payments to satisfy past-due child support.
- Collections from Wage Withholding (Form OCSE-34, Line 5(A+B+C))
- Total amount of collections received by the State during the year from withholding child support payments from individuals' wages, salaries, and other income.
- Total Program Savings (Form OCSE-34, Line 13(A) - OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
- Total program savings is defined as the difference between amounts retained from AFDC child support collections as reimbursements of AFDC assistance payments and the net amount of administrative expenditures eligible for Federal funding.
- Federal Share of Program Savings (Form OCSE-34, Line 17(A+C) -OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 12(A+B))
- The difference between the net Federal share of distributed collections and the Federal share of administrative expenditures.
- State Share of Program Savings (Form OCSE-34, Line 4(A+B-C) -OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 12(A+B))
- The difference between the State share of distributed collections plus incentive payments retained minus the State share of administrative expenditures.
- Total Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B))
- Total amount of expenditures eligible for Federal funding that is claimed by the States during the year for the administration of the Child Support Enforcement program. Includes all amounts claimed during the year, whether expended during the current or a previous fiscal year. The amounts being reported have been reduced by the amount of program income (fees and costs recovered in excess of fees and interest earned and other program income received) by the States.
- Net Federal Share of Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 12(A+B))
- The portion of total administrative expenditures claimed during the fiscal year that was paid by the Federal government at the appropriate Federal financial participation (FFP) rate. (The "regular" FFP rate for administrative expenditures is currently 66 percent. The "enhanced" FFP rate for the planning, development, and implementation of approved ADP child support systems, for approved ADP operational hardware and for laboratory costs of establishing paternity is currently 90 percent.) The amount reported has been reduced by the amount of fees received from the States for use of the Federal Parent Locator Service.
- State Share of Administrative Expenditures (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 4(A+B) - Line 12(A+B))
- The portion of total administrative expenditures claimed during the fiscal year that was paid by the State government. (For "regular" administrative expenditures, States currently provide funding at a 34 percent rate. For approved expenditures for the planning, development, and implementation of ADP child support systems, for ADP operational hardware and for laboratory costs of establishing paternity, States currently provide funding at a 10 percent rate.) The amounts reported include fees paid by the States for use of the Federal Parent Locator Service.
- Fees Received and Costs Recovered for Non-AFDC Cases (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 2(A+B))
- The amount of fees collected by the States for the processing of non-AFDC cases plus the amount of additional processing costs recovered by the States in excess of the fees charged. This amount decreases the amount of States' expenditures eligible for Federal funding.
- Total Expenditures by AFDC Expenditures and Non-AFDC Expenditures (Form OCSE-158, Lines 16 and 17)
- The amount of expenditures eligible for Federal funding as they apply to the AFDC/FC and non-AFDC portions of the program.
- Expenditures by Functional Cost Categories (Form OCSE-158, Lines 20 through 24)
- States are required by statute to report expenditures by functional categories. The reporting should be based on an approved cost allocation plan, a time study, or a valid work sample. Total expenditures are allocated to five categories: paternity determination, location, obligations established, enforcement activities, and financial distribution.
- ADP Expenditures at the Enhanced Funding Rate (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 5(A+B) + Line 6(A+B))
- The portion of total administrative expenditures claimed by the State at the enhanced funding rate (in accordance with the provisions of an approved Advance Planning Document) for the planning, development, and implementation of an automated child support system and for the acquisition of operational hardware utilized in that system.
- Expenditures for Laboratory Tests for Paternity Establishment (Form OCSE-131, Part 1, Line 8(A+B))
- The amount expended for laboratory costs associated with the process of determining paternity.
- Average Annual Child Support Enforcement Caseload (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(A+B+C) + Line 5(A+B+C))
- The total number of child support enforcement cases open on the last day of each quarter. A child support enforcement case is defined as every absent parent who is now or may eventually be obligated under law for the support of one or more dependent children. An absent parent is counted once for each family which has a dependent child he or she is now or may eventually be obligated to support.
- Average Annual CSE AFDC and Foster Care Caseload (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(A) + Line 5(A))
- The total number of child support enforcement AFDC and Foster Care cases open on the last day of each quarter. An AFDC case is one in which the children to be supported are currently receiving money payments under the provisions of titles IV-A and IV-E of the Social Security Act and in which an assignment of support rights has been made by the caretaker relative to the State.
- Average Annual CSE Non-AFDC Caseload (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(B) + Line 5(B))
- The total number of child support enforcement non-AFDC cases open on the last day of each quarter. A non-AFDC case is one in which the children to be supported are not currently receiving a IV-A payment and in which the caretaker relative has made written application for child support enforcement non-AFDC services. Also included are cases which are receiving services as former AFDC recipients whose collections are classified as non-AFDC collections, as well as Medicaid only cases.
