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Child Support Employer's Resource Guide
Free Webinar for Employers
Child support process and procedure rules can be tricky for payroll professionals and their employers. Join the American Payroll Association (APA) as we host the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services for an overview of state child support requirements. This webinar is a must if you are doing business in Louisiana.
In this webinar, you will learn about:
- Income withholding guidelines
- Use of the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement's Child Support Portal
- Submitting child support payments through electronic funds transfer
Click here to access the webinar on December 14 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST/ 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM CST.
Employers are partners in ensuring the financial security of the children served through the child support program. More than 60% of all support collected on behalf of the children in DCFS’ child support cases are collected by employers through income withholding. With your continued alliance, we will increase that percentage to or above the nation’s average of 75%.
Special Notice for Employers Reporting Lump Sum Payments
Effective August 1, 2016, payors of income who have been ordered to withhold support payments are required to notify the Department of Children and Family Services at least 15 days prior to issuance of a lump sum payment of $300 or more. A lump sum payment is a single payment made all at once from any source, in lieu of recurring payments, that would be received over a period of time. Go to the DCFS lump sum reporting web page for detailed information.
Reporting all newly hired or rehired employees, withholding income for child and spousal support and health insurance premiums for medical support pursuant to a court order; remitting withheld payments; and reporting separation of employment. Detailed information about employer responsibility is available on the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement's website.
Income Withholding Order/Notice for Child Support
The Income Withholding Order/Notice for Support (IWO) is a standardized form used for income withholding in all states, tribes, US Territories, and non-governmental cases. All employers must honor an income withholding order/notice for child support.
Processing the Notice
Direct Withholding - Out of State Order
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) allows the Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Child Support to be sent directly to an out-of-state employer, whether or not the employer does business in the rendering state.
The law of the issuing state governs the nature, extent, amount and duration of the current payments and other obligations of support as well as payment of the arrears under the order.
The employer must:
- treat the Order/Notice as if it were an order entered in that state;
- immediately provide the NCP a copy of the Order/Notice; and
- distribute the funds as directed in the Order/Notice.
The NCP may contest the income withholding in the same manner as if the order were issued by a court of that state, and must give notice of the contest to the agency which submitted the Order/Notice.
Amount to Withhold - LA Order
LA R. S. 13:3881 provides that the exemption from seizure of disposable earnings for the payment of current or past due child support is 50 percent of disposable earnings. The exemption from disposable earnings for the payment of current or past due spousal support is 60 percent of the disposable earnings. When CSE is providing child support enforcement services to the spouse and a judgment or order for support includes an obligation for both child and spousal support, or in any case wherein the judgment or order does not clearly indicate which amount is attributable to support of the child or children and which amount is attributable to support of the spouse or former spouse, the support obligation shall be treated as if it is exclusively for the support of a child or children.
Disposable earnings are the part of earnings of an individual remaining after the deduction of any amounts required by law to be withheld are being deducted in the usual course of business for the purpose of providing benefits for retirement, medical insurance coverage, life insurance coverage and that these amounts are legally due or owed to the employer.
Employer's Cost Recovery
LA R.S. 46:236.3 supports employer withholding a $5.00 processing fee from the income of the person ordered to pay support per pay period or per singular or periodic payment during which the income assignment order is in effect.
Termination of the Income Withholding
A termination occurs when the employee quits, retires, is fired or laid off. All terminated employees who have child support income-withholding orders should be reported as terminations to the child support agency that issued the withholding order. Reporting a termination should be done as soon as possible following the termination date.
Reporting a termination lets the agency know why the employer is no longer withholding child support deductions. The agency is thus alerted to issue a new income-withholding order as appropriate.
When to Report Termination?
Report as soon as the employee quits, retires, is fired or laid off. Even if the employee left during the first pay period, a termination report must be made because:
- an employer-employee relationship existed;
- the employee filled out a W-4 form;
- a new hire report was submitted for that employee; and
- a withholding order was received for that employee.
How to Report Terminations?
