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Revisions to and Resubmission of State IV-D Plan Pages to Comply with FEM

AT-17-03

Published: April 10, 2017

ACTION TRANSMITTAL

AT-17-03

DATE: April 10, 2017

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

SUBJECT: Revisions to and Resubmission of State IV-D Plan Pages to Comply with FEM

States must resubmit plan pages indicated below to certify compliance with the child support regulations that were amended by the Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs (FEM) Final Rule, published on December 20, 2016, in the Federal Register, on page 93492, Volume 81, Number 44 and disseminated via AT-16-06.

As a condition of receiving Federal Financial Participation, the state IV-D agency must have an approved state plan describing the nature and scope of its child support program that meets all federal requirements. The state plan consists of the preprinted state plan pages and any related attachments and contains the information necessary for OCSE to determine whether the plan may be approved.

Pursuant to 45 CFR 301.13, after approval of the original plan by OCSE, all relevant changes, required by new statutes, rules, regulations, interpretations, and court decisions, are required to be submitted currently so OCSE may determine whether the plan continues to meet federal requirements and policies. Additionally, in accordance with 45 CFR 301.13(g), the effective date of a new plan may not be earlier than the first day of the calendar quarter in which an approvable plan is submitted.

CONTENT: The following 10 state plan pages and a completed transmittal notice form (OCSE-21-U4) must be submitted via the online state plan system, attesting to compliance with the requirements set forth on those pages. The due dates for the plan pages will vary based on the compliance dates for the requirements as discussed below.

  • State plan page 2.1, State Obligation to Provide Child Support Enforcement Services, has been revised to add a statement about the establishment of guidelines for the use of civil contempt citations in child support cases. This plan page must be resubmitted to certify compliance with the guidelines on the use of civil contempt under 45 CFR 303.6(c)(4). If state law revisions are not needed, the compliance date is 60 days after December 20, 2016, or February 21, 2017. If state law revisions are needed, the compliance date is the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the state legislature that begins after the effective date of the regulation.

    This state plan page will also need to be resubmitted when the state complies with the new provision under establishment of support obligations under 45 CFR 303.4 related to applying the child support guidelines. The compliance date for this provision is 1 year after completion of the first quadrennial review of the state’s guidelines that commences more than 1 year after December 20, 2016.
  • State plan page 2.4, Collection and Distribution of Support Payments, has been revised to add 45 CFR 302.38 as a citation and to add to the end of paragraph 2, “conservator representing the custodial parent and child directly with a legal and fiduciary duty, or alternate caretaker designated in a record by the custodial parent.” Also, added were data fields for the state to indicate the pass-through and disregard amounts if applicable. If state law revisions are not needed, the compliance date is 60 days after December 20, 2016, or February 21, 2017. If state law revisions are needed, the compliance date is the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the state legislature that begins after the effective date of the regulation.
  • State plan page 2.5-2, Services to Individuals, has been updated to include “IV-E and title XIX” to the assistance programs listed in paragraph 4 and must be submitted to certify compliance with the requirements under 45 CFR 302.33(a)(4). If state law revisions are not needed, the compliance date is 1 year after December 20, 2016, or December 20, 2017. If state law revisions are needed, the compliance date is the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the state legislature that begins after the effective date of the regulation.
  • State plan page 2.5-4, Services to Individuals, has been revised to add to paragraph 7 the option for states to provide paternity-only limited services in intrastate cases to any applicant who requests it under 45 CFR 302.33(a)(6). There is no specific compliance date since this is an optional requirement. However, OCSE encourages states to submit this plan page by the end of the calendar year so OCSE has an accurate record of which states will offer paternity-only limited services. If the state elects to offer the service after this period, the state must resubmit the plan page.
  • State plan page 2.8, Medical Support Enforcement Activities, has not been revised but needs to be resubmitted to certify compliance with the requirement under 45 CFR 303.31 that allows public health care coverage to meet the medical support requirement. If state law revisions are not needed, the compliance date is 60 days after December 20, 2016, or February 21, 2017. If state law revisions are needed, the compliance date is the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the state legislature that begins after the effective date of the regulation.
  • State plan page 2.12-10, Review and Adjustment of Child Support Orders, has been revised to add 45 CFR 303.8 as a citation and the requirement that after learning that a parent who owes support will be incarcerated for more than 180 calendar days, the state either sends a notice of the right to request review and adjustment within 15 days, including the place and manner in which the request must be made; or elects to initiate review and adjustment without the need for a specific request. If state law revisions are not needed, the compliance date is 1 year after December 20, 2016, or December 20, 2017. If state law revisions are needed, the compliance date is the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the state legislature that begins after the effective date of the regulation.

