WSR 08-20-082

EMERGENCY RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed September 29, 2008, 8:47 a.m. , effective October 1, 2008 ]


Effective Date of Rule: October 1, 2008.

Purpose: The division of child support (DCS) is adopting new and amended sections of chapter 388-14A WAC to implement state legislation that implements the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). These new and amended WAC sections will implement RCW 26.23.035 and 74.20.330. These statutes will affect the public assistance assignment and the rules concerning the distribution of child support collections. These changes will take effect on October 1, 2008. The overall effect of these rules will be to direct more money to families.

DCS has already filed the preproposal statement of inquiry to start the regular rule-making process for these rules (WSR 08-06-089). The draft rules will soon go out for review, and DCS plans to file the CR-102, notice of proposed rule making, as soon as the review is over. We anticipate filing the CR-102 in early October 2008. These emergency rules are necessary until the regular rule-making process is completed.

Amending WAC 388-14A-1020 What definitions apply to the rules regarding child support enforcement?, 388-14A-2036 What does assigning my rights to support mean?, 388-14A-2037 What are permanently assigned arrears?, 388-14A-2038 What are temporarily assigned arrears?, 388-14A-5000 ((How does the division of child support distribute support payments)) What is the difference between distribution and disbursement of child support collections?, 388-14A-5001 What procedures does DCS follow to distribute support ((payments)) collections?, 388-14A-5002 How does DCS distribute support ((money)) collections in a nonassistance case?, 388-14A-5003 How does DCS distribute ((money)) support collections in an assistance case?, 388-14A-5004 How does DCS distribute ((money)) support collections in a former assistance case?, 388-14A-5005 How does DCS distribute ((intercepted)) federal ((income)) tax refund((s)) offset collections?, 388-14A-5006 How does DCS distribute support ((money)) collections when the paying parent has more than one case?, 388-14A-5010 How does the division of child support ((handle)) distribute ((intercepted)) federal ((income)) tax refund((s)) offset collections from ((a)) joint returns?, and 388-14A-5100 ((What kind of distribution notice does the division of child support send)) How does the division of child support notify the custodial parent about support collections?; and new sections WAC 388-14A-2039 What are conditionally assigned arrears? and 388-14A-5015 What is a pass-through payment?

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 388-14A-1020, 388-14A-2036, 388-14A-2037, 388-14A-2038, 388-14A-5000, 388-14A-5001, 388-14A-5002, 388-14A-5003, 388-14A-5004, 388-14A-5005, 388-14A-5006, 388-14A-5010, and 388-14A-5100.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 26.23.035 and 74.20.330.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that state or federal law or federal rule or a federal deadline for state receipt of federal funds requires immediate adoption of a rule.

Reasons for this Finding: DCS must have these rules in effect under RCW 26.23.035 and 74.20.330, which implement the federal DRA, in order to remain in compliance with its state plan under Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act. DCS must be able to implement these federal and state statutes by October 1, 2008, or risk loss of federal funds for noncompliance.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 2, Amended 13, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 2, Amended 13, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: September 18, 2008.

Stephanie E. Schiller

Rules Coordinator

4014.1
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 08-12-029, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08)

WAC 388-14A-1020   What definitions apply to the rules regarding child support enforcement?   For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

"Absence of a court order" means that there is no court order setting a support obligation for the noncustodial parent (NCP), or specifically relieving the NCP of a support obligation, for a particular child.

"Absent parent" is a term used for a noncustodial parent.

"Accessible coverage" means health insurance coverage which provides primary care services to the children with reasonable effort by the custodian.

"Accrued debt" means past-due child support which has not been paid.

"Administrative order" means a determination, finding, decree or order for support issued under RCW 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056, or 74.20A.059 or by another state's agency under an administrative process, establishing the existence of a support obligation (including medical support) and ordering the payment of a set or determinable amount of money for current support and/or a support debt. Administrative orders include:

(1) An order entered under chapter 34.05 RCW;

(2) An agreed settlement or consent order entered under WAC 388-14A-3600; and

(3) A support establishment notice which has become final by operation of law.

"Agency" means the Title IV-D provider of a state. In Washington, this is DCS.

"Agreed settlement" is an administrative order that reflects the agreement of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and the division of child support. An agreed settlement does not require the approval of an administrative law judge.

"Aid" or "public assistance" means cash assistance under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program, the aid ((for)) to families with dependent children (AFDC) program, federally-funded or state-funded foster care, and includes day care benefits and medical benefits provided to families as an alternative or supplement to TANF.

"Alternate recipient" means a child of the employee or retiree named within a support order as being entitled to coverage under an employer's group health plan.

"Annual fee" means the twenty-five dollar annual fee charged between October 1 and September 30 each year, required by the federal deficit reduction act of 2005 and RCW 74.20.040.

"Applicant/custodian" means a person who applies for nonassistance support enforcement services on behalf of a child or children residing in their household.

"Applicant/recipient," "applicant," and "recipient" means a person who receives public assistance on behalf of a child or children residing in their household.

"Arrears" means the debt amount owed for a period of time before the current month.

"Assistance" means cash assistance under the state program funded under Title IV-A of the federal Social Security Act.

"Assistance unit" means a cash assistance unit as defined in WAC 388-408-0005. An assistance unit is the group of people who live together and whose income or resources the department counts to decide eligibility for benefits and the amount of benefits.

