PSA: Washington State Division of Child Support
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Division of Child Support

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO CUSTODIANS RECEIVING IV-D CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES:

Beginning October 1, 2007, federal law provides that certain child support cases are subject to a $25 fee each year. Washington law provides that this fee will be paid by the custodial parent. The $25 fee will be withheld from child support payments that are made on the case, but only after $500 in child support has been disbursed to the family between October 1 and September 30 (the federal fiscal year), and only if the custodial parent has never received TANF, Tribal TANF or AFDC on behalf of a child.

If you have questions, or would like additional information about the $25 fee please refer to the following links, or call the KIDS general information line at 1-800-442-KIDS.

Fee Links:


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Why is the Division of Child Support collecting a $25 fee?

Federal law now requires child support agencies to collect a $25 fee in certain "never-assistance" cases beginning October 1st. This is part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 passed by Congress and signed by the President. It is an effort by Congress to reduce the federal cost of funding state child support programs. The Washington law is found in Section 5 of SSB 5244 (Chapter 143, Laws of 2007).

Will I have to pay a fee for my child support case?

Your case will qualify for a $25 fee each year when at least $500 is disbursed in your case between October 1st and September 30th, but only if you have never received TANF, Tribal TANF, or AFDC as a custodian of a child.

What happens if I have more than one child support case?

If you have never received TANF, Tribal TANF or AFDC as the custodian of a child and you are the custodian in more than one child support case, a fee will be deducted for each case where at least $500 is collected and disbursed during the federal fiscal year, which is October 1st through September 30th.

How will the $25 fee be collected?

The $25 fee will be deducted from your child support after the first $500 has been disbursed to you in the federal fiscal year (October 1st through September 30th). There is no need for you to make or send in a fee payment.

Can I pay the $25 fee by sending the Division of Child Support a check?

No, DCS is unable to accept your check for payment of the fee. State law requires the $25 fee to be deducted directly from your child support after the first $500 has been disbursed to you in the federal fiscal year (October 1st through September 30th).

Which state collects the fee when the custodian lives in one state, and the noncustodial parent lives in another state?

The state where the child support case originated is responsible for collecting the fee. This is typically the state where the custodian lives.

Will the noncustodial parent get full credit even though the fee is deducted from my child support payment?

Yes, federal law requires that the noncustodial parent receive full credit for the support payment made even though a fee may be deducted from the support that you receive. (For example, if $500 has already been sent to the custodian and the next payment made is $100, the noncustodial parent will receive credit for a payment of $100, but the custodian will receive only $75).

How is the Division of Child Support notifying custodians of the $25 fee requirement?

The Division of Child Support is sending a Notice (DCS Form 18-686) to all custodians who have open child support cases who may potentially be affected by this fee. In addition to this letter, DCS is updating forms, its website, and the KIDS phone line to include information about the new fee.

What if I am the custodian and I received TANF, Tribal TANF or AFDC in the past?

The Division of Child Support will know if you have received TANF or AFDC through Washington State. However, if you have received TANF, Tribal TANF, or AFDC in another state or tribal jurisdiction you must let us know or the fee may be charged for your case. You may submit proof of past public assistance by submitting certified public assistance records from that other state or tribal agency, or a letter confirming receipt of public assistance on that agency's letterhead. Please enclose DCS Form 18-686 with your proof.

If I am a custodian, can I ask that the fee be waived?

Yes, you can ask that the $25 fee be waived if you can prove that paying the fee would cause hardship to you, or your family. This request is called a conference board request, and relief will be granted only under limited circumstances.

FEDERAL LAW

DEFICIT REDUCTION ACT OF 2005 120 STAT. 148 PUBLIC LAW 109-171-FEB. 8, 2006 SEC. 7310. MANDATORY FEE FOR SUCCESSFUL CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTION FOR FAMILY THAT HAS NEVER RECEIVED TANF.

