May 3-5, 2005
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington.
Purpose of the Call
On May 3 and 5, 2005 the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) facilitated conference calls with states to discuss the results of the one-time match between the OCSE Debtor file and the SSA State Verification and Exchange System (SVES). The agenda for the calls included the following topics.
- Determine States’ progress on reviewing cases
- Establish timeframes for completion of the project
- Project how long the PO Box should remain open
- Evaluate progress of states so SSA can allocate resources accordingly
- Discuss tracking of matches
States’ progress on working the returned matches varied from state to state; however, all states reported they had either sent the matches to their field offices, which were in the process of working the cases, or they had completed working their matches. Eight states have completed the project, with another three states indicating that they will finish by the end of May. States remain enthusiastic about the project since they are now receiving payments in cases where no payments had been made in years. Additionally, states reported other case actions due to these matches such as: 1) in interstate cases with no payments, the matches were referred to the other state to do the income withholding, 2) CPs were referred to SSA for child benefits, 3) NCPs paid off arrears in lieu of having their SSA benefits garnished, and 4) matched information was good for locate and for updating demographic information on their system.
Volume & Timeframes
SSA reported they have processed 20,593 income withholdings nationwide. States have been extremely pleased with the prompt turnaround by SSA on handling the large volume of income withholdings sent to the special PO Box. Furthermore, states reported they are receiving payments at least one month faster than if they sent the income withholdings to their field offices. Since states progress differed from state to state it was undecided, at this time, how long the PO Box would remain open. However, given states progress thus far, the PO Box is expected to remain open until the end of August 2005. This timeframe will be discussed in a future conference call with states, which is expected at the end of June or beginning of July. In the interim, states are encouraged to report their progress to the State TS team.
Economic Analysis and Evaluation of the Data
OCSE’s Economic Analysis (EA) team discussed efforts to gather data and analyze the results of the match. The EA team would like to work with any state able to provide information on the number of matches received, the number of income withholdings sent to SSA and the amount of the collections. During the calls, representatives from Washington and Oregon volunteered to work with the EA team. Other states will provide data to their respective State Technical Support Liaison as it becomes available.
- Determine why an income withholding sent to the PO Box received payments faster than if it was sent to an SSA field office.
- Determine if matches can be sent proactively.
- Montana will send OCSE examples of cases where they sent an income withholding, however, no payments have been received.
- MI, MA, OK, and NY will provide a status to their FPLS State Technical Support liaison.
- WA will provide statistical information to OCSE.
State Progress on Processing the Match Results
State representatives shared their progress to date in processing the SSA garnishment match data. The following matrix provides information on each state’s progress.
|Alabama||Working cases at the county level. This project is competing with their paternity project so resources are an issue.|
|Alaska||238 IWNs sent with the majority of cases paying due to IWNs sent. Project is complete.|
|Arizona||No statistics at this time.|
|California||Has forwarded the information to the counties but does not have the results.|
|Idaho||172 IWNs sent. 20 added/corrected DOB. Project is complete.|
|Indiana||Have not received feedback from the counties.|
|Iowa||181 IWNs sent. 29% of matches SSA already had an IWN in place. 20% of matches were interstate cases and either referral made or IWN sent. Project is complete.|
|Massachusetts||In the process of reviewing cases. Found that there is an issue with dependents being emancipated so cases have to be reviewed manually. Resources to work project is an issue.|
|Michigan||They have not distributed the matches to their counties but are planning to do so. Have resource problems.|
|Minnesota||They already had a SVES interface with OCSE so not much new matches. 10 IWNs sent. Project is complete.|
|Mississippi||Had 1300 matches and has completed the project.|
|Missouri||Matches sent to the counties however no statistical information at this time.|
|Montana||Project is complete. Most IWNs sent in Dec 04. 32 matches were interstate.|
|Nevada||67 IWNs sent out of the 318 matches. Project is complete.|
|New Hampshire||67% of the 180 cases worked. 66 IWNs sent, 4 cases had another employer, 16 the NCP was receiving SSI and cannot be enforced. 20 cases NCP making payments.|
|New York||Currently analyzing the data however they have resource issues. They definitely want to do this project.|
|North Carolina||Out of 1203 matches 612 IWNs sent. Some cases have to be taken to court for arrears payment so more IWNs are likely.|
|North Dakota||IWNs sent on 50% of cases. 25% of cases were interstate and the match was sent to the other state to do IWN. Project expected to complete end of May.|
|Oklahoma||Matches distributed to the counties.|
|Oregon||Project complete. Out of 1102 reviewed 167 IWNs sent for 35K and 148 referred to SSA.|
|Pennsylvania||18 of 67 counties have reported. 616 cases reviewed. 25% of cases resulted in no action taken. 45% of the cases had an IWO issued. 13% had good locate information.|
|Rhode Island||Out of 400 matches they have reviewed 50 cases. Have not done many IWNs however matches good for closing and cleaning up cases.|
|South Carolina||Project is nearly complete. 302 IWO issued. Project provided good locate information. Only one case a problem due to custody issue.|
|South Dakota||IWNs sent on 50% of cases. 25% of cases were interstate and the match was sent to the other state to do IWN. Project expected to complete end of May.|
|Tennessee||Sent 1223 to 31 offices. 14 offices have completed their project. 615 cases reviewed 351 IWNs sent 250 referred CP to SSA 19 cases need review and adjustment. Project will end at the end of May.|
|Washington||494 matches received and reviewed. 162 IWNs sent. 60% of cases the NCP was paying, 20% SSA already, 24 interstate cases. Project complete.|