This topic contains information on the following subjects:
Federal regulations established a Federal Case Registry (FCR) effective October 1, 1998. Information from all state case registries (SCRs) is submitted to the FCR, which is housed within FPLS (Federal Parent Locator Service).
The FCR serves as a way to identify individuals located or working in other states and as a "pointer" system that directs an agency requesting information to sources for more detailed information. Once a participant is entered in the FCR, data received by the FCR about that individual is sent to all states having an interest in the participant. Data is not returned, however, if a state has included a family violence indicator on any case involving the participant.
ACTS processes information from the FCR and updates case records or notifies responsible caseworkers that data is available. ACTS automatically updates address and employment data, when possible. ACTS notifies the responsible caseworkers if it is unable to update the information on the appropriate screen.
The FCR is a component of the Expanded Federal Parent Locator Service (EFPLS). Data from each state case registry is entered in the FCR. As new data is received, it is automatically matched to existing FCR data and to the National Directory of New Hires (NDNH). The FCR matching process also includes identification, verification, and correction of Social Security numbers. Matched New Hire, quarterly wage and UIB (Unemployment Insurance Benefit) data is automatically sent to states where the individual is a case participant.
The required data elements for the FCR include:
Social Security numbers (SSNs) sent from state case registries are verified prior to data being posted to the FCR. This assures that data going to the FCR is "clean" data. Verification simply indicates that the name and SSN on an incoming record matches the record at the Social Security Administration (SSA). Information is returned indicating a match, a reason if there is not a match, or a corrected number or "new" SSN based on information from SSA.
State case registries are required to report family violence to the Federal Case Registry. ACTS contains a PROTECT indicator that notifies caseworkers when reasonable evidence of domestic violence exists or a protective order is in place. While this field is case-specific, all cases with the same participants as a custodial parent (CP) or a child are reported to the FCR as having the family violence indicator flag set. Once this flag is set, disclosure is prohibited to any other state requesting information about those participants. The domestic violence indicator is not set for NCPs. For more information, see “CSS Participant Security” in the Child Support Program Basics Chapter.
If family violence has been indicated by another state, a different indicator is set in ACTS and no information is returned from the FCR. ACTS also notifies the responsible CSS caseworkers.
The National Directory of New Hires (NDNH) and the FCR constantly check each other to see if any information matches whenever new or updated data enters FPLS. FPLS performs three (3) types of internal matches:
1. FCR to FCR match – When a person is added to the FCR, FPLS checks existing FCR data to determine if that person is involved in a case in another state.
2. FCR to NDNH match - When a person is added to the FCR, FPLS checks NDNH to see if this person is employed.
3. NDNH to FCR match - When New Hire data is added to the NDNH, the FPLS checks the FCR to see if that person is involved in a CSS case in another state.
Other information in the NDNH (W-4, quarterly wage, and unemployment insurance benefits) is also matched with participant data in the FCR.
When data in the NDNH or FCR is added or when certain information is updated by any state, the FPLS automatically runs a proactive matching process for information on participants in CSS cases. It is continuous and does not wait for a state request. The FCR transmits to each SCR the results of proactive matching using an automated link, Connect Direct.
When data is returned from a match, ACTS informs the responsible caseworker about each participant for whom information was found. Other components of FPLS do not perform proactive matching. These sources only return information when a search request is made.
Manual query requests to FCR can be made at any time after a participant is entered in the FCR. When information is received in response to a manual FCR request, ACTS informs the responsible caseworker.
This expanded service provided by proactive matching benefits case processing by:
When information is received from a proactive match, the action taken depends on the service category or processing status of the CSS case.
1. If employment information is received and a support order already exists, a direct income withholding could be sent, or the other state could be contacted to request information, to request a particular action, or to determine CEJ on a case,
2. If employment information is received and no support order exists, the address could be used to contact the noncustodial parent (NCP), to request information or action from another state, or to use the income to establish a support obligation.
The IRS Project 1099 allows CSS agencies to obtain asset and wage information for noncustodial parents (NCPs). This information is transmitted to the IRS via 1099 forms from financial institutions and state agencies and via W-2 forms that are submitted by employers. ACTS automatically requests 1099 information each October for all NCPs with verified SSNs in active cases that are in the Locate or Delinquency Processing Status.
The 1099 project requires an extreme level of security. Four types of information can be obtained from the IRS Project 1099:
1. The address that the NCP reported to the submitting institution;
2. The address of the submitting institution;
3. Wage and salary payments made to the NCP; and
4. Asset information reported by institutions.
The IRS requires that information obtained from this source not be co-mingled with other case data and that it not be disclosed to third parties or in child support litigation unless it is verified by an independent source. Therefore, 1099 information is not imported into ACTS.
When the FCR returns 1099 data, ACTS notifies the responsible caseworker. Only responsible caseworkers or supervisors can access 1099 response data, which includes name, address, employer or other source of income, source/amount of assets. To verify income or assets, the 1099 Letter (DSS-4551) must be sent to the entity that provided the information to the IRS.
Once a participant is entered in the FCR, the responsible caseworkers can make a manual request for 1099 data. Manual 1099 requests can be most useful for individuals who are submitted to the FCR after the October automated match process. Resubmittal of individuals who are included in the automated process does not produce additional information.
For information regarding the security of IRS information, see “IRS Information” in the Child Support Program Basics chapter.
State new hire directories send new hire, quarterly wage, and unemployment insurance information to NDNH. As information is received, NDNH matches with the FCR to send this data to states with matching participants.
When ACTS receives information on active participants, it either updates the participant data in the system or notifies the responsible CSS caseworkers to review the data and determine appropriate actions.
When an FCR match indicates the existence of a case involving a NC CSS participant in another state, ACTS searches for an indicator of an order in the other state. If one is found, an indicator flag notifies the responsible local caseworker.
ACTS then searches the Interstate Reference Table to determine if the other state has CSENet functionality. If so, ACTS automatically sends a CSENet transaction to the state to request case information. If the other state does not have CSENet functionality, ACTS notifies the responsible CSS caseworker, who can then request information from the other state.
If another state sends a CSENet request to NC following an FCR return to that state, ACTS searches for a matching CSS case. If a case is found, ACTS returns the required data to the other state via a CSENet transaction. If no case is found, ACTS sends a transaction to advise the other state that NC has no information.
The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) has entered into an agreement with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide Child Support Services with access to SSA's State Verification and Exchange System (SVES) data. Information concerning Title II and Title XVI benefits is contained within the SVES databases. Information on Title II and Title XVI benefits is available through X/PTR reports.
Title II benefits are available to people who have worked and contributed to Social Security for retirement and disability. The monthly amount depends on the beneficiary's lifetime earnings and can be used in as a source of income to be considered in calculating a child support obligation and can be withheld to meet an existing child support obligation.
Title XVI benefits (also know as Supplemental Security Income or SSI) are provided to aged, blind, or disabled persons who have limited ability to work. SSI is considered a means-tested public assistance program and as such cannot be considered as a source of income for child support establishment and enforcement purposes. Verification of a noncustodial parent’s (NCP's) SSI benefits can assist workers in determining how to proceed with a case.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.