The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) reports that during fiscal year 2013, the last year for which statistics are available, 74% of all child support payments were made via paycheck withholding. That’s $30 billion. The OCSE is beefing up its electronic income withholding orders, or eIWOs, in order to make the child support withholding process even more efficient.
Coming soon to a state near you. As a condition of receiving federal financial aid, all state child support agencies must have an approved state plan that describes the nature and scope of their child support programs and that meets all federal requirements.
Newest requirement: The Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183), which was enacted in September 2014, adds a requirement that all states adopt the eIWO by Oct. 1, 2015.
Small break: States must submit their plans to the OCSE by Dec. 31, 2015.
While employers aren’t required to accept eIWOs, they are encouraged to do so. Electronic processing reduces errors and the cost of postage and provides ongoing communication links between you and your state child support office. You have three electronic choices:
- If you receive a significant number of IWOs per week or month, and have available information technology resources for a three-to-five month programming effort, System-to-System may be the option for you
- If you don’t have the IT resources, two no-programming options are available: a fillable PDF or XLS spreadsheet.
Employers that use eIWOs can also use the eIWO process to relieve themselves of another paperwork chore: notifying their state child support office when an employee terminates. Termination notifications are made using the OSCE’s eTerm app. After you enter your information into eTerm, the OSCE transmits the information to the state.