Employer General FAQs

Income Withholding Order for Support (IWO)

What is an IWO? What is an Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (FL-195)?
An IWO, or Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support (FL-195), also called the Income Withholding for Support , is a court order served on employers, which requires them to garnish or withhold an employee’s wages for payment of child support. This form may also be referred to as: wage assignment, garnishment order, and income withholding order. You may be served by a local child support agency (LCSA), private party, or another state’s child support agency.
Now that I’ve gotten an IWO, what am I supposed to do?

Read it carefully and follow its instructions. You may need to send a copy to the California State Disbursement Unit, depending on who issued the IWO. You do not need to send a copy, if your IWO came from any of the following: the California Department of Child Support Services, a county child support office in California, also called a Local Child Support Agency (LCSA), or another state’s child support agency. If, however, your IWO was issued by an attorney or other private party, then you must send a copy to the address below:

  • CA State Disbursement Unit (SDU)
    PO Box 980218
    West Sacramento, CA 95798-0218

  • OR by fax, Attention: Outreach at 1-888-587-5471
  • OR by e-mail to: casdu-electronichelpdesk@dcss.ca.gov

Note: You do not need to submit a copy of the order if it was issued by an LCSA or another state’s child support agency. Please do not send payments to this address.

Why does the state need a copy of the IWO on my employee?
This document provides the necessary information that enables the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU) to open a case and ensure payments are processed timely and accurately. All states are under a federal mandate to create a single, statewide case registry of all child support orders and to centralize payment processing. This was established by the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). The SDU is that single entity for child support cases in California.
Will I need to send a copy of the IWO with each payment?
No. You only need to send a copy when there is a change or you receive a new Income Withholding for Support (FL-195) from an attorney or other private party.
The Income Withholding for Support (FL-195) doesn’t have a judge’s signature. Do I still have to comply with it?

Yes. The Income Withholding for Support is a federally required form and is used in all support cases in all states. The signature of a judicial officer is not required when the order is sent by a Local Child Support Agency (LCSA), which is a county or regional child support office. If the order is not from an LCSA, you should still consider it valid and send a copy to the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU). The SDU will send you a notification with a Child Support Enforcement case number.

Note: An IWO is commonly issued whenever a child support case is established and the parent with higher earnings or less custody is employed. It is rare for a parent who is employed to be allowed to pay through other means. Employers shall not use an Income Withholding for Support 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.

If an Income Withholding for Support is from another state, must the payment be sent to that state?
Yes. You must comply with income withholding orders from other states. Instructions on the income withholding order will specify where to mail the payment. Please do not send payments ordered by other states to the California State Disbursement Unit.
What if the name and/or Social Security number on the Income Withholding for Support (FL-195) do not match my employee?
Call the California Department of Child Support Services at 1-866-901-3212 to find out if there is an error in the number or name, or if this could be a case of mistaken identity.
My employee has a Non IV-D case. What is Non-IV-D?
A Non-IV-D case (also known as a private case) is a case that is not filed with a local child support agency (LCSA), but has been prepared and filed by a private attorney, paralegal, or participant on the case. Cases where child support is established and maintained privately, such as following a divorce. Some Non IV-D cases become IV-D cases when they are referred to the Office of Child Support Enforcement in an attempt to collect outstanding, unpaid child support.

Making Payments

What should I do if the employee does not have sufficient earnings to satisfy the Income Withholding for Support (FL-195)?

Prioritize deductions in the following order:

  • First, pay current support, family support and/or spousal support
  • Second, pay current monthly health premiums and/or other current medical support
  • Third, pay any ordered support arrears
  • Lastly, pay any remaining ordered amounts
What should I do if the employee does not have sufficient earnings to satisfy multiple Income Withholdings for Support (FL-195)?
Prioritize deductions, prorated in proportion to each total amount owed, in the following order:
  • First, to current support, family support and/or spousal support
  • Second, to current monthly health premiums and/or other current medical support
  • Third, to payment of ordered support arrears
  • Lastly, to any remaining ordered amounts
Do I need to send in a separate check for each employee that has an income withholding order?

No. If you cannot send electronic payments, all of your California child support withholdings can be included in a single check. You must include the following information with the payment:

  • Employees’ full names
  • Employees’ social security numbers
  • Court order/case numbers
  • CSE case numbers (as provided by the SDU)
  • Amount withheld from each employee
  • Date withheld
What do I do if an employee has other non-child support income attachments?
Except when an IRS tax lien was served prior to the date the child support order was entered, federal and state laws require child support withholding to take priority over all other income attachments. You must withhold the required amount as long as the amount does not exceed 50% of the employee’s net disposable earnings.
Am I required to combine all of my employees’ income withholding payments into one check?
No. You may send in multiple checks if you cannot combine them; however we encourage you to use the available electronic payment options so your business can take advantage of secure, accurate, and prompt processing of child support withholding payments.
What should I do if my payment is dishonored or returned by the bank?
Call 1-888-851-6317 and talk with a state representative who will provide further instructions. Business hours are from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM PST, Monday to Friday. Be sure to have all pertinent payment information available at the time of the call, including check number, dollar amount, and employee case or participant number.
What should I do if I need to place a stop payment request with my bank?
Call 1-888-851-6317 and talk with a state representative who will provide further instructions. Business hours are from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM PST, Monday to Friday. Be sure to have all pertinent payment information available at the time of the call, includingcheck number, amount and date issued. Additional information can be found in the Employer Handbook or by calling 1-866-901-3212.

California State Disbursement Unit (SDU)

Am I required to send payments through the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU)?
Yes. Under state and federal law, employers are required to remit all California child support income withholding payments to the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU).
How does sending all income withholding payments to the SDU benefit my business?

