How will I receive notice, and when do I begin to withhold from income?
The Arkansas Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) will send the notice on a form entitled Income Withholding Order (IWO) by regular mail to your company, or you may choose to receive notices electronically through the MyWorkers website. IWO’s may also be sent by a party to the legal action, a private attorney, or a child support enforcement agency in another state. By law you must begin the withholding no later than the first pay period that occurs after 14 days following the date the notice was mailed. The IWO must direct you to send payments to the Clearinghouse State Disbursement Unit (SDU) in Arkansas, unless the underlying order is issued by another state, then send payments to that state’s SDU.
What if the IWO directs me to send payments to an entity other than the State Disbursement Unit (SDU)?
If the IWO was issued on or after 05/31/2011 and is not directed to the SDU as required by federal law (section 454B of the Social Security Act), then you should reject the IWO and return it to the sender, effective immediately. If it was issued before May 31, 2011, you should contact the SDU in the state that issued the underlying support order to request a revised IWO directing payment to the SDU.
What if the employee tells me the amount claimed is wrong and that I do not need to withhold?
The law requires you to withhold until notified to stop or modify the withholding by the court or its representative. If you do not withhold as instructed in the order/notice, you may be liable for the full amount that should have been withheld. Ark. Code Ann. § 9-14-240 allows for termination of income withholding upon proper notice. If the employee disputes the withholding, refer the employee to his or her attorney, Arkansas OCSE, or the agency named in the notice.
I feel sorry for my employee and want to intercede with OCSE. Can I do this?
OCSE is governed by strict confidentiality rules. We have disclosed to you that your employee owes child support for the sole purpose of implementing income withholding for child support. We can’t discuss any other details of the employee’s case with you without the employee’s written authorization.
What if my employee is called up for Active Duty?
You may have an employee who is called to active military duty. For those reservists who owe child support, it would be helpful if you would:
- Contact the child support agency that issued the income withholding order,
- Tell them that your employee/reservist has been called up to military duty,
- Provide the date of activation.
The child support agency can then issue a new IWO to the military service branch. By providing this information, you are helping your employee avoid lapses in payment to his or her children while serving our country.
What if the employee quits the job?
Continue to withhold through the final paycheck and notify the agency named in the notice. If you know the employee’s new address or employer, please provide this information.
What happens if I get a withholding notice for someone who doesn’t work here?
Return the notice, along with a letter, to the agency that sent it to you. If you received the notice electronically through the MyWorkers website, please print a copy of the notice to include with your letter. If the noncustodial parent was previously an employee and is now not working for you, please indicate that in the letter and inform us of the termination date, forwarding address in your file, or any other information you may have that would help OCSE locate the former employee. If the noncustodial parent has never worked for your company, please state that in your letter.
If the court orders an employee to pay an amount of child support monthly and our company pays each week or every two weeks, how do we convert the amount to match our pay periods?
The easiest way to calculate how much should be withheld is to convert the support amount to an annual amount, then divide by the number of pay periods in a year.
What if the amount billed for income withholding does not match the court order?
Many court orders contain a provision requiring the employer to withhold an additional amount to be applied toward child support arrears. In these cases, you may be directed to withhold an additional amount to pay past due support owed by the noncustodial parent and the amount billed will include the additional amount. If you believe the amount to be withheld in a case enforced by OCSE is incorrect, you or your employee may contact the office referenced on the IWO for more information.
What if there is an asterisk (*) on the billing statement instead of a dollar amount due?
This will occur if a case is not being enforced by OCSE but the order was issued on or after January 1, 1994. If there is not an amount listed on the billing statement, you should pay the amount included in the court order or IWO directing the withholding of income for child support.
What type of payment options does OCSE accept?
The Arkansas Child Support Clearinghouse will accept many forms of payments: company checks, money orders, electronic checks (e-check) through OCSE MyWorkers, credit card payments through OCSE MyWorkers, and Electronic Funds Transfers (EFT).
Where do I mail a company check or money order?
Employer Payments are to be mailed to the Arkansas Child Support Clearinghouse; P.O. Box 8125, Little Rock, AR 72203. Please include your Employer Billing Notice or Coupons with your check. If you do not receive an Employer Billing Notice or Employee Coupons contact the Employer Relations Department at 501-683-7954 or 1-800-216-0224.
What can I do if I do not have the format for EFT?
Expertpay.com is a third-party payroll processing service that will remit payments for you. ExpertPay charges $0.85 per transaction. See below for answers about processing fees that can be charged back to your employee.
Where do I send FEE payments?
Fees should be sent separate from child support obligation payments. Fee payments are to be mailed to the Arkansas Child Support Clearinghouse, P.O Box 8126, Little Rock, AR 72203. This is a FEES ONLY mail box and payments sent to this mail box will be posted as FEES.