"Birth costs" means medical expenses incurred by the custodial parent or the state for the birth of a child.

"Conditionally assigned arrears" means those temporarily assigned arrears remaining on a case after the period of public assistance ends.

"Conference board" means a method used by the division of child support for resolving complaints regarding DCS cases and for granting exceptional or extraordinary relief from debt.

"Consent order" means a support order that reflects the agreement of the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent and the division of child support. A consent order requires the approval of an administrative law judge.

"Court order" means a judgment, decree or order of a Washington state superior court, another state's court of comparable jurisdiction, or a tribal court.

"Current support" or "current and future support" means the amount of child support which is owed for each month.

"Custodial parent or CP" means the person, whether a parent or not, with whom a dependent child resides the majority of the time period for which the division of child support seeks to establish or enforce a support obligation.

"Date the state assumes responsibility for the support of a dependent child on whose behalf support is sought" means the date that the TANF or AFDC program grant is effective. For purposes of this chapter, the state remains responsible for the support of a dependent child until public assistance terminates, or support enforcement services end, whichever occurs later.

"Delinquency" means failure to pay current child support when due.

"Department" means the Washington state department of social and health services (DSHS).

"Dependent child" means a person:

(1) Seventeen years of age or younger who is not self-supporting, married, or a member of the United States armed forces;

(2) Eighteen years of age or older for whom a court order requires support payments past age eighteen;

(3) Eighteen years of age or older, but under nineteen years of age, for whom an administrative support order exists if the child is participating full-time in a secondary school program or the same level of vocational or technical training.

"Disbursement" means the amount of child support distributed to a case that is paid to the family, state, other child support enforcement agency in another state or foreign country, Indian tribe, or person or entity making the payment.

"Disposable earnings" means the amount of earnings remaining after the deduction of amounts required by law to be withheld.

"Distribution" means how a collection is allocated or split within a case or among multiple cases.

"Earnings" means compensation paid or payable for personal service. Earnings include:

(1) Wages or salary;

(2) Commissions and bonuses;

(3) Periodic payments under pension plans, retirement programs, and insurance policies of any type;

(4) Disability payments under Title 51 RCW;

(5) Unemployment compensation under RCW 50.40.020, 50.40.050 and Title 74 RCW;

(6) Gains from capital, labor, or a combination of the two; and

(7) The fair value of nonmonetary compensation received in exchange for personal services.

"Employee" means a person to whom an employer is paying, owes, or anticipates paying earnings in exchange for services performed for the employer.

"Employer" means any person or organization having an employment relationship with any person. This includes:

(1) Partnerships and associations;

(2) Trusts and estates;

(3) Joint stock companies and insurance companies;

(4) Domestic and foreign corporations;

(5) The receiver or trustee in bankruptcy; and

(6) The trustee or legal representative of a deceased person.

"Employment" means personal services of whatever nature, including service in interstate commerce, performed for earnings or under any contract for personal services. Such a contract may be written or oral, express or implied.

"Family" means the person or persons on whose behalf support is sought, which may include a custodial parent and one or more children, or a child or children in foster care placement. The family is sometimes called the assistance unit.

"Family arrears" means the amount of past-due support owed to the family, which has not been conditionally, temporarily or permanently assigned to a state. Also called "nonassistance arrears."

"Family member" means the caretaker relative, the child(ren), and any other person whose needs are considered in determining eligibility for assistance.

"Foreign order" means a court or administrative order entered by a tribunal other than one in the state of Washington.

"Foster care case" means a case referred to the Title IV-D agency by the Title IV-E agency, which is the state division of child and family services (DCFS).

"Fraud," for the purposes of vacating an agreed settlement or consent order, means:

(1) The representation of the existence or the nonexistence of a fact;

(2) The representation's materiality;

(3) The representation's falsity;

(4) The speaker's knowledge that the representation is false;

(5) The speaker's intent that the representation should be acted on by the person to whom it is made;

(6) Ignorance of the falsity on the part of the person to whom it is made;

(7) The latter's:

(a) Reliance on the truth of the representation;

(b) Right to rely on it; and

(c) Subsequent damage.

"Full support enforcement services" means the entire range of services available in a Title IV-D case.

"Good cause" for the purposes of late hearing requests and petitions to vacate orders on default means a substantial reason or legal justification for delay, including but not limited to the grounds listed in civil rule 60. The time periods used in civil rule 60 apply to good cause determinations in this chapter.

"Head of household" means the parent or parents with whom the dependent child or children were residing at the time of placement in foster care.

"Health insurance" means insurance coverage for all medical services related to an individual's general health and well being. These services include, but are not limited to: Medical/surgical (inpatient, outpatient, physician) care, medical equipment (crutches, wheel chairs, prosthesis, etc.), pharmacy products, optometric care, dental care, orthodontic care, preventive care, mental health care, and physical therapy.

"Hearing" means an adjudicative proceeding authorized by this chapter, or chapters 26.23, 74.20 and 74.20A RCW, conducted under chapter 388-02 WAC and chapter 34.05 RCW.

"I/me" means the person asking the question which appears as the title of a rule.

"Income" includes:

(1) All gains in real or personal property;

(2) Net proceeds from the sale or exchange of real or personal property;

(3) Earnings;

(4) Interest and dividends;

(5) Proceeds of insurance policies;

(6) Other periodic entitlement to money from any source; and

(7) Any other property subject to withholding for support under the laws of this state.