- Average Annual CSE AFDC and Foster Care Arrears Only Caseload (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(C) + Line 5(C))
- The total number of child support enforcement AFDC and Foster Care arrears only cases open on the last day of each quarter. An AFDC and Foster Care arrears only case is one in which the children to be supported are former recipients of IV-A or IV-E payments and in which the absent parent is now delinquent in his or her reimbursement of these payments to the government.
- Average Annual Child Support Caseload with Orders Established (Form OCSE-156, Line 4(A+B+C))
- The total number of child support enforcement cases open on the last day of each quarter with orders established.
- Average Number of CSE Cases in Which a Collection Was Made on an Obligation (Form OCSE-156, Line 9(A+B+C))
- The average number of child support enforcement cases in which a collection was made during the second month of the quarter. Also includes cases in which a collection was received as a result of the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program. If a case receives both an intercept collection and a regular collection during the second month of the quarter, the case is counted once.
- Average Number of CSE AFDC and Foster Care Cases in Which a Collection Was Made on an Obligation (Form OCSE-156, Line 9(A))
- The average number of child support enforcement AFDC and Foster Care cases in which a collection was made during the second month of the quarter. (Note: AFDC and Foster Care arrears only cases are not included in this category.)
- Average Number of CSE Non-AFDC Cases in Which a Collection Was Made on an Obligation (Form OCSE-156, Line 9(B))
- The average number of child support enforcement non-AFDC cases in which a collection was made during the second month of the quarter.
- Average Number of CSE AFDC and Foster Care Arrears Only Cases in Which a Collection Was Made on an Obligation (Form OCSE-156, Line 9(C))
- The average number of AFDC and Foster Care arrears only cases in which a collection was made during the second month of the quarter.
- Services Required (Form OCSE-156, Lines 6 through 10(A, B, and C))
- The Family Support Act of 1988 requires that States report data with respect to the need and receipt of the following services: paternity determination, location to establish a child support obligation, establishment of a child support obligation, and location to enforce or modify an existing child support obligation. The Act further requires that this information should include the number of cases, by type, in the child support enforcement agency caseload which need and receive the designated services. States report the number of IV-D cases open on the last day of the quarter which need the specific service.
- Services Provided (Form OCSE-156, Lines 11 through 17(A, B, and C))
- States maintain and report data on services provided including paternity and support order establishment, as well as information on why absent parents needed to be located, i.e., to enforce, modify or establish a child support obligation.
- Total Number of Locations Made (Form OCSE-156, Line 12(A+B+C) + Line 13(A+B+C))
- The total number of cases in which an absent parent's physical whereabouts, address, employer, sources of income, or assets have been located during the quarter. Relocations are also included in these figures. Federal Parent Locator Service Requests Processed with Known Social Security Numbers These are cases submitted to the FPLS for an address search in which the child support enforcement agency has provided a SSN for the absent parent. Based upon input from the State, the FPLS will send the case to any or all of the following Federal agencies: Internal Revenue Service, Department of Defense, Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, National Personnel Records Center, and Selective Service System. There are also quarterly matches done with State Employment Security Agencies. Any responses are returned to the child support enforcement agency. Federal Parent Locator Service Requests Processed with Unknown Social Security Numbers These are cases submitted to the FPLS for an address search in which the child support enforcement agency could not provide a valid SSN for the absent parent. The FPLS will attempt to identify the SSN of the absent parent using information from the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. If a SSN is found, the FPLS will proceed with the address search.
- Total Number of Paternities Established (Form OCSE-156, Line 14(A+B+C))
- The total number of children for whom paternity was established during the year. A paternity is defined as the legal establishment of fatherhood for a child after the opening of a child support enforcement case, either by court determination or voluntary acknowledgment in States where such acknowledgments are legally enforceable.
- Paternity Standard (Form OCSE-158, Line 3 (A+C+E) divided by Line 1(A+C+E))
- The Family Support Act of 1988 requires States to meet a standard for paternity establishment in order to be in substantial compliance with the requirement to operate an effective paternity establishment program. It requires States to be judged using the following measure: the total number of children born out of wedlock for whom AFDC is being paid or IV-D services are being provided under Section 454(6) of the Social Security Act and for whom paternity has been established--divided by the total number of children born out of wedlock receiving AFDC or IV-D services.
- Number of Support Obligations Established (Form OCSE-156, Line 15 (A, B, and C))
- The total number of support obligations established during the year. An obligation is defined as the legal establishment of an amount of money which is to be paid on a regular basis by a noncustodial parent for the support of that parent's children. Modifications to existing obligations are also included in these figures if they are the result of actions in which the State or local child support enforcement agency participated.
