Procedures for Determining That a State IV-D Plan is Disapproved
April 28, 1997
TO:STATE AGENCIES ADMINISTERING CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PLANS APPROVED UNDER TITLE IV-D OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT AND OTHER INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS
SUBJECT:Procedures for Determining a State IV-D Plan is Disapproved
BACKGROUND:Title III of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), P.L. 104-193, made a number of amendments to sections 454 and 466 of the Social Security Act (the Act), requiring States to either establish new, or modify existing, procedures effective either October 1, 1996, March 1, 1997 or October 1, 1997. For States which require legislation in order to conform their State IV-D plans to the revised statute, section 395(b)(2) of PRWORA provides a grace period until not later than the 1st day of the 1st calendar quarter beginning after the close of the 1st regular session of the State legislature that begins after the date of enactment of PRWORA (August 22, 1996). In cases which require that the State constitution be amended, section 395(c) of PRWORA provides a grace period until one year after the effective date of the State constitutional amendment, but no later than five years after the date of enactment of PRWORA.
CSE is tracking the progress of each of the States in enacting the new State plan requirements and mandatory laws, and is noting the date when each State's 1997 legislative session ends in order to ascertain when these laws are required to be in effect and when the State must submit new or amended State plan material for approval by OCSE in order to operate a Child Support Enforcement program according to the requirements of title IV-D of the Act. If a State fails to submit the necessary State plan amendments, OCSE will have to determine that the State does not have an approvable State plan. A determination that a State IV-D plan is disapproved will result in immediate suspension of all Federal payments for the State=s child support enforcement program, and such payments will continue to be withheld until the State IV-D plan can be approved by OCSE.
AUTHORITY:Section 455(a)(1)(A) of the Act specifies that funds appropriated under title IV-D shall be paid to States with approved State IV-D plans. There is no authority to expend Federal funds under title IV-D of the Act for the operation of a Child Support Enforcement program unless such State has an approved State IV-D plan.
Section 466 of the Act requires that all States, as a condition for approval of their State IV-D plan, must have in effect laws requiring the use of mandatory procedures to increase the effectiveness of their Child Support Enforcement programs. As a condition for State plan approval, section 454(20) of the Act provides that, to the extent required by section 466, States must have laws in effect and implement the procedures prescribed in or pursuant to such laws.
Section 454 of the Act sets the statutory requisites for the State IV-D plan. In addition, regulations at 45 CFR 301.10 define the State IV-D plan as a comprehensive statement submitted by the IV-D agency describing the nature and scope of its program. The State IV-D plan contains all the information necessary for the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to determine whether the plan can be approved, as a basis for Federal financial participation in the State IV-D program.
Section 452(a)(3) of the Act requires that OCSE review and approve State plans for Child Support Enforcement programs under title IV-D of the Act. The authority to approve State plans is delegated to the Regional Office, but OCSE retains authority for determining that a State IV-D plan is not approvable.
As stated above, a determination that a State IV-D plan is disapproved will result in immediate suspension of all Federal payments for the State=s child support enforcement program, and such payments will continue to be withheld until the State IV-D plan can be approved by OCSE. If a State is dissatisfied with OCSE=s decision, reconsideration may be requested pursuant to 45 CFR 301.14. Withholding of Federal payments cannot be stayed pending reconsideration.
Section 402(a)(2) of the Act (as amended by PRWORA) provides that the chief executive officer of a State must certify that it will operate a child support enforcement program under an approved IV-D plan as a
condition of eligibility for a TANF block grant under title IV-A of the Act. Therefore, States should be aware that TANF funds may also be at risk.
Although it is not required under Title IV-D of the Act, OCSE will give States an advance notice of "Intent to Disapprove" a previously approved State IV-D plan. The State will then be permitted the opportunity to waive reconsideration of the OCSE=s final decision and to exercise, prior to the State plan approval/disapproval decision, the right to a hearing under the procedures set forth a 45 CFR Part 213. If the State elects to pursue its hearing rights prior to issuance of OCSE's decision, no further administrative appeal will be allowed.