"Income withholding action" includes all withholding actions which DCS is authorized to take, and includes but is not limited to the following actions:

(1) Asserting liens under RCW 74.20A.060;

(2) Serving and enforcing liens under chapter 74.20A RCW;

(3) Issuing orders to withhold and deliver under chapter 74.20A RCW;

(4) Issuing notices of payroll deduction under chapter 26.23 RCW; and

(5) Obtaining wage assignment orders under RCW 26.18.080.

"Locate" can mean efforts to obtain service of a support establishment notice in the manner prescribed by WAC 388-14A-3105.

"Medical assistance" means medical benefits under Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act provided to families as an alternative or supplement to TANF.

"Medical expenses" for the purpose of establishing support obligations under RCW 74.20A.055 and 74.20A.056, or for the purpose of enforcement action under chapters 26.23, 74.20 and 74.20A RCW, including the notice of support debt and the notice of support owed, means:

Medical costs incurred on behalf of a child, which include:

Medical services related to an individual's general health and well-being, including but not limited to, medical/surgical care, preventive care, mental health care and physical therapy; and

Prescribed medical equipment and prescribed pharmacy products;

Health care coverage, such as coverage under a health insurance plan, including the cost of premiums for coverage of a child;

Dental and optometrical costs incurred on behalf of a child; and

Copayments and/or deductibles incurred on behalf of a child.

Medical expenses are sometimes also called health care costs or medical costs.

"Medical support" means either or both:

(1) Medical expenses; and

(2) Health insurance coverage for a dependent child.

"National Medical Support Notice" or "NMSN" is a federally-mandated form that DCS uses to enforce a health insurance support obligation; the NMSN is a notice of enrollment as described in RCW 26.18.170.

"Noncustodial parent or NCP" means the natural parent, adoptive parent, responsible stepparent or person who signed and filed an affidavit acknowledging paternity, from whom the state seeks support for a dependent child. A parent is considered to be an NCP when for the majority of the time during the period for which support is sought, the dependent child resided somewhere other than with that parent.

"Obligated parent" means a parent who is required under a child support order to provide health insurance coverage or to reimburse the other parent for his or her share of medical expenses for a dependent child. The obligated parent could be either the NCP or the CP.

"Other ordinary expense" means an expense incurred by a parent which:

(1) Directly benefits the dependent child; and

(2) Relates to the parent's residential time or visitation with the child.

"Participant" means an employee or retiree who is eligible for coverage under an employer group health plan.

"Pass-through" means the portion of a support collection distributed to assigned support that the state pays to a family currently receiving TANF.

"Past support" means support arrears.

"Paternity testing" means blood testing or genetic tests of blood, tissue or bodily fluids. This is also called genetic testing.

"Payment services only" or "PSO" means a case on which the division of child support's activities are limited to recording and distributing child support payments, and maintaining case records. A PSO case is not a IV-D case.

"Permanently assigned ((arrearages)) arrears" means those arrears which the state may collect and retain up to the amount of unreimbursed assistance.

"Physical custodian" means custodial parent (CP).

"Plan administrator" means the person or entity which performs those duties specified under 29 USC 1002 (16)(A) for a health plan. If no plan administrator is specifically so designated by the plan's organizational documents, the plan's sponsor is the administrator of the plan. Sometimes an employer acts as its own plan administrator.

"Putative father" includes all men who may possibly be the father of the child or children on whose behalf the application for assistance or support enforcement services is made.

"Reasonable efforts to locate" means any of the following actions performed by the division of child support:

(1) Mailing a support establishment notice to the noncustodial parent in the manner described in WAC 388-14A-3105;

(2) Referral to a sheriff or other server of process, or to a locate service or department employee for locate activities;

(3) Tracing activity such as:

(a) Checking local telephone directories and attempts by telephone or mail to contact the custodial parent, relatives of the noncustodial parent, past or present employers, or the post office;

(b) Contacting state agencies, unions, financial institutions or fraternal organizations;

(c) Searching periodically for identification information recorded by other state agencies, federal agencies, credit bureaus, or other record-keeping agencies or entities; or

(d) Maintaining a case in the division of child support's automated locate program, which is a continuous search process.

(4) Referral to the state or federal parent locator service;

(5) Referral to the attorney general, prosecuting attorney, the IV-D agency of another state, or the Department of the Treasury for specific legal or collection action;

(6) Attempting to confirm the existence of and to obtain a copy of a paternity acknowledgment; or

(7) Conducting other actions reasonably calculated to produce information regarding the NCP's whereabouts.

"Required support obligation for the current month" means the amount set by a superior court order, tribal court order, or administrative order for support which is due in the month in question.

"Resident" means a person physically present in the state of Washington who intends to make their home in this state. A temporary absence from the state does not destroy residency once it is established.

"Residential care" means foster care, either state or federally funded.

"Residential parent" means the custodial parent (CP), or the person with whom the child resides that majority of the time.

"Responsible parent" is a term sometimes used for a noncustodial parent.

"Responsible stepparent" means a stepparent who has established an in loco parentis relationship with the dependent child.

"Retained support" means a debt owed to the division of child support by anyone other than a noncustodial parent.

"Satisfaction of judgment" means payment in full of a court-ordered support obligation, or a determination that such an obligation is no longer enforceable.