(a) In General- Section 454(6)(B) (42 U.S.C. 654(6)(B)) is amended--
(1) by inserting `(i)' after `(B)';
(2) by re-designating clauses (i) and (ii) as subclauses (I) and
(II), respectively;
(3) by adding `and' after the semicolon; and
(4) by adding after and below the end the following new clause:
    `(ii) in the case of an individual who has never received assistance under a State program funded under part A and for whom the State has collected at least $500 of support, the State shall impose an annual fee of $25 for each case in which services are furnished, which shall be retained by the State from support collected on behalf of the individual (but not from the first $500 so collected), paid by the individual applying for the services, recovered from the absent parent, or paid by the State out of its own funds (the payment of which from State funds shall not be considered as an administrative cost of the State for the operation of the plan, and the fees shall be considered income to the program);'.
(b) Conforming Amendments- Section 457(a)(3) (42 U.S.C. 657(a)(3)) is amended to read as follows:
    `(3) FAMILIES THAT NEVER RECEIVED ASSISTANCE- In the case of any other family, the State shall distribute to the family the portion of the amount so collected that remains after withholding any fee pursuant to section 454(6)(B)(ii).'.
(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall take
effect on October 1, 2006.

STATE OF WASHINGTON LAW

Section 5 of SSB 5244 (Chapter 143, Laws of 2007):

Sec.5. RCW 74.20.040 and 1997 c 58 s 891 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) Whenever the department receives an application for public assistance on behalf of a child, the department shall take appropriate action under the provisions of this chapter, chapter 74.20A RCW, or other appropriate statutes of this state to establish or enforce support obligations against the parent or other persons owing a duty to pay support moneys.
(2) The secretary may accept a request for support enforcement services on behalf of persons who are not recipients of public assistance and may take appropriate action to establish or enforce support obligations against the parent or other persons owing a duty to pay moneys. Requests accepted under this subsection may be conditioned upon the payment of a fee as required by subsection (6) of this section or through regulation issued by the secretary. The secretary may establish by regulation, reasonable standards and qualifications for support enforcement services under this subsection.
(3) The secretary may accept requests for support enforcement services from child support enforcement agencies in other states operating child support programs under Title IV-D of the social security act or from foreign countries, and may take appropriate action to establish and enforce support obligations, or to enforce subpoenas, information requests, orders for genetic testing, and collection actions issued by the other agency against the parent or other person owing a duty to pay support moneys, the parent or other person's employer, or any other person or entity properly subject to child support collection or information-gathering processes. The request shall contain and be accompanied by such information and documentation as the secretary may by rule require, and be signed by an authorized representative of the agency. The secretary may adopt rules setting forth the duration and nature of services provided under this subsection.
4) The department may take action to establish, enforce, and collect a support obligation, including performing related services, under this chapter and chapter 74.20A RCW, or through the attorney general or prosecuting attorney for action under chapter 26.09, 26.18, 26.20, 26.21A, or 26.26 RCW or other appropriate statutes or the common law of this state. (5) Whenever a support order is filed with the Washington state support registry under chapter 26.23 RCW, the department may take appropriate action under the provisions of this chapter, chapter 26.23 or 74.20A RCW, or other appropriate law of this state to establish or enforce the support obligations contained in that order against the responsible parent or other persons owing a duty to pay support moneys. (6) The secretary, in the case of an individual who has never received assistance under a state program funded under part A and for whom the state has collected at least five hundred dollars of support, shall impose an annual fee of twenty-five dollars for each case in which services are furnished, which shall be retained by the state from support collected on behalf of the individual, but not from the first five hundred dollars of support. The secretary may, on showing of necessity, waive or defer any such fee or cost. (7) Fees, due and owing, may be retained from support payments directly or collected as delinquent support moneys utilizing any of the remedies in chapter 74.20 RCW, chapter 74.20A RCW, chapter 26.21A RCW, or any other remedy at law or equity available to the department or any agencies with whom it has a cooperative or contractual arrangement to establish, enforce, or collect support moneys or support obligations. (8) The secretary may waive the fee, or any portion thereof, as a part of a compromise of disputed claims or may grant partial or total charge off of said fee if the secretary finds there are no available, practical, or lawful means by which said fee may be collected or to facilitate payment of the amount of delinquent support moneys or fees owed.
(9) The secretary shall adopt rules conforming to federal laws, including but not limited to complying with section 7310 of the federal deficit reduction act of 2005, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 654, and rules and regulations required to be observed in maintaining the state child support enforcement program required under Title IV-D of the federal social security act. The adoption of these rules shall be calculated to promote the cost-effective use of the agency's resources and not otherwise cause the agency to divert its resources from its essential functions.