Attachment No. 1 to UIPL No. 15-82
Child Support Intercept
Questions and Answers
Can the central state child support enforcement agency negotiate with us on behalf of all local and interstate child support agencies?
Can we arrange with that central agency for reimbursement of our administrative costs?
Who should take the first step, SESA or IV-D agency? We urge no delay. If you have not yet begun negotiations, you should initiate them now.
How should we word the question on our initial claim form?
Settle that jointly with your IV-D agency (but your IB-1 must use the wording approved by the IB Committee). As a starting point here are samples-of language to consider:
How should we word the question on our initial claim form?Are you required to make or do you owe child support payments? ( ) Yes ( ) No.
If "YES", where?
City County State
Are you required to pay child support to a State or local child support enforcement agency? Yes ( ) NO ( ). If yes, where is it?
May we agree not to ask the questions?
Only if your IV-D agency will not pay for the use. If that agency concludes there is a more cost effective way to find the relevant claimants (e.g., by computer cross checks), it may refuse to pay for use of the questions.
Should SESAs impose penalties for willful misrepresentation if a claimant falsely answers "No," to the question about his/her child support obligation?
That depends on the wording of State law. It may not be a false statement to obtain benefits, since the amount to be withheld is considered benefits paid to the claimant and paid by him to the child support agency.
If a claimant answers "Yes", have we an obligation to do anything more than notify the IV-D agency?
Yes. The SESA must determine the claimants' eligibility for UI. The SESA must report to the State or local child support enforcement agency any claimant who answer the question "Yes" and notify the agency of the claimants' eligibility for UI, in every-case where the claimant is determined to be eligible. SESAs need do nothing further until the CSEA confirms that the claimant owes such obligations which are enforced by it. If the CSEA submits to the SESA an agreement referred to in 303 (e) (2) (iii) (II) or legal process referred to in 303 (e) (2) (A) (iii) (III) , the SESA will deduct and withhold in accordance with such agreement or legal process instead of the amount (if any) specified by the claimant. SESAs are not to encourage voluntary arrangements oraccept oral or written agreements by the claimant; for all such matters refer the claimant to the local CSEA.
What kinds of written notices will we have as a basis for withholding?
(a) The amount specified in writing by the claimant as required by 303 (e) (2) (A) (iii) I.
SESAs must not make agreements with claimants who volunteer to have amounts deducted from UI benefits for child support obligations because the child support obligation may not be subject to enforcement through a IV-D agency. Claimants who offer to have child support obligation deducted from UI benefits should be referred to the State or local IV-D agency.
(b) An agreement submitted by the child support enforcement agency to the SESA,in accordance with 303 (e) (2) (A) (iii) (II) .
(c) Legal process as provided in 303 (e) (2) (A) (iii) (III).
How long does such an agreement or legal process remain effective?
Look to the agreement or legal process for any time limitations; SESAs will be bound by the time limits contained in the agreement or legal process. If no time limit is stated, SESAsshall comtimue to make deductions and withholdings until notified otherwise as through a new agreement or legal process.
Must SESAs issue a written notice of determination to claimant regarding deductions from his/her weekly benefit amount to satisfy child support obligations?
State Employment Security Agencies must give each claimant an initial written notice which explains the beginning date and amount of deduction from his/her weekly benefit amount in satisfaction of child support obligations to a child support enforcement agency. This notice may be issued at the time of or with the first benefit check from which a deduction is made. The notice must explain the authority for the deductions (State law, Court order, or administrative order by a IV-D agency) and include the claimant's right to appeal the SESA's action in deducting amounts for child support through the UI appeal process. However, this appeal is limited to the accuracy of the amount deducted and/or the validity of the agreement or legal process. Claimants should be advised to seek remedy through the court or IV-D agency enforcing the child support obligation when the claimants question the "reasonableness" or "fairness" of the amount-deducted in terms of their ability to pay.
Issuing notices and processing appeals are administrative costs in connection with child support intercept which require reimbursement by the State IV-D agency. The notice is not a nonmonetary determination nor is the appeal chargeable as appeal workload.
Must SESA give the claimant a weekly notice of or receipt for the amount withheld?
It is not a requirement. IV-D agencies will give a receipt on request. A claimant needs it to support income tax deductions. It would be a useful control on internal agency fraud if you obtain agreement from the IV-D agency that the IV-D agency will issue notices and receipts to claimants and to include this in your agreement with the IV-D agency.
For the form 1099 UC, statement for recipients of unemployment compensation payments, do we report the gross amount of benefits for the year, or the net amount after child support withholding?
The gross amount.
If we are recouping an overpayment we made, does the withholding order take precedence?
No. It affects only benefits otherwise payable to the claimant. We consider that to mean only amounts which you do not recoup or deduct because of disqualifying income, or reduce for any other reason.
In a week for which benefits are reduced because of wages or other provisions of law, how is withholding affected?
SESAs can withhold only as much as the claimant would be paid after any other reduction under State law.
How much reimbursement of our expenses will the IV-D agency supply?
The statute requires IV-D agencies to pay all SESA direct and indirect costs, including startup costs in planning and preparation and negotiation of the agreement with the IV-D agency.
While estimated startup costs depend on the automation involved, what is the best way to compute and bill later operating costs?
In a highly automated system, little cost will exist except for data processing services. In largely manual systems, a cost model study should yield workable guidelines. Either should be reducible to a charge per transaction, and billing simply involves counting the actions taken and multiplying by the unit rate. A pattern is suggested in the attached model agreement.
If a SESA paid a claimant for a week and deducted an amount for child support but later established an overpayment for the week, is the claimant required to repay the entire amount or can we recover from the IV-D agency the amount we paid it?
The statute provides that the amount withheld is treated as if it had been paid to the claimant and been paid by the claimant to the child support agency. Therefore the claimant will have to repay the SESA the entire amount; the claimant may have recourse against the IV-D agency.