"Secretary" means the secretary of the department of social and health services or the secretary's designee.

"State" means a state or political subdivision, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a federally recognized Indian tribe or a foreign country.

"Superior court order" means a judgment, decree or order of a Washington state superior court, or of another state's court of comparable jurisdiction.

"Support debt" means support which was due under a support order but has not been paid. This includes:

(1) Delinquent support;

(2) A debt for the payment of expenses for the reasonable or necessary care, support and maintenance including medical expenses, birth costs, child care costs, and special child rearing expenses of a dependent child or other person;

(3) A debt under RCW 74.20A.100 or 74.20A.270; or

(4) Accrued interest, fees, or penalties charged on a support debt, and attorney's fees and other litigation costs awarded in an action under Title IV-D to establish or enforce a support obligation.

"Support enforcement services" means all actions the Title IV-D agency is required to perform under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and state law.

"Support establishment notice" means a notice and finding of financial responsibility under WAC 388-14A-3115, a notice and finding of parental responsibility under WAC 388-14A-3120, or a notice and finding of medical responsibility under WAC 388-14A-3125.

"Support money" means money paid to satisfy a support obligation, whether it is called child support, spousal support, alimony, maintenance, enforcement of medical expenses, health insurance, or birth costs.

"Support obligation" means the obligation to provide for the necessary care, support and maintenance of a dependent child or other person as required by law, including health insurance coverage, medical expenses, birth costs, and child care or special child rearing expenses.

(("TANF" means the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program.))

"Temporarily assigned ((arrearages)) arrears" means those arrears which accrue prior to the family receiving assistance, for assistance applications dated on or after October 1, 1997, but before October 1, 2008. After the family terminates assistance, temporarily assigned arrears become conditionally assigned arrears.

"Temporary assistance for needy families," or "TANF" means cash assistance under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act.

"Title IV-A" means Title IV-A of the Social Security Act established under Title XX of the Social Security amendments and as incorporated in Title 42 USC.

"Title IV-A agency" means the part of the department of social and health services which carries out the state's responsibilities under the temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program (and the aid for dependent children (AFDC) program when it existed).

"Title IV-D" means Title IV-D of the Social Security Act established under Title XX of the Social Security amendments and as incorporated in Title 42 USC.

"Title IV-D agency" or "IV-D agency" means the division of child support, which is the agency responsible for carrying out the Title IV-D plan in the state of Washington. Also refers to the Washington state support registry (WSSR).

"Title IV-D case" is a case in which the division of child support provides services which qualifies for funding under the Title IV-D plan.

"Title IV-D plan" means the plan established under the conditions of Title IV-D and approved by the secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

"Title IV-E" means Title IV-E of the Social Security Act established under Title XX of the Social Security amendments and as incorporated in Title 42 U.S.C.

"Title IV-E case" means a foster care case.

"Tribal TANF" means a temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program run by a tribe.

"Tribunal" means a state court, tribal court, administrative agency, or quasi-judicial entity authorized to establish, enforce or modify support orders or to determine parentage.

"Uninsured medical expenses":

(1) For the purpose of enforcing support obligations under RCW 26.23.110, means

(a) Medical expenses not paid by insurance for medical, dental, prescription and optometrical costs incurred on behalf of a child; and

(b) Copayments, or deductibles incurred on behalf of a child; and

(2) Includes health insurance premiums that represent the only health insurance covering a dependent child when either:

(a) Health insurance for the child is not required by a support order or cannot be enforced by the division of child support (DCS); or

(b) The premium for covering the child exceeds the maximum limit provided in the support order.

"Unreimbursed assistance" means the cumulative amount of assistance which was paid to the family and which has not been reimbursed by assigned support collections.

"Unreimbursed medical expenses" means any amounts paid by one parent for uninsured medical expenses, which that parent claims the obligated parent owes under a child support order, which percentage share is stated in the child support order itself, not just in the worksheets.

"We" means the division of child support, part of the department of social and health services of the state of Washington.

"WSSR" is the Washington state support registry.

"You" means the reader of the rules, a member of the public, or a recipient of support enforcement services.

[Statutory Authority: 2007 c 143, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. 08-12-029, 388-14A-1020, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.20A.310, 45 C.F.R. 302.31 and 302.33. 06-03-120, 388-14A-1020, filed 1/17/06, effective 2/17/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056, 74.20A.310. 05-14-101, 388-14A-1020, filed 6/30/05, effective 7/31/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 74.20A.310, and 26.18.170, 42 U.S.C. 666 (a)(19), Child Support Performance and Incentives Act of 1998, 45 C.F.R. 303.31, and 45 C.F.R. 303.32. 04-17-119, 388-14A-1020, filed 8/17/04, effective 9/17/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 34.05.220(1), 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056. 01-03-089, 388-14A-1020, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-11-011 and 388-14-020.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 06-03-120, filed 1/17/06, effective 2/17/06)

WAC 388-14A-2036   What does assigning my rights to support mean?   (1) As a condition of eligibility for assistance, a family member must assign to the state the right to collect and keep, subject to the limitation in WAC 388-14A-2035(3)((,)):

(a) Any support owing to the family member or to any other person for whom the family member has applied for or is receiving assistance if the family applied for cash public assistance before October 1, 2008.

(b) Support owing to the family member, or to any other person for whom the family member has applied for or is receiving public assistance, for any month during which the family receives assistance.

