OCSE reminds employers of mandatory electronic orders

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) reminded employers at the American Payroll Association’s (APA) 33rd Annual Congress recently held in Las Vegas, Nevada, that electronic child support orders are mandatory by October 1, 2015. The requirement was included in the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, H.R. 4980 (P.L. 113-183) and was signed by the President on September 29, 2014 (see Payroll Management Guide Report Letter 2382, dated December 2, 2014). Employers collect over 70% of all child support through income withholding orders (IWO). OCSE worked with states and employers to automate the income withholding process with electronic income withholding orders (e-IWO).

Current states
States using e-IWO: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

What you need to know about e-IWO

  • Uses Secure File Transfer Protocol to send electronic-IWOs;
  • IWOs are not sent via e-mail;
  • A centralized process through OCSE that eliminates the need for individual state processes;
  • Saves time and money.

Two ways to implement e-IWO

  • System-to-System – Large employers can benefit by fully automating the process to receive files electronically, or
  • No Programming Option (NPO) – (1) easy to implement with limited resources required, and (2) receive IWOs in .pdf format and respond easily using a spreadsheet or fillable .pdf document

Lump-sum and e-Term
OCSE’s Federal Parent Locator Service offers employers two electronic reporting tools to notify multiple state child support agencies of information regarding their employees: (1) Lump Sum Reporting-when an employee is eligible to receive a lump sum payment, and (2) Electronic Termination (eTerm) – when an individual is no longer working or never worked for the employer. Forty-eight states participate in lump sum reporting and 45 states participate in eTerm. (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/css; OCSE’s Child Support Portal News March 2015; Electronic Income Withholding Order – e-IWO A Paperless Solution.)

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