- Number of Support Orders Established that Include Health Insurance (Form OCSE-156, Line 15a(A, B and C))
- The total number of support orders established by the IV-D agency which included orders for health insurance or medical support.
- Number of Support Orders Enforced or Modified (Form OCSE-156, Line 16(A, B, and C))
- The total number of support orders enforced or modified by the IV-D agency. Modifications must have been established by court order, voluntary agreement, or other legal process.
- Total Number of Support Orders Enforced or Modified that Include Health Insurance (Form OCSE-156, Line 16a(A, B and C))
- The total number of support orders enforced or modified by the IV-D agency which included orders for health insurance or medical support.
- Number of Families Removed from AFDC with Child Support Collections (Form OCSE-156, 11(A))
- The total number of AFDC cases terminated by the IV-A agency in which there was a child support collection. This information reflects all IV-A case closures with a child support collection during the month the case was terminated. Percentage of AFDC/FC Assistance Payments Recovered through Child Support Collections (Title IV-A basic expenditures divided by Child Support Enforcement AFDC/FC collections) The percentage of AFDC assistance payments recovered through child support collections. These figures represent the amount of AFDC/FC collections divided by the amount of income maintenance assistance money payments computable for Federal funding minus AFDC Unemployed Parent (UP) payments. IV-A Cases in Which Parents Claim Good Cause for Refusing to Cooperate (Form SSA-4680) The number of cases in which refusal to cooperate occurred for any reason and the number of cases for which good cause for refusing to cooperate was determined. Examples of circumstances for which good cause is determined to exist include physical or emotional harm to the child or parent, rape or incest, legal adoption, and pre-adoption service.
- Total Full Time Staff Employed as of September 30 (Form OCSE-158, Line 13(A) + Line 14(A))
- Reported are the total number of FTE staff employed by the State IV-D agency and any local IV-D agencies as well as the number of FTE staff employed by an agency (public or private) working under a cooperative agreement or a purchase-of-service agreement with the IV-D agency on the last working day of September. FTE numbers include the reporting of all full-time equivalent workers and part-time workers using the number of hours worked by all part-time staff divided by 2080 hours.
- Total Salary and Fringe Benefits for Full-Time Staff Employed as of September 30 (Form OCSE-158, Line 13(B) + Line 14(B))
- Reported are the total salary and fringe benefits for the staff employed at State and local IV-D agencies and those under cooperative/purchase of service agreements.
- Total Cases with Voluntary Payments (Form OCSE-158, Line 5(A+C+E))
- The total number of cases where a legally enforceable support order has not been established but collections have been received during the current year broken out for AFDC and Foster Care, non-AFDC, and AFDC and Foster Care Arrears Only.
- Total Amount of Voluntary Payments (Form OCSE-158, Line 5(B+C+F))
- The total amount of collections received during the current year for cases where a legally enforceable support order has not been established broken out for AFDC and Foster Care, non-AFDC, and AFDC and Foster Care Arrears Only.
- Total Number of Cases Opened During the Year (Form OCSE-156, Line 2(A+B+C))
- The total number of IV-D cases opened during the current year through receipt of a valid written referral from the State IV-A or IV-E agency, receipt of a non-AFDC application from the custodial parent, or terminated IV-A and IV-E cases continuing to receive services as non-AFDC and/or arrears only cases. This figure includes cases opened as a result of requests for assistance received from other States. URESA petitions from other States are counted only if the initiating petition specifically requires action on the part of the responding State's IV-D agency.
- Total Number of Cases Closed During the Year (Form OCSE-156, Line 3(A+B+C))
- The total number of cases formally closed during the year. There are limited conditions for closing IV-D cases set forth in Federal regulations.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE INFORMATION
- Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program
- States are required to submit cases to the Office of Child Support Enforcement certifying that criteria for Federal income tax refund offset are met as specified in section 464 of the Social Security Act. Cases are then submitted to IRS for match against their master file. Those cases that successfully match the IRS master file are certified for offset. Collections are a result of Federal income tax refund offsets.
- IRS Full Collections
- States may submit cases for collection through the IRS Full Collection Process. Under certain conditions, the IRS can collect child support against a parent's income and other assets. States submit cases to the OCSE Regional Offices which certify cases to IRS. IRS collects money through various means such as liens on property or bank accounts.
- Current Support Due (Form OCSE-158, Line 7(A through F))
- The total number of orders and amounts of money due (accounts receivable) for current year support broken out for AFDC and Foster Care, non-AFDC, and AFDC Foster Care Arrears Only.
- Current Support Received (Form OCSE-158, Line 8(A through F))
- The total number of orders and the amount of collections received for this year applicable to total amounts ordered for the current year broken out for AFDC and Foster Care, non-AFDC, and AFDC Foster Care Arrears Only.