(2) While your family receives assistance, ((all support collected is retained by the state to reimburse the total amount of assistance which has been paid to your family)) support is distributed and disbursed in accordance with WAC 388-14A-5000 through 388-14A-5015.

(3) After your family terminates from assistance, certain accrued arrears remain assigned to the state in accordance with the following rules:

(a) For assistance applications dated prior to October 1, 1997, you permanently assign to the state all rights to support which accrued before the application date and which will accrue prior to the date your family terminates from assistance.

(b) For assistance applications dated on or after October 1, 1997, and before October 1, 2000:

(i) You permanently assign to the state all rights to support which accrue while your family receives assistance; and

(ii) You temporarily assign to the state all rights to support which accrued before the application date, until October 1, 2000, or when your family terminates from assistance, whichever date is later. After this date, if any remaining arrears are collected by federal ((income)) tax refund offset, the state retains such amounts, up to the amount of unreimbursed assistance.

(c) For assistance applications dated on or after October 1, 2000, and before October 1, 2008:

(i) You permanently assign to the state all rights to support which accrue while the family receives assistance; and

(ii) You temporarily assign to the state all rights to support which accrued before the application date, until the date your family terminates from assistance. After this date, if any remaining arrears are collected by federal ((income)) tax refund offset, the state retains such amounts, up to the amount of unreimbursed assistance.

(d) For assistance applications dated on or after October 1, 2008, you permanently assign to the state all rights to support which accrue while the family receives assistance.

(4) When you assign your medical support rights to the state, you authorize the state on behalf of yourself and the children in your care to enforce the noncustodial parent's full duty to provide medical support.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.20A.310, 45 C.F.R. 302.31 and 302.33. 06-03-120, 388-14A-2036, filed 1/17/06, effective 2/17/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 34.05.220(1), 74.20A.270, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2036, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-200.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2037   What are permanently assigned arrears?   Permanently assigned arrears accrue only under the following conditions:

(1) For those periods prior to the family receiving assistance, for assistance applications dated ((on or)) before ((September 30, 1997)) October 1, 1997; and

(2) For those periods while a family receives assistance, for assistance applications dated at any time.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2037, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-2038   What are temporarily assigned arrears?   (1) Temporarily assigned arrears are((:

(1) Not permanently assigned to the state;

(2) Collected and retained by the state up to the amount of unreimbursed assistance, if these arrears are collected by federal income tax refund offset at any time; and

(3) Collected and kept by the state, up to the cumulative amount of unreimbursed assistance:

(a) Until October 1, 2000 or until the date the family terminates from assistance, whichever date is later; or

(b) Only while the family receives assistance, for assistance periods beginning October 1, 2000 or later)) arrears owed to the family at the time TANF started, for TANF periods beginning before October 1, 2008. These arrears remain temporarily assigned during the assistance period.

(2) Temporarily assigned arrears convert to conditionally assigned arrears when the TANF period ends. See WAC 388-14A-2039 for a description of conditionally assigned arrears.

(3) If any support collections are distributed to temporarily assigned arrears, those collections are retained by the state, up to the amount of unreimbursed assistance.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090. 01-03-089, 388-14A-2038, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-2039   What are conditionally assigned arrears?   (1) Conditionally assigned arrears are any temporarily assigned arrears that remain on a case after the family stops receiving TANF.

(2) These arrears remain conditionally assigned during TANF periods beginning on or after October 1, 2008.

(3) If federal tax refund offset collections are distributed to conditionally assigned arrears, those collections are retained by the state, up to the amount of unreimbursed assistance.

(4) If support collections other than federal tax refund offset collections are distributed to conditionally assigned arrears, those collections are disbursed to the family.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 08-12-029, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08)

WAC 388-14A-5000   ((How does the division of child support distribute support payments)) What is the difference between distribution and disbursement of child support collections?   (1) ((Under state and federal law, the division of child support (DCS) distributes support money it collects or receives to the:

(a) Department when the department provides or has provided public assistance payments for the support of the family;

(b) Payee under the order, or to the custodial parent (CP) of the child according to WAC 388-14A-5050;

(c) Child support enforcement agency in another state or foreign country which submitted a request for support enforcement services;

(d) Indian tribe which has a TANF program, child support program and/or a cooperative agreement regarding the delivery of child support services;

(e) Person or entity making the payment when DCS is unable to identify the person to whom the support money is payable after making reasonable efforts to obtain identification information)) Distribution of child support collections refers to how the division of child support (DCS) applies or allocates collections within a child support case or between child support cases.

(2) ((DCS distributes support based on the date of collection. DCS considers the date of collection to be the date that DCS receives the payment, no matter when the payment was withheld from the noncustodial parent (NCP))) Disbursement of child support collections refers to how DCS sends out or pays support collections to the appropriate recipient.

(3) ((If DCS is unable to distribute support money because the location of the family or person is unknown, it must exercise reasonable efforts to locate the family or person. When the family or person cannot be located, DCS handles the money in accordance with chapter 63.29 RCW, the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act)) WAC 388-14A-5001 through 388-14A-5015 explain how DCS distributes and disburses child support collections.

(((4) WAC 388-14A-5000 and sections WAC 388-14A-5001 through 388-14A-5008 contain the rules for distribution of support money by DCS.