Who do I "Pay to the Order of" ?
Payments are to be made out to the Arkansas Child Support Clearinghouse.
Can I send payments for multiple cases on one check?
Yes. Be sure to return the Employer Billing Notice with the check. If you do not have a billing notice, list each case number and the amount to be paid to each case and submit with the payment. If you need billing notices contact the Employer Relations Department at 501-683-7954 or 1-800-216-0224.
Must I have a billing notice to send in payments?
No. If you do not have a billing notice, list each case number and the amount to be paid to each case and submit with the payment. If you need billing notices contact the Employer Relations Department at 501-683-7954 or 1-800-216-0224.
How long does it take to post a payment?
Once a payment is received it is posted within 48 hours if case information is identifiable.
How do I get a case number if I am remitting payment for the first time?
All case identification numbers are 9-numeric digits without any alpha characters in the number line. If you are paying on a new case, contact the Employer Relations Department at 501-683-7954 or 1-800-216-0224 for the case number. Docket numbers assigned by the court are not used by the Clearinghouse to post money, but if you provide the docket number to us we can help you obtain the 9-digit case number.
In addition to regular wages, we periodically pay our employees a sales commission or bonus. Do I have to withhold child support from this commission?
Yes. You are required to withhold from any lump sum that you pay to the employee if you have received an income withholding notice that directs you to withhold from lump sums. The amount to be withheld is the full amount of the past due support but may not exceed 50% of the net lump sum up to the amount of the unpaid child support owed. Contact OCSE to verify the amount of unpaid support.
Sometimes an employee already has a wage attachment against his/her paycheck. How do I handle this situation?
State law requires that child support withholding take priority over all other claims against the same income.
What happens if the employee files bankruptcy?
If an IWO is in place when an employee files bankruptcy, the withholding continues. However, if you receive an IWO for an employee who has already filed bankruptcy, you must notify OCSE that the employee has filed bankruptcy and wait for further instructions before withholding child support or medical payments.
How often do I forward the money? May I send a check for more than one employee?
You must forward the money each payday. You may combine payments from more than one employee as long as each payment is properly identified.
May I withhold a fee for processing and withholding the money?
Yes, you may charge a fee for the administrative processing of the withholding of no more than $2.50 per withholding, if available, from the employee’s salary dependent upon CCPA limits. Child support takes priority over all other deductions against the same money.
Can I dismiss or refuse to hire someone with a payroll deduction or other withholding for child support or medical support?
No. State law prohibits you from refusing to hire, dismissing, or otherwise disciplining an employee because of a wage withholding for child support. Immediate wage withholding was initiated on October 1, 1989, to ensure payment on a regular basis. There is no stigma attached to it. You may receive a fine or other penalty for refusing to hire or for dismissing an individual because of wage withholding for child support or medical insurance premiums.
Is there a standard format for EFT payments that all states accept?
Yes, the standard format for sending child support obligations withheld from employees’ wages to the SDU through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network is based on the current conventions and standards established by NACHA Rules and Regulations. All states accept either the NACHA CCD+ or CTX format. OCSE can provide you with this lay-out.
Are employers required to send child support payments electronically?
Federal regulations do not require employers to send payments electronically, but several states and territories (Illinois, Indiana, and Puerto Rico) have passed legislation requiring employers of a certain size, or those who send a certain number of payments, to remit electronically.
What are the benefits/cost savings of sending payments electronically?
Electronic payments are less expensive, safer, and faster than sending paper checks. Your company will save time and money, and the child support payment will reach the custodial family with greater efficiency. Employers can either set up EFT/EDI payments through their bank or make an e-check payment on the OCSE MyWorkers website (free). For more information about electronic payments, please contact the Arkansas Child Support Employer Relations Department at 501-683-7954 or 1- 800-216-0224. Arkansas' Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) is organized under the Department of Finance and Administration - Division of Revenue, and is here to ensure that assistance is available in obtaining child support
I have received an order to enroll an employee’s dependants in our medical insurance plan. What do I do if our insurance company will not enroll the child in the plan?
Arkansas law prohibits an insurance company from refusing to enroll children upon request in the health plan of a noncustodial parent. If this occurs, you should contact OCSE.
What if the insurance company requires the permission of the employee before they will add any dependants to the policy?
Arkansas law allows insurance companies to add dependants upon receipt of notice from the Office of Child Support Enforcement. If your insurance company has questions, refer them to OCSE.
What if our insurance plan requires the employee to pay a premium for dependants?
Withhold the premium from the employee’s income and forward the National Medical Support Notice to the health plan administrator within 20 business days so that the employee’s children can be enrolled. Forward the premium to the insurance company. Do not take the premium from the funds withheld for child support.