- Prior Years' Support Due (Form OCSE-158, Line 9(A through F))
- The total number of orders and amounts of money due (accounts receivable) for past due prior year child support broken out for AFDC and Foster Care, non-AFDC, and AFDC Foster Care Arrears Only.
- Prior Years' Support Received (Form OCSE-158, Line 10(A through F))
- The total number of orders and the amount of collections received this year for orders owing past due support from prior years broken out for AFDC and Foster Care, non-AFDC, and AFDC Foster Care Arrears Only.
- Support Due for Orders Entered This Year (Form OCSE-158, Line 11(A through F))
- The total number of support orders and the amount of collections due for orders which entered the IV-D system during the year. The number reported represents obligations for the current year which entered the IV-D system during the year. The figure includes pre-existing support orders associated with cases opened during the year and new orders established during the year.
- Support Received for Orders Entered This Year (Form OCSE-158, Line 12(A through F))
- The total number of orders and the amount of collections received this year for orders which entered the IV-D system during the year.
- Cases Initiated in the Reporting States (Form OCSE-156, Line 18(A+B+C))
- The number of interstate cases initiated in the reporting State during each quarter, broken out for AFDC and Foster Care, non-AFDC, and AFDC Foster Care Arrears Only.
- Cases Initiated in Other States (Form OCSE-156, Line 19(A+B+C))
- The total number of interstate cases initiated in another State during each quarter, broken out for AFDC and Foster Care, non-AFDC, and AFDC Foster Care Arrears Only.
- Cases in Which Collections Were Sent to Other States (Form OCSE-156, Line 20(A+B+C))
- The total number of cases for which collections were sent to other States during the second month of the quarter. All cases for which collections were paid to other States are reported, regardless of when the request for assistance was received.
- Cases in Which Collections Were Received from Other States (Form OCSE-156, Line 21(A+B+C))
- Total number of cases for which collections were received from other States. Includes all interstate cases for which collections were received, regardless of when the request for assistance was sent.
- Total Collections Made on Behalf of Other States (Form OCSE-34, Line 19(A+B+C))
- Collections made by the reporting State on behalf of other States.
- Total Collections Received from Other States (Form OCSE-34, Line 7(A+B+C))
- Amounts collected by other States on behalf of the reporting State.
FY 1993 Action Transmittals
OCSE-AT-92-09, October 9, 1992
Measurement and Reporting of State Paternity Establishment Percentages Used to Determine Compliance with Paternity Standards Mandated by P.L. 100-485
OCSE-AT-92-10, November 20, 1992
Final Rule--Prohibition of Federal Funding for Costs of Guardians ad Litem in IV-D Actions
OCSE-AT-92-11, November 20, 1992
Final Rule--Revision to the Timeframes for Distributing $50 Pass-Through Payments
OCSE-AT-92-12, December 28, 1992
Final Rule--Review and Adjustment Requirements for Child Support Orders Effective October 13, 1993
OCSE-AT-93-01, January 26, 1993
Revised Payment Procedures for Submitting Processing Fees to the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) for Non-AFDC Cases, Locate Only, and Parental Kidnapping/Child Custody Cases
OCSE-AT-93-02, February 16, 1993
Review and Adjustment Requirements for Child Support Orders Effective October 13, 1993 Final Regulation--Correction OCSE-AT-93-03, March 18, 1993 Clarification of Case Closure Criteria
OCSE-AT-93-04, March 22, 1993
Use of Presumptive Child Support Guidelines for Establishment of Support Awards / Collection of Unreimbursed Assistance
OCSE-AT-93-05, March 25, 1993
Revision to the Title IV-D State Plan Preprint; Submission of State Plan Page to Indicate Compliance with Federal Requirements
OCSE-AT-93-06, April 5, 1993
Statutory Requirements for Immediate Wage Withholding in All Child Support Orders Initially Issued in the State Not Being Enforced Under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act
OCSE-AT-93-07, July, 1993
Final Rule--Processing Garnishment Orders for Child Support and/or Alimony
OCSE-AT-93-08, July 26, 1993
Clarification of OCSE-AT-93-04 on Use of Presumptive Child Support Guidelines Process for Establishment of Support Awards / Collection of Unreimbursed Assistance
OCSE-AT-93-09, August 6, 1993
Implementation of Form OCSE-34, a Revised Financial Reporting Form for the Child Support Enforcement Program
OCSE-AT-93-10, August 16, 1993
Final Rule--Safeguarding Information; Federal Income Tax Refund Offset
OCSE-AT-93-11, August 27, 1993
Continued Use of Form OCSE-131, the Child Support Enforcement Program Quarterly Report of Expenditures and Estimates
OCSE-AT-93-12, September 9, 1993
Proposed Rule--Revision of Child Support Enforcement Program and Audit Regulations