(5) DCS changes the distribution rules based on changes in federal statutes and regulations.

(6) DCS uses the fee retained under WAC 388-14A-2200 to offset the fee amount charged by the federal government for IV-D cases that meet the fee criteria in WAC 388-14A-2200(1).))

[Statutory Authority: 2007 c 143, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. 08-12-029, 388-14A-5000, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 26.23.035, 74.08.090, 74.20A.310, and 45 C.F.R. 303.72 (h)(5). 05-06-014, 388-14A-5000, filed 2/22/05, effective 3/25/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 34.05.310 (4)(d), 26.23.035, 74.20A.057, 74.20A.310. 03-20-072, 388-14A-5000, filed 9/29/03, effective 10/30/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.057, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-5000, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-250, 388-14-270, and 388-14-273.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-06-014, filed 2/22/05, effective 3/25/05)

WAC 388-14A-5001   What procedures does DCS follow to distribute support ((payments)) collections?   (1) When distributing support ((money)) collections, the division of child support (DCS) ((does the following:

(1) Records payments)) records collections in exact amounts of dollars and cents((;)).

(2) DCS distributes support ((money)) collections within two days of the date DCS receives the ((money)) collection, unless DCS is unable to distribute the ((payment)) collection for one or more of the following reasons:

(a) The location of the payee is unknown;

(b) DCS does not have sufficient information to identify the accounts against which or to which it should ((apply)) distribute the money;

(c) An action is pending before a court or agency which has jurisdiction over the issue to determine whether child support ((money)) is owed or how DCS should distribute the ((money)) collection.

(d) DCS receives prepaid child support ((money)) and is holding it for distribution in future months under subsection (2)(e) of this section;

(e) DCS mails a notice of intent to distribute support money to the custodial parent (CP) under WAC 388-14A-5050;

(f) DCS may hold funds and not issue a check to the family for amounts under one dollar. DCS must give credit for the ((payment)) collection, but may delay disbursement of that amount until a future ((payment)) collection is received which increases the amount of the ((payment)) disbursement to the family to at least one dollar. If no future ((payments)) collections are received which increase the ((payment)) disbursement to the family ((of)) to at least one dollar, DCS transfers the amount to the department of revenue under RCW 63.29.130. This subsection does not apply to disbursements which can be made by electronic funds transfer (EFT), or to refunds of ((intercepted)) federal ((income)) tax refund((s)) offset collections; or

(g) Other circumstances exist which make a proper and timely distribution of the ((money)) collection impossible through no fault or lack of diligence of DCS.

(3) ((Distribute)) DCS distributes support ((money)) collections based on the date DCS receives the ((money)) collection, except as provided under WAC 388-14A-5005. DCS distributes support collections based on the date of collection. DCS considers the date of collection to be the date that DCS receives the ((payment)) support collection, no matter when the ((payment)) money was withheld from the noncustodial parent (NCP).

(4) Under state and federal law, the division of child support (DCS) disburses support collections to the:

(a) Department when the department provides or has provided public assistance payments for the support of the family;

(b) Payee under the order, or to the custodial parent (CP) of the child according to WAC 388-14A-5050;

(c) Child support enforcement agency in another state or foreign country which submitted a request for support enforcement services;

(d) Indian tribe which has a TANF program, child support program and/or a cooperative agreement regarding the delivery of child support services;

(e) Persons or entity making the payment when DCS is unable to identify the person to whom the support is payable after making reasonable efforts to obtain identification information.

(5) If DCS is unable to disburse a support collection because the location of the family or person is unknown, it must exercise reasonable efforts to locate the family or person. When the family or person cannot be located, DCS handles the collection in accordance with chapter 63.29 RCW, the uniform unclaimed property act.

(6) WAC 388-14A-5000 through 388-14A-5015 contain the rules for the distribution of support collections by DCS.

(7) DCS changes the distribution rules based on changes in federal statutes and regulations.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 26.23.035, 74.08.090, 74.20A.310, and 45 C.F.R. 303.72 (h)(5). 05-06-014, 388-14A-5001, filed 2/22/05, effective 3/25/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 26.23.035, 74.08.090, 74.20A.188, 74.20A.310, 42 U.S.C. 666(a)14. 01-24-078, 388-14A-5001, filed 12/3/01, effective 1/3/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.057, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-5001, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-270 and 388-14-273.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 08-12-029, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08)

WAC 388-14A-5002   How does DCS distribute support ((money)) collections in a nonassistance case?   (1) A nonassistance case is one where the family has never received a cash public assistance grant.

(2) The division of child support (DCS) applies support ((money)) collections within each Title IV-D nonassistance case:

(a) First, to satisfy the current support obligation for the month DCS received the ((money)) collection;

(b) Second, to the noncustodial parent's support debts owed to the family;

(c) Third, to prepaid support as provided for under WAC 388-14A-5008.

(3) ((After DCS disburses at least five hundred dollars to the family on a case in a federal fiscal year, DCS may retain a twenty-five dollar annual fee for that case from a custodial parent who has never received AFDC, TANF or Tribal TANF. DCS gives the noncustodial parent credit against the child support debt for the amount retained for the fee)) DCS uses the fee retained under WAC 388-14A-2200 to offset the fee amount charged by the federal government for IV-D cases that meet the fee criteria in WAC 388-14A-2200(1).