Upon termination, mail or fax a completed "Termination Notification" form to the issuing agency, OR some states will accept this information over the telephone or online. The employer should have the following information available:
- employee's name;
- employee's case identifier;
- last known home address;
- new employer's address (if known); and
- date of separation.
States using the National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) require that additional information on medical support or insurance be reported, primarily to avoid interruption of medical coverage for the employee's child.
To avoid interruption of payments to the child and the accrual of arrears, the employee is encouraged to make support payments on his or her own behalf (until a new withholding order is issued).
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
An employer may transfer support withholdings directly to the agency’s financial institution. Support withholdings by EFT are submitted through Automated Clearinghouse (ACH), a government regulated facility that coordinates electronic transactions.
If remitting payment by EFT, call (225) 924-5990 before the first submission.
ExpertPay allows employers and obligors to electronically submit support payments to our Centralized Collection Unit. ACH will charge a small transaction fee, which will be accessed for each debit-based support payment.
The transaction fee is subtracted before our Centralized Collection Unit receives the payment. Additional information may be viewed at the ExpertPay website.
With ExpertPay, employers will have online access to up-to-date reports regarding transaction history, withholding lists and employee details. Employers can apply online at: https://expertpay.com/employerapp/.
Money Order, Cashier's or Business Check
All support payments must be made payable to the Department of Children & Family Services.
Send check to:
Department of Children & Family Services
Centralized Collection Unit
P.O. Box 260222
Baton Rouge, LA 70826-0222
Include the employee’s name, case identifier, (per the income withholding notice) and/or social security number on the payment instrument.
- If the payment is entered with the employee’s social security number only, the money will be distributed to all of the cases associated with that employee.
- If the payment is entered with case identifier number only, the money will be distributed to all debts associated with the specific case identified.
When submitting payments for multiple employees, please identify the amount withheld for each employee.
MoneyGram allows employers and obligors to make cash child support payments.
Please be advised there is a $3.99 convenience fee for the use of this service.
Employers utilizing this service will be required to provide either the LASES number, member number or SSN of the employee, along with the Receive Code: 14695.
Child Support Enforcement personnel will be able to view payments on the same day they are made through MoneyGram.
Medical Support is defined as health insurance coverage and/or the payment of a child's medical expenses. This includes: (1) private health insurance, (2) publicly-funded health coverage if a parent is ordered by a court or administrative process to provide cash medical support payments to help pay the cost of Medicaid or State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), (3) cash medical support, including payment of health insurance premiums, and (4) payment of medical bills (including dental or eye care). Indian Health Service and Tricare are acceptable forms of medical support. Medical support may be provided by the custodial parent, noncustodial parent or another person, such as a step-parent.
Effective August 15, 2010, Louisiana Law (LA R.S. 46:236.1.1 and 46:236.1.2) defined medical support, cash medical, accessible health insurance, and the reasonable cost of health insurance, both private and public.
- Cash medical support may not exceed 5% of the NCP’s income.
- Accessible health insurance provides primary care services within 50 miles of the residence of the child subject to the child support order.
- Reasonable cost means health insurance premiums for the minor child(ren) are not to exceed 5% of the gross income of the parent ordered to provide support.
Responses to the National Medical Support Notice should be forwarded to:
DCFS Child Support Enforcement Section - Medical Support
PO Box 459
Ocala, FL 34478-0459
National Medical Support Notice (NMSN)
A standardized medical child support order is to be used by all child support enforcement agencies to enforce medical obligations. The National Medical Support Notice is a QMCSO (Qualified Medical Child Support Order).
The NMSN consists of the following four documents and instructions:
- Part A – Notice to Withhold for Health Care Coverage. Part A will be completed by the state child support agency and sent to the employer with the rest of the packet.
- “Employer Response” is your opportunity to respond to the request if one of the following situations exists:
- Health care coverage is not available for employees.
- The employee is not eligible for health care coverage through the employer.
- The employee is no longer employed.
- Exceeds state or federal withholding limits.
- Part B – Medical Support Notice To Plan Administrator. This document should be forwarded to your health care plan administrator for handling.