ATTACHMENT: Instructions for State Plan Disapproval
Timetable of Effective Dates
1997 Legislative Calendar
INQUIRIES: ACF Regional Administrators
/ S /
Anne F. Donovan
Acting Deputy Director
Office of Child Support Enforcement
Instructions for State Plan Disapproval
Notice of Intent to Disapprove
OCSE will issue a Notice of Intent to Disapprove a State Plan to the State umbrella agency head when it has been determined that either of the following situations exist:
Pursuant to the requirements at 45 CFR 301.13(d) the State IV-D plan no longer meets the requirements for an approved State plan based on relevant Federal statutes and guidelines.
Pursuant to the requirements at 45 CFR 301.13(e) or (f) the State IV-D plan or amendment submitted for approval does not meet the requirements under title IV-D of the Act and regulations issued pursuant to the Act.
Notice Of Opportunity For Hearing
The Notice of Intent to Disapprove will provide opportunity for the State to request a hearing prior to the issuance of the final decision if the State waives its right to a reconsideration of OCSE's decision under 45 CFR 301.14. The State must request a hearing within 60 days of the date of the Notice of Intent to Disapprove. If the State does not request a hearing, OCSE shall proceed according to the procedures set forth under Determination to Withhold outlined below.
Upon request of the State for a hearing, OCSE will issue a Notice of Hearing which will state the time and place of the hearing, the issues which will be considered, and shall be published in the Federal Register. The hearing procedures contained in regulations at 45 CFR Part 213 shall apply to these proceedings.
As provided in regulations at 45 CFR 213.1(b) the hearing process does not preclude or limit negotiations between OCSE and the State, whether before, during or after the hearing to resolve the issues which are, or otherwise would be, considered at the hearing. Such negotiations and resolution of the issues are not part of the hearing, and are not governed by the hearing procedures, except as expressly provided for in such procedures.
Determination to Withhold
If OCSE concludes that the State does not have an approved State IV-D plan under section I of these instructions, it will notify the State that further Federal payments under title IV-D of the Act will not be made to the State until a State IV-D plan is submitted and approved. Until a State IV-D plan is approved, no further Federal payments under title IV-D will be made to the State for any child support enforcement activities. Pursuant to 45 CFR 213.33, the effective date for the withholding of Federal funds shall not be earlier than the date of OCSE=s decision and shall not the later than the first day of the next calendar quarter following such decision.
Any State which has not waived its right to reconsideration and is dissatisfied with OCSE=s decision that the State does not have an approvable State plan may request reconsideration of the decision pursuant to regulations at 45 CFR 301.14. Funding, however, will be suspended and may not be restored unless OCSE subsequently determines that the original decision to withhold Federal IV-D funding was incorrect.
CHILD SUPPORT LEGISLATION IN 104TH CONGRESS
TIMETABLE OF EFFECTIVE DATES FOR STATE REQUIREMENTS
Based on Dates in Text of Title III of PL 104-193
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
Section 395 states that, except as specifically provided in the legislation, the effective date for provisions of PL 104-193 is 10/1/96 for provisions under ''454 & 466 of the Act. Section 395 allows a grace period for State law changes and State constitutional amendments. For State law changes, the grace period is until the effective date of the State implementing provisions, but no later than the first day of the first quarter after the close of the first regular legislative session that begins after enactment of PL 104-193. For State constitutional amendments, the grace period is until one year after the effective date of the State constitutional amendment, but no later than five years after enactment of PL 104-193.