[Statutory Authority: 2007 c 143, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. 08-12-029, 388-14A-5002, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.057, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-5002, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-270.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-24-078, filed 12/3/01, effective 1/3/02)

WAC 388-14A-5003   How does DCS distribute ((money)) support collections in an assistance case?   (1) An assistance case is one where the family is currently receiving a ((cash public assistance)) TANF grant.

(2) The division of child support (DCS) ((applies)) distributes support ((money)) collections within each Title IV-D assistance case:

(a) First, to satisfy the current support obligation for the month DCS received the ((money (this money is kept by the state under WAC 388-14A-2035))) collection;

(b) Second, to satisfy support debts which are permanently assigned to the department to reimburse the cumulative amount of assistance which has been paid to the family (((this money is kept by the state under WAC 388-14A-2035)));

(c) Third((,)):

(i) To satisfy support debts which are temporarily assigned to the department to reimburse the cumulative amount of assistance paid to the family (((this money is kept by the state under WAC 388-14A-2035))); or

(ii) To satisfy support debts which are conditionally assigned to the department. Support collections distributed to conditionally assigned arrears are disbursed according to WAC 388-14A-2039.

(d) Fourth, to satisfy support debts ((which exceed the cumulative amount of unreimbursed assistance which has been paid to the family (this money goes to the family))) owed to the family;

(e) Fifth, to prepaid support as provided for under WAC 388-14A-5008.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 26.23.035, 74.08.090, 74.20A.188, 74.20A.310, 42 U.S.C. 666(a)14. 01-24-078, 388-14A-5003, filed 12/3/01, effective 1/3/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.057, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-5003, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-270.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-5004   How does DCS distribute ((money)) support collections in a former assistance case?   (1) A former assistance case is one where the family is not currently receiving a ((cash public assistance)) TANF grant, but has at some time in the past.

(2) Subject to the exceptions provided under WAC 388-14A-5005, the division of child support (DCS) ((applies)) distributes support ((money)) collections within each Title IV-D former-assistance case:

(a) First, to satisfy the current support obligation for the month DCS received the ((money)) collection;

(b) Second, to satisfy support debts ((which accrued after the family's most recent period of assistance)) owed to the family;

(c) Third, to satisfy support debts which are ((temporarily)) conditionally assigned to the department ((to reimburse the cumulative amount of assistance which has been paid to the family)). These collections are disbursed according to WAC 388-14A-2039;

(d) Fourth, to satisfy support debts which are permanently assigned to the department to reimburse the cumulative amount of assistance which has been paid to the family; and

(e) Fifth, to ((satisfy support debts which exceed the cumulative amount of unreimbursed assistance which has been paid to the family; and

(f) Sixth, to)) prepaid support as provided for under WAC 388-14A-5008.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.057, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-5004, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-270.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 08-12-029, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08)

WAC 388-14A-5005   How does DCS distribute ((intercepted)) federal ((income)) tax refund((s)) offset collections?   (((1))) The division of child support (DCS) ((applies intercepted)) distributes federal ((income)) tax refund((s)) offset collections in accordance with 42 U.S.C. Sec. 657, as follows:

(((a))) (1) First, ((to support debts which are permanently assigned to the department to reimburse public assistance payments; and

(b) Second, to support debts which are temporarily assigned to the department to reimburse public assistance payments; and

(c) Third, to support debts that are not assigned to the department; and

(d) To support debts only, not to current and future support obligations. DCS must refund any excess to the noncustodial parent (NCP))) to satisfy the current support obligation for the month in which DCS received the collection.

(2) Second, DCS distributes any amounts over current support depending on the type of case to which the collection is distributed:

(a) In a never assistance case, all remaining amounts are distributed to family arrears, meaning those arrears which have never been assigned.

(b) In a former assistance case, all remaining amounts are distributed first to family arrears, then to permanently assigned arrears, then to conditionally assigned arrears.

(c) In a current assistance case, all remaining amounts are distributed first to permanently assigned arrears, then to temporarily assigned arrears (if they exist), then to conditionally assigned arrears, and then to family arrears.

(((2))) (3) Federal tax refund offset collections distributed to assigned support are retained by the state to reimburse the cumulative amount of assistance which has been paid to the family.

(4) DCS may distribute federal tax refund offset collections only to certified support debts and to current support obligations on cases with certified debts. DCS must refund any excess to the noncustodial parent (NCP).

(5) DCS may retain the twenty-five dollar annual fee required under the federal deficit reduction act of 2005 and RCW 74.20.040 from federal ((income)) tax refund((s applied)) offset collections distributed to nonassistance ((support debts)) cases.

(((3))) (6) When the Secretary of the Treasury, through the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), notifies DCS that a ((payment on behalf of an NCP is from an intercepted)) collection from a federal tax refund offset is from a tax refund based on a joint return, DCS follows the procedures set forth in WAC 388-14A-5010.