    This plan page will also need to be resubmitted when the state complies with the new requirement under 45 CFR 303.8(c). Specifically, the State must certify that the quantitative standard must not exclude incarceration as a basis for determining whether an inconsistency between the existing child support order amount, and the amount of support determined as a result of a review, is adequate grounds for petitioning for adjustment of the order.  Additionally, the page will need to be resubmitted when the state complies with the revised requirement under 45 CFR 303.8(d). Public health care coverage, such as Medicaid, must no longer be excluded when determining the need to provide for the child’s health care needs in the order, through health insurance or other means. It must be an adequate basis under state law to initiate an adjustment of an order, regardless of whether an adjustment in the amount of child support is necessary. The compliance date for both of these provisions is 1 year after completion of the first quadrennial review of the state’s guidelines that commences more than 1 year after December 20, 2016.
  • State plan page 3.1, Cooperative Arrangements, has been revised to reflect that cooperative arrangements can be in forms other than written and to add corrections officials to the list of entities with which a state may enter into agreements under 45 CFR 302.34. There is no specific compliance date since this is an optional requirement. However, states must resubmit this plan page whenever new cooperative arrangements are executed.
  • State plan page 3.3, State Statutes, has not been amended but must be resubmitted, including the required attachment, if revisions are made to state laws. This plan page reflects all the state statutes and regulations having the force of law that establish procedures to determine paternity, establish the child support obligation, and to enforce the support obligation.
  • State plan page 3.8-3, Statewide Automated Data Processing and Information Retrieval System, has been amended and must be resubmitted to certify compliance with the requirements under 45 CFR 307.11(c)(3) for states to build automated processes designed to preclude garnishing financial accounts of noncustodial parents who receive SSI or SSI and SSDI concurrently and the requirement to return the funds to the noncustodial parent’s financial account within 5 business days if they are inappropriately garnished. If state law revisions are not needed, the compliance date is 1 year after December 20, 2016, or December 20, 2017. If state law revisions are needed, the compliance date is the first day of the second calendar quarter beginning after the close of the first regular session of the state legislature that begins after the effective date of the regulation.
  • State plan page 3.11, Guidelines for Setting Child Support Obligations Within the State, has been revised to remove “October 13, 1989” and add the requirements for attachment 3.11A, a copy of the state’s guidelines that includes the effective date of the guidelines, the date of the last quadrennial review, and the date of the next quadrennial review under 45 CFR 302.56. The compliance date is 1 year after completion of the first quadrennial review of the state’s guidelines that commences more than 1 year after December 20, 2016.

To demonstrate compliance with the requirements discussed above, states will need to include supporting documentation and, where applicable, required attachments with their state plan page submissions. States may provide required attachments and supporting documentation via a hyperlink or PDF file. Please see AT-16-06 for the compliance dates listed by federal requirement.

ACTION REQUIRED: Submit the state plan pages as discussed above via the online state plan system in accordance with the instructions in AT-15-02.

INQUIRIES TO: ACF/OCSE Regional Program Managers

Donna J. Bonar
Acting Commissioner
Office of Child Support Enforcement

Last Reviewed: June 2, 2017

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