Insurance Claims Reporting

Insurance companies doing business in Washington state are required under RCW 26.23.037 to report certain insurance claims to the Washington State Department of Social Health Services Division of Child Support to determine if the claimant owes child support debt. Claims include bodily injury or wrongful death, workers’ compensation claims or a claim under a policy of life insurance, including an annuity.

Within 10 days of opening a claim, insurance companies must report the claim through one of the following methods: the federal Office of Child Support Services, Child Support Lien Network or directly to the Division of Child Support’s Special Collections Unit.

DCS’s Special Collections Unit specifically handles all insurance claim liens. While the claimant’s child support case has an assigned support enforcement officer, insurance companies and attorneys should direct all communications to the Special Collections Unit. The exception is worker’s compensation claims, which the assigned support enforcement officer handles. The main DCS phone number is 800-442-5437.

  • If the claimant is represented by an attorney, have the attorney contact the Special Collections Unit via email to LSC@dshs.wa.gov.
  • If the claimant is not represented, email LSC@dshs.wa.gov for a current debt balance and further instructions.
  • Make the check payable to Washington State Support Registry.
  • Please note the claimant’s name and DCS case number on the payments.
  • Mail to: WSSR, P.O. Box 45868, Olympia, WA 98504.
  1. The claimant’s:
    • Full name.
    • Date of birth.
    • Address.
    • Social Security number (if available).
  2. The insurer’s:
    • Name.
    • Claims department mailing address for lien receipt.
    • Claim number in the proper format for identification of the claim.
    • Claim date of loss.
  3. The adjustor’s:
    • Name.
    • Telephone number.
    • Email address.
    • Fax number.
The federal Office of Child Support Services conducts the Insurance Match program that partners with insurance and state agencies to conduct data matches. When the program finds matched individuals, it sends the information to the state’s child support agency.
 
Your insurance company may be able to participate through a data-matching exchange option or by registering for a Child Support Lien Network account to perform an individual search on a claimant who may owe past-due child support in Washington. CSLN releases information on matched individuals to the state.
Phone: 888-240-7488
 
Division of Child Support, Special Collections Unit
If your insurance company is unable to report through the above methods, contact DCS’s Special Collections Unit.

This notice of lien attaches to the full amount of the settlement as an asset of the claimant. This includes third-party and first-party damages (uninsured motorist, uninsured motorist bodily injury, uninsured motorist general damages, etc.). The only exclusions are medical bills paid directly to a provider and property damage (unless Washington State Department of Social and Health Services is listed as a lienholder on the vehicle’s title).

 
Upon receipt of the notice of lien, the insurer should flag their file noting the lien and provide DCS’s Special Collections Unit a written or electronic confirmation of receipt. Please include the DCS case number with your correspondence and send it to: 
Mail: Division of Child Support
P.O. Box 11520
Tacoma, WA 98411
 
 
The Special Collections Unit reaches out periodically to check the status of the claim. This is to ensure the claim is still open and active and to determine if the claimant has retained an attorney. The Special Collections Unit will notify the attorney of the notice of lien and provide contact information for resolving the child support debt if or when the claim settles.
 
Please notify the Special Collections Unit via email at LSC@dshs.wa.gov if a claim closes without payment or a claimant retains an attorney.

No. The insurance company is the asset holder. DCS requires the payment to come directly from the asset holder, payable to DCS/Washington State Support Registry.

Washington defines insurance companies as financial institutions per RCW 74.20A.020(14)(d). DCS is entitled to send a levy, an order to withhold property or a notice of lien to any entity that possesses property that is or will become due, or belongs to a debtor. The recipient of the order or lien must seize the property and surrender it to DCS (see RCW 74.20A.080). The withholding order or lien has priority over any other assignment, garnishment, attachment or other legal process (see RCW 74.20A.080(14)). A recipient of an order or notice of lien who fails to surrender the property demanded may be held liable (see RCW 74.20A.100).

A child support lien is not related to providing or paying for services needed by the claimant for injuries sustained in the accident (or other subrogation claim); therefore, it is exempt from hold harmless agreements.

Please send balance requests via email to DCS’s Special Collections Unit at LSC@dshs.wa.gov.