[Statutory Authority: 2007 c 143, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. 08-12-029, 388-14A-5005, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 26.23.035, 74.08.090, 74.20A.310, and 45 C.F.R. 303.72 (h)(5). 05-06-014, 388-14A-5005, filed 2/22/05, effective 3/25/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.057, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-5005, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-270.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-24-078, filed 12/3/01, effective 1/3/02)

WAC 388-14A-5006   How does DCS distribute support ((money)) collections when the paying parent has more than one case?   ((Except as provided in WAC 388-14A-5005,)) When the NCP has more than one Title IV-D case, the division of child support (DCS) distributes support ((money)) collections:

(1) First, to the current support obligation on each Title IV-D case, in proportion to the amount of the current support order on each case; and

(2) Second, to the total of the support debts whether owed to the family or to the department for the reimbursement of public assistance on each Title IV-D case, in proportion to the amount of support debt owed by the NCP on each case; and

(3) Third, within each Title IV-D case according to WAC 388-14A-5002 ((or)), 388-14A-5003, or 388-14A-5004.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 26.23.035, 74.08.090, 74.20A.188, 74.20A.310, 42 U.S.C. 666(a)14. 01-24-078, 388-14A-5006, filed 12/3/01, effective 1/3/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.057, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-5006, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-270.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 05-06-014, filed 2/22/05, effective 3/25/05)

WAC 388-14A-5010   How does the division of child support ((handle intercepted)) distribute federal ((income)) tax refund((s)) offset collections from ((a)) joint returns?   (1) The division of child support (DCS) collects child support ((arrears)) through the interception of federal ((income)) tax refunds. This section deals with the issues that arise when the Secretary of the Treasury intercepts a tax refund based on a joint tax return filed by a noncustodial parent (NCP) and the NCP's spouse who does not owe child support.

(2) When the Secretary of the Treasury, through the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), notifies DCS that a ((payment)) collection on behalf of an NCP is from an intercepted tax refund based on a joint return, DCS may ((delay distribution of)) distribute fifty percent of that ((payment)) collection and hold the remainder for up to six months in case the NCP's spouse is entitled to a share of the federal ((income)) tax refund.

(3) DCS distributes fifty percent of the ((payment)) collection according to WAC 388-14A-5005.

(4) DCS holds the other fifty percent of the ((payment)) collection in suspense until the earlier of the following:

(a) DCS is notified by OCSE or the Secretary of the Treasury whether DCS must pay back the unobligated spouse's portion of the refund; or

(b) For a period not to exceed six months from notification of the offset.

(5) ((When)) After DCS holds part of a ((payment)) collection under subsection (4) of this section, DCS ((applies)) distributes the remainder of the ((payment)) collection to the NCP's ((back)) support obligations if DCS is not required to return the unobligated spouse's portion of the refund. The CP may:

(a) Request that DCS ((apply)) distribute the payment to the NCP's ((back)) support obligation sooner upon a showing of hardship to the CP; and

(b) Request a conference board if the CP disagrees with DCS' denial of a hardship claim.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 26.23.035, 74.08.090, 74.20A.310, and 45 C.F.R. 303.72 (h)(5). 05-06-014, 388-14A-5010, filed 2/22/05, effective 3/25/05.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 388-14A-5015   What is a pass-through payment?   (1) A pass-through payment is the portion of a support collection applied to assigned support that the state elects to pay to a family currently receiving TANF. The pass-through payment is paid in the following amounts:

(a) Up to one hundred dollars per month to a family with one child in the assistance unit.

(b) Up to two hundred dollars per month to a family with two or more children in the assistance unit.

(2) The pass-through is paid from collections which are distributed to either current support or arrears.

(3) The pass-through amount can never exceed the amount collected in the month.

[]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 08-12-029, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08)

WAC 388-14A-5100   ((What kind of distribution notice does the division of child support send)) How does the division of child support notify the custodial parent about support collections?   (1) The division of child support (DCS) mails a distribution ((notice)) and disbursement statement once each month((, or more often,)) to the last known address of a person for whom it received a support collection during the month, except as provided under subsection (6) of this section.

(2) DCS includes the following information in the ((notice)) distribution and disbursement statement:

(a) The amount of support ((money)) collections DCS received and the date of collection;

(b) A description of how DCS ((allocated the)) distributed each support ((money)) collection between current support and the support debt and any fees required by state or federal law; ((and))

(c) The amount DCS claims as reimbursement for public assistance paid, if applicable;

(d) The amount kept by the state to repay public assistance paid to the family;

(e) The amount disbursed to the family as a pass-through payment under WAC 388-14A-5015;

(f) The amount disbursed to the family as a payment on support owed to the family;

(g) The amount kept by the state to pay the twenty-five dollar annual fee, if applicable; and

(h) The amount kept by the state to repay child support paid to the family in error.

(3) The person to whom a distribution ((notice)) and disbursement statement is sent may file a request for a hearing under subsection (4) of this section within ninety days of the date of the ((notice)) statement to contest how DCS distributed the support ((money)) collections, and must make specific objections to the ((distribution notice)) statement. The effective date of a hearing request is the date DCS receives the request.

(4) A hearing under this section is for the limited purpose of determining if DCS correctly distributed the support money described in the contested ((notice)) statement.

(a) There is no hearing right regarding fees that have been charged on a case.

(b) If a custodial parent (CP) wants to request a hardship waiver of the fee, the CP may request a conference board under WAC 388-14A-6400.

(5) A person who requests a late hearing must show good cause for being late.

(6) This section does not require DCS to send a ((notice)) distribution and disbursement statement to a recipient of payment services only.

[Statutory Authority: 2007 c 143, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. 08-12-029, 388-14A-5100, filed 5/29/08, effective 7/1/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.035, 74.20A.057, 74.20A.310. 01-03-089, 388-14A-5100, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-14-270 and 388-14-274.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office