Requirements Effective 10/1/96
Income withholding ['314] -- '466(a)(1) and (b)
Locator networks; access to motor vehicle and law enforcement data ['315] -- '466(a)(12)
SSNs on applications for professional, commercial drivers, occupational and marriage licenses; on records of divorce decrees, support orders, and paternity determinations; and death records & certificates ['317] -- '466(a)(13)
Administrative enforcement in interstate cases ['323] -- '466(a)(14)
State laws providing expedited procedures, including:
Ordering genetic testing for paternity establishment; Issuing subpoenas for information and impose penalties for failure to respond; Requiring all entities in a State to promptly respond to inquiries by State agency and sanction failure to respond; Obtaining access to records of other State and local government agencies and records held by private entities including public utilities and financial institutions; Changing payee in cases subject to an assignment; Ordering income withholding; Securing assets to satisfy arrearages by intercepting or seizing periodic or lump-sum payments from a State or local agency and judgments, settlements, and lotteries; attach assets held by financial institutions; attach retirement funds; and impose liens; Increasing the amount of monthly support payments to include amounts for arrearages; Filing of information on location/identity of parties in State case registry upon entry of order; Statewide jurisdiction over orders and transfer of cases between local jurisdictions without additional filing; and Using of automated system to maximum extent feasible to implement expedited administrative procedures ['325] -- ''466(c) & 454A(h)
State laws concerning paternity establishment, including:
Establish paternity before age 21 (retroactive to 8/16/84); Genetic tests in contested cases upon request w/sworn affidavits; Payment for genetic testing; Provide for a simple civil process for voluntarily acknowledging paternity with prior explanation/written notice to parents; Birth record agency must offer voluntary paternity establishment services, and other may; Name of father included on birth record only if both mother and father have signed an acknowledgment, or court or administrative authority has adjudicated paternity; Development of affidavit for voluntary acknowledgment of paternity which must be given full faith and credit in any other State; Procedures where voluntary acknowledgments and adjudication of paternity are filed with the State registry of birth records for comparison with State case registry; Admissibility of test results if performed by accredited laboratory; Rescission timeframe of 60 Days for signed voluntary paternity acknowledgments; elimination of judicial/administrative ratification proceedings on unchallenged paternity acknowledgments; Default orders; No right to jury trial in paternity cases; Issuance of temporary support orders in paternity cases; Evidentiary treatment of birth expenses/bills; and Opportunity for putative fathers to initiate paternity proceedings ['331(a)] -- '466(a)(5)
State plan requirements for paternity outreach activities ['332] -- '454(23)
Cooperation/good cause ['333] -- '454(29)
State use of definitions for collecting & reporting data ['343(b)] -- '454(30)
Simplified review & adjustment process ['351] -- '466(a)(10)
Voiding of fraudulent transfers ['364] -- '466(g)
Work requirement for persons owing child support ['365] -- '466(a)(15)
Reporting arrearages to credit bureaus ['367] -- '466(a)(7)
Liens on real/personal property by operation of law; full faith and credit to liens without registration of order ['368] -- '466(a)(4)
State law authorizing the suspension of licenses ['369] -- '466(a)(16)
International CSE -- State treatment of international requests ['371(b)] -- '454(32)
Financial institution data matches ['372] -- '466(a)(17)
Enforcing orders against grandparents in cases of minors ['373] -- '466(a)(18)
State cooperative agreements with Indian Tribes ['375(a)] -- '454(33)
Enforcement of orders for health care coverage ['382] -- '466(a)(19)
Explicit statutory requirement that Title IV-D services be provided to nonresident applicants; enforce child support & support due on behalf of child's custodian ['301(a)] -- ''454(4)&(6)
Continuation of IV-D services for former recipients of IV-A assistance [301(b)] -- '454(25)
Requirements Effective 3/1/97
Use of forms by States in interstate cases ['324(b)] -- '454(9)(E)
Requirements Effective 10/1/97
Annual State self-reviews & reports ['342(a)] -- '454(15)
Data submitted on compliance with Federal performance requirements ['342(a)] --'454(15)
State privacy safeguards ['303(a)] -- '454(26)
State procedures-notices & copies of orders ['304(b)] -- 454(12)
State directory of new hires ['313] -- 454 (28)
ADP systems meeting all IV-D requirements enacted on or before Family Support Act ['344] -- '454(24)
Denial/restriction/revocation of passport if arrears greater than $5000 ['370] -- ''452(k) & 454(31)
Requirements Effective 1/1/98
Adoption of UIFSA (with modifications) ['321] -- '466(f)
Requirements Effective 10/1/98
All support orders established or modified on or after 10/1/98 included in State central registry, which must be in place by 10/1/2000 ['311 and '344(a)(2)] -- '454A
Centralized automated unit for collections and disbursements ['312] -- '454(27)
Collection through State centralized collection unit of orders under wage withholding['312] -- '454B
State new hire reporting systems in existence prior to P.L. 104-193 must meet rest of new requirements ['313] -- '454(28)
Requirements Effective 10/1/99
End of optional exception period for local court collection of child support in lieu of State centralized collection unit ['312] -- '454B
Requirements Effective 10/1/2000
ADP systems must meet all IV-D requirements enacted on or before this law (with additional time tied to regulation issuance) ['344(A)(4)] -- '454(24)