Open Comment Period for Revised OCSE-157 Annual Data Report
DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER
DATE: December 22, 2017
TO: State IV-D Directors
SUBJECT: Open Comment Period – Revised OCSE-157 Data Report
The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement has revised the Child Support Annual Data Report (OCSE-157) form and instructions. As of December 13, 2017, a notice for public comment on the form has been posted to the Federal Register on page 58615, Volume 82, Number 238.
The purpose for revising the instructions was to enhance clarity and minimize the possibility for inaccurate reporting. We have not added or deleted any reporting lines. These revisions will apply for reporting years beginning on or after October 1, 2019 (federal fiscal year 2020).
The attached form and instructions include the proposed changes formatted to show revisions. Deleted text appears with a strikethrough, and all additions are underlined and in blue text.
Significant changes to the instructions are as follows:
Case Inventory Definitions
- Revised definition of International IV-D Case to include Hague Child Support Convention countries.
- Added definitions for Intergovernmental IV-D Case and Interstate Case.
- Replaced Medical Coverage terminology with Health Care Coverage. Health Care Coverage includes any health care coverage for a child in a IV-D case. This includes private health insurance, state and federal health care marketplaces and publicly funded health care coverage.
- Includes new definition for Medical Support. Medical Support now includes any type of coverage as defined under Health Care Coverage in addition to cash medical support.
Section A: Case Inventory
- Line 1a – revised definition to clarify that only interstate cases initiated in the state are reported on this line. Cases only sent to a tribe or foreign country are not counted on this line.
- Line 1b – revised definition to clarify that only interstate cases received from another state are reported on this line. Cases only received from a tribe or foreign country are not counted on this line.
- Line 1f and 1g – revised definitions to include Hague Child Support Convention countries and clarify that an application from a resident of a foreign country applying directly with a state must not be counted as an international IV-D case.
- Line 2e – clarified that arrears cases must: 1) have no current child support or current medical support due on the last day of the fiscal year; and 2) have a positive arrears balance on the last day of the fiscal year.
- Line 3 – clarified that this line includes cases for countries that are not a Hague Child Support Convention country. It also includes cases for countries that do not have a federal or state reciprocating agreement to enable the state to take actions necessary to establish paternity or child support, or enforce the order.
Section B: Paternity Establishment
- Section instructions clarify that for reporting purposes on both Lines 6 and 9, regardless of birth circumstances, an adoption is deemed to be an out of wedlock birth. An adoption is equivalent to a paternity establishment and the adoption date is equivalent to the paternity establishment date. This change was made for consistency with AT-11-12, Reporting Adoptions on the OCSE-157 Annual Data Report.
Section E: Medical Support
- This section was updated to include new definitions for health care coverage and medical support as detailed above under services definitions.
- Line 21 and 21a – definition includes health care coverage and cash payments. Additional language clarifies that cases may be counted where the amount of cash medical support is ordered at $0.
- Line 22 and 23 – revised to replace definition for “health insurance” with “health care coverage” definition.
Section F: Collections Due and Distributed
- Line 24 – instructions have been revised to clarify that the reported amount of current support due must be based on a legally established child support order and that the current support due must be computed monthly. The total of all months should be reported at the end of the year. Language has also been inserted to clarify that voluntary collections must be included only when there is no child support order in effect. Lastly, this section was updated to indicate that future payments cannot be reported on this line.
- Line 25 – instructions have been modified to clarify what to include as current support. The purpose of these changes is to provide more comprehensive instructions regarding the reporting of current support and future payments.
Section H: Medicaid
- Section instructions clarify that children determined eligible for Medicaid means the state has received and processed Medicaid applications, and the children listed are eligible to receive Medicaid.
- Line 33 and Line 34 – instructions now clarify that children do not have to be enrolled in Medicaid to be counted, but the state must have received and processed a Medicaid application for these children and they must be listed as eligible to receive Medicaid as of the last day of the reporting fiscal year.
- Line 35 – instructions clarify that cases do not need an order to be included on this line.
- The overall document has been modified to incorporate minor editorial changes throughout to clarify or emphasize intended meaning of a definition or instruction.
We welcome your input on the form and instructions. Send your comments and suggestions to OCSE at DPSAsupport@acf.hhs.gov. When commenting, be sure to reference OMB 0970-0177. Consideration will be given to comments received by February 13, 2018.
Scott M. Lekan
Office of Child Support Enforcement