Employers benefit in several ways:

  • Payments are sent to a single location.
  • Payments can be submitted using a credit card.
  • Payments can be made electronically, thereby increasing speed, accuracy, security, and convenience.
What should I do if I am still sending payments directly to the party receiving support?
You should send all income withholding child support payments to the SDU in compliance with state and federal law. With your payment, also be sure to provide the information related to the income withholding, including the employee name, social security number, amount withheld and case number. If you don’t know the case number, you can find out by calling 1-866-901-3212.
If the Income Withholding for Support (FL-195) is not made out to the SDU, do I need a new order?
No. Even though the order is not made payable to the SDU, you must still send the Income Withholding for Support to the SDU. Be sure to make all payments payable to the SDU, not the party receiving support.
May I allow an employee to pay child support directly to the SDU as long as I know the payments are being made?
No. To comply with the federal mandate that was established by the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) all employers are required to send their employees child support payments to the SDU.
What happens after I send the Income Withholding for Support (FL-195) to the SDU?
The SDU will enter the data into the California Child Support Enforcement (CSE) system. You will then receive a notification (DCSS 0507) from the California Department of Child Support Services with the CSE case number for each employee. This CSE case number must be included with all payments sent to the SDU for that employee

Payment Options

Am I required to send my income withholding payments using Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)?
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 EFT, then California law also requires you to make your child support income withholding payments by EFT. (CA Family Code section 17309.5)
What electronic payment options are available for employers?

The options available are:

  • You can enroll to submit payments using an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) credit through the Automated Clearing House (ACH).
  • You can register at www.casdu.com or the automated phone system (Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system) and make (debit) payments using your checking or savings account, or a Visa or MasterCard branded debit/credit card
How does the Automated Clearing House (ACH) process work?

To use the ACH process to submit your payments, you will need to:

  • Complete an enrollment form
  • Submit the enrollment form to the SDU:
  • by fax at 1-888-587-5471
  • or by mail to CA State Disbursement Unit (SDU), PO Box 981326, West Sacramento, CA 95798-1326.
  • Review the employer EFT Guide provided by the SDU and work with your Financial Institution
  • Create a test file for review by the SDU
  • Initiate payments after you receive the authorization letter from the SDU
How do I make Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit payments if there is an ACH debit block on my bank account?

To avoid your ACH debit child support payment(s) from being rejected, contact your bank and provide them with the DCSS Company Identification Number (Company ID).

Company ID: 1946001347
Company Name: SDU CHILD SUPPT
Company Entry Description: CAEPWEB

Verify with your bank that the ACH debit block has been removed from your account before making your payment.

How do I register to make payments on the website?
To register on www.casdu.com, you will need to enter your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and contact information. You will be required to enter a user name and password. A confirmation will be sent to the email address that you provide.
How does making payments on the website work?

Once you have registered, login and select the “Make a Payment" button.

  • Set up your payment profile. You will need either your bank account information or credit/debit card information for this step.
  • Next, enter each employee’s information including participant ID and Social Security number.
  • Now you can initiate payments.
  • Information is available on the website, but if you have further questions, call 1-866-901-3212
Can I set up recurring payments?
No. Recurring payment functionality is not available for employers; however you can schedule a future dated payment.
Can I save my employee’s child support payment information on the website?
Yes. You can create a template that stores the information, which you can modify if necessary.
Can I make a credit/debit card payment where the card-issuing bank is outside the United States?
Yes, you may use a credit/debit card where the card-issuing bank is outside the United States. Review your cardholder agreement to determine fees that you may incur from your bank.
How do I register to make payments using the IVR?
To register, you need to call 1-866-901-3212, select option 1, then press 1 and enter your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). You will be routed to an SDU Customer Service Representative (CSR). Once you are registered, you will be asked to create your Personal Identification Number (PIN).
If I can’t send payments electronically, where do I mail payments?

Child support payments, made payable to “CA State Disbursement Unit,” should be mailed to:

CA State Disbursement Unit (SDU)
PO Box 989067
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9067

How do I handle lump sum payments such as bonuses, commissions, benefits, and severance payments?
Employers are encouraged to call 1-866-901-3212 for guidance when they know that an employee will be receiving a lump sum payment. For an employee whose case is managed by an LCSA, the LCSA will issue an FL-195 for the month in which the employee will receive the bonus, so that you withhold the required amount.
An employee is an independent contractor. Can I withhold his/her income?
Yes. Independent contractor income is subject to an Income Withholding for Support (FL-195), but at a different rate. For more information, review the Employer Handbook or call 1-866-901-3212.

Website Data Entry/Database Questions

Is there a limit on how many employees I can enter on the website?
No. There is no limit to the number of employees you can enter on the website.
Can I use an existing file of our child support payment information to provide a bulk file upload of payment information?
Yes. Employers may use an existing employee child support payment file if it is in Comma Separated Value (CSV) format. There are instructions on the website, including a sample worksheet for reference. If you have questions or need assistance with the bulk file upload process, call 1-866-901-3212 (option 1).
Are there advantages to registering on the website?

Yes. As a registered employer you can manage your account by:

  • creating payment templates, which allows you to store bank account or credit/debit card information
  • storing employee child support information
  • viewing your payment history
What if I forget my password?
If you forget your password, you can reset your password by clicking on the ‘Forgot your password?’ link on the login page. A temporary, one-time use password will be emailed to you. You will need to change your password after you log in.

Additional Questions

What do I do if I have additional questions?

Please consult additional employer-related FAQs available at DCSS Frequently Asked Questions.

  • Additional information can be found in the Employer Handbook or by calling 1-866-901-3212.