Guidance about Third-Party Verification of Employment Providers
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: February 5, 2016
TO: ALL STATE AND TRIBAL IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Guidance about Third-Party Verification of Employment Providers
In December 2015, Congress enacted the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation FAST Act (P. L. 114-94). Section 80001 of the FAST Act, “Requests For Consumer Reports By State Or Local Child Support Enforcement Agencies,” amends section 604(a)(4) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
A key provision of the new law eliminates a requirement that child support agencies notify the noncustodial parent at least 10 days prior to requesting information from a consumer reporting agency if determining the appropriate level of payments or enforcing a child support order, award, agreement, or judgment. State agencies were previously required to provide a notice, by certified or registered mail to the noncustodial parent’s last known address, which advised the noncustodial parent that a report would be requested from a consumer reporting agency. Under this amendment to FCRA, child support agencies can send Verification of Employment (VOE) requests directly to third-party providers without first sending notice to the noncustodial parent.
Many employers contract with companies to respond to VOE requests from a variety of sources, including child support agencies. Several companies offering this service are considered consumer credit reporting agencies and, therefore, are subject to the FCRA. However, child support agencies always have the option to send VOE requests directly to the employer.1
This Dear Colleague Letter supersedes DCL-12-12, issued in September 2012, which clarified FCRA requirements that applied to third-party VOE requests in effect at that time. The new law eliminates barriers for child support agencies, employers, and third-party VOE providers to effectively and efficiently provide employment information needed to establish, modify, and enforce support orders.
The revised FCRA language will improve child support agencies’ ability to quickly verify a noncustodial parent’s employment status and income, which will result in more child support for families.
If you have questions, please contact your OCSE Regional Office.
SUPERSEDED MATERIAL: DCL-12-12
INQUIRIES: ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers
Office of Child Support Enforcement
1Section 466(c)(1)(C) of the Social Security Act mandates states to have laws in effect requiring employers to promptly respond to and provide information on the employment, compensation and benefits of an NCP, including VOE requests.