Tuesday, May 31, 2011

OCSE Revises Child Support Income Withholding Order Form

The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has finalized a new version of the Income Withholding for Support (IWO) Form [OCSE Action Transmittal AT-11-05, 5/16/11].

An IWO form is used by state and tribal agencies to transmit child support withholding orders and notices to employers and other debtors using standardized formats prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The new version of the form includes the following changes:

Shading has been eliminated from sections of the form that caused problems when the form was faxed.

The note on page one of the form has been reworded to say that if an employer receives an IWO form from someone other than a state or tribal child support agency, the employer should attach a copy of the underlying order to the IWO form.

The remittance identifier has been moved to page one of the form above the case and order identifier to ensure that employers/income withholders will use the identifier when submitting payments.

A checkbox has been added on page two of the form for employers to indicate that the IWO is being returned because it either does not direct payments to the State Disbursement Unit (SDU), or the IWO is irregular.

The employment termination section of the form has been expanded to allow employers to note that there has been a change in the employee's income status.

The form instructions have been updated to include guidance on when to reject and return invalid IWOs.

Employers must reject a new IWO issued after May 30, 2011, that is not directed to the SDU as required under federal law, and return it to the sender. With respect to IWOs issued before May 31, 2011 that the employer has already processed and that are not directed to the SDU, the employer should contact the state child support enforcement (CSE) agency in the state that issued the underlying support order to request a revised IWO form directing payment to the SDU. Effective May 31, 2012, an employer must reject an income withholding document that was not issued on an approved Office of Management and Budget form.

The OCSE is advising states, tribes, and others to begin using the new form immediately. States that require additional time to implement the new IWO form may honor previous versions of the forms until May 31, 2012.

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