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California Employers - Partnering for the future

Employers' Quick Reference GuideQuick Reference Guide

Employers play a vital role in child support.  Employers responsibilities fall into five areas.

Electronic Income Withholding Orders (e-IWO)

Receive your income withholding orders electronically.

 

Employer HandbookEmployer Handbook

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New Hire Reporting

Get helpful information on reporting formats, multistate employers, independent contractors and FAQs.

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Payment Information

Under state and federal law employers are required to remit all California child support income withholding payments to the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU). This includes any child support payments the employer may be currently sending to individuals or to the local child support agency.

As an employer, if you are required to pay your tax or employment obligations to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or the Employment Development Department (EDD) using Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), then California law also requires you to make your child support income withholding payments by EFT. (CA Family Code section 17309.5).

Payment Options:

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) via Automated Clearing House (ACH) Credit – This service allows employers to instruct their financial institution to transmit child support payments and data.  Call 1-866-901-3212 for assistance with initial setup.
  • Online - Log in at www.casdu.com - Use your debit/credit card or bank account information.
  • Phone - Call 1-866-901-3212 - Use your debit/credit card or bank account information.
  • Check - mail your payment to:
     
    State Disbursement Unit
    P.O. Box 989067
    West Sacramento, CA 95798

Need assistance or information on electronic payments? Call 1-866-901-3212.

Failure to Withhold

Employers who fail to withhold the amounts as specified on the IWO may be found liable for the full amount of the support owed, plus a fine.  Under certain circumstances, a willful failure to withhold is punishable by contempt of court. In addition, the court may order payment by electronic funds transfer from the employer’s bank account if the employer has willfully failed to withhold the required support.

In addition, an employer who fires, disciplines, or refuses to hire an employee based upon an income withholding may be assessed additional civil penalties.

For more information:

New Hires

New hire reporting is the process by which you, as an employer, report information on your newly hired employees to the California Employment Development Department. New hire reports are matched against child support records at the state and national levels to locate parents who are not paying owed child support. All California employers must report all of their new or rehired employees who work in California to the New Employee Registry within twenty (20) days of their start-of-work date. Any employee that is rehired after a separation of at least sixty (60) consecutive days must also be reported within 20 days.

The following information must be reported:

  • Employer’s legal business name, contact person name, address, phone number, California employer account number, and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
  • Employee’s full name, social security number, address, and start-of-work date.

Report your new hires electronically by visiting: https://eddservices.edd.ca.gov/

For more information:

Medical Support

By law, every order for child support must include a health insurance provision. If an employee or independent contractor is a noncustodial parent and eligible for health insurance, his/her children must be enrolled in the employer’s health insurance plan whenever the noncustodial parent is ordered to provide health insurance coverage.  Health insurance must be provided to the employee’s children even if the employee declines his/her own personal health coverage. 

Medical support orders may be for a specific dollar amount included on the IWO or as an order to provide health insurance that employers are noticed via a document titled: The National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) (form OMB 0970-0222). The NMSN is a standardized federal form that all state IV-D child support programs must use. The NMSN may accompany an IWO or it may be sent separately.

For more information:

2014 Revision to the Income Withholding for Support (IWO) Form and Instructions

The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has revised the IWO form and instructions for clarity and consistency. Key changes include:

  • Updated hyperlinks to current OCSE webpages
  • Standardization of terms
  • Larger font and more lines for state-specific information
  • Instructions to issue one IWO form for each IV-D case

Employers and other income withholders are directed to continue to honor any newly submitted IWOs generated on the older forms until July 31, 2015. Any questions or concerns with regard to the new IWO form and/or honoring a new income withhold can be directed to the local child support agency (LCSA) that issued the withholding order.

To learn more, visit the federal OCSE at 2014 Revisions to the Income Withholding for Support Form and Instructions.

Income Withholding

The Income Withholding Order (IWO) is a court order served on employers that requires them to withhold a specified amount of an employee’s wages for payment of child and medical support. The IWO or court order is served on employers on form FL 195. It may also be referred to as a wage assignment, garnishment order, or an income withholding for support order. Employers may be served with an IWO by a local child support agency (LCSA), by private party, or by another state’s child support agency.

Income withholding is the most effective method of child support collection. In California, wage withholding accounts for more than 65% of child support collected.

For more information:

Termination Reporting

When an employee with a child support obligation through a local child support agency (LCSA) leaves your company, notify the LCSA as soon as possible. The Income Withholding Order includes a Termination Notice that can be sent to the LCSA.

Note: Employer SHALL NOT use an Order/Notice as grounds for refusing to hire a person or for taking disciplinary action against an employee. Employers could face civil penalties if they do so.

For more information:

Bonus/Lump Sum Reporting: Three Ways to Report

Bonus and lump sum payments made to employees are considered income and may be garnished to collect past-due child support. Examples include severance, vacation payouts, retirement incentives, commissions, awards, and payments as a result of verdicts.

Choose one of the options below to report these payments:

Report by e-IWO

The Electronic Income Withholding for Support Order (e-IWO) process enables states and employers to exchange information about IWOs electronically, which includes information about upcoming bonus or lump sum payments. This option provides employers with the fastest and most efficient method of sending information. To learn more, read the DCSS e-IWO Fact Sheet. To enroll, visit the federal e-IWO webpage.

Report by Employer Services Web Application

With this option, employers use the Employer Services Web Application to upload information about employees who are eligible to receive a bonus, lump sum or other type of payout. The California Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) will receive the information and, when appropriate, issue a Bonus/Lump Sum IWO via the employer's preferred method of transmission: fax, email, e-IWO, or USPS. For more information on how employers can participate in this quick and simple process, visit the Employer Services Web Application or email employerserviceswebapp@acf.hhs.gov.

Report by Phone or Email

Employers may report bonus or lump sum payments prior to payout by contacting DCSS at 916-464-6640 or lumpsumresponseteam@dcss.ca.gov. If DCSS determines an IWO is appropriate, then it will issue a Bonus/Lump Sum IWO via the employers preferred method of transmission: fax, email, e-IWO or USPS.

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