- “Plan Administrator Response” is completed by your plan administrator according to the instructions and returned to the state child support agency.
Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO)
A QMCSO is a medical child support order that creates or recognizes the right of an "alternate recipient" to receive benefits for which a participant or beneficiary is eligible under a group health plan or assigns to an alternate recipient the right of a participant or beneficiary to receive benefits under a group health plan. It is recognized by the group health plan as "qualified" because it includes information and meets other requirements of the QMCSO provisions
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. WHICH LOUISIANA LAWS REQUIRE ME TO WITHHOLD INCOME FROM MY EMPLOYEE OR CONTRACTORS AND SEND THE MONEY TO SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT SERVICES VIA YOUR STATE DISBURSEMENT UNIT?
A. Louisiana Revised Statute RS 46:236.3 states, “Upon receipt of a notice to withhold, the payor of income shall withhold from the income of the obligor the amount order for support, as it becomes due, together with an additional sum, determined by the obligee, subject to limitation provided by RS 13:3881.”
Q. THE ORDER/NOTICE TO WITHHOLD INCOME REQUIRES ME TO WITHHOLD A CERTAIN AMOUNT ON A MONTHLY BASIS. I PAY MY EMPLOYEES BI-MONTHLY (ON THE FIRST AND THE FIFTEENTH). CAN I DIVIDE THE AMOUNT I WITHHOLD BETWEEN THE PAY PERIODS?
A. Yes. You can withhold in a manner which best fits your payroll system as long as you implement the withholding no later than the first pay period (singular or periodic payment) that occurs following receipt of the notice of income assignment and must remit amounts withheld within seven (7) days. You must remit the total requested monthly amount every month.
Q. MY EMPLOYEE DOES NOT MAKE ENOUGH TO WITHHOLD AS MUCH AS THE ORDER TO WITHHOLD INCOME REQUIRES EVERY MONTH. MUST I SEND THE ENTIRE PAYCHECK AS CHILD SUPPORT?
A. No. Louisiana law provides that the maximum amount withheld from a person weekly disposable earnings for the payment of current and/or past due support may not exceed fifty percent (50%).
Q. I HAVE RECEIVED MULTIPLE ORDERS TO WITHHOLD INCOME FOR ONE EMPLOYEE. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF HE OR SHE DOES NOT EARN ENOUGH INCOME TO MEET ALL OF THE OBLIGATIONS?
A. When two or more orders to withhold income for support are received, the orders shall be prorated; however, the total amount withheld for all support orders shall not exceed the fifty (50%) of the employee disposable earnings. If there are insufficient funds available to satisfy all orders, the orders for current support shall be given priority on a pro rata basis. For more information please contact the Customer Service Center (CSC) at 1-800-256-4650.
Q. I HAVE RECEIVED DUPLICATE INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDERS FOR AN EMPLOYEE, FOR THE SAME CUSTODIAL PARENT AND CHILD BUT DIFFERENT STATES. WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR ADDRESSING THIS?
A. According to the Office of Child Support Enforcement’s Employer Services website, you would take the following steps:
- Continue to honor the first withholding order received.
- Give your employee a copy of the second withholding order.
- Contact the issuing agency that sent the second withholding order. Inform the agency that you are already sending withheld payments for the same child to another jurisdiction.
- Provide payment information such as the amount of the withholding and where the withholding is being sent.
- Contact the issuing agency that sent the first withholding order. Inform the agency of the second order.
Q. IF AN INCOME WITHHOLDING ORDER HAS BEEN TERMINATED, AM I REQUIRED TO CONTINUE TO KEEP THE ORDER ON FILE? IF SO, FOR HOW LONG?
A. No. The employer shall inform the Department in writing within ten (10) days when employment terminates or the payment of income terminates. The employer shall provide the employee’s last known address and the name and address of the employee ’s parent’s new employer, if known.
If the employee is temporarily laid off or works intermittently (i.e., due to seasonal work), retain the income withholding order that was being honored prior to the termination. Contact the agency that issued the income withholding upon reactivation.
CSE Office Contact Information