12. Closure‎ > ‎

12.1 Introduction


Chapter Federal Authority
Case Closure 45 CFR 303.11 Case Closure
45 CFR 305.63 Standards for determining substantial compliance with IV-D requirements
45 CFR 308 – Annual State Self Assessment Review and Report
Subject State Authority
Case Closure None
Policy Number Effective Date
12.1 July 1, 2015

Chapter

This chapter contains the following sections:

  • Special Circumstances
  • Termination of Support
  • Retention of Closed Cases

Overview

In 1974 Congress established the Child Support Enforcement Program granted by the authority in Title IV-D of the Social Security Act to establish paternity along with child and medical support and enforce child support obligations.  After the implementation of the IV-D child support enforcement program and at the request of its state partners, the federal OCSE created regulations to guide states through the IV-D child support closure process.  The closure regulations provide closure criteria in a two-pronged approach – whether the case should be closed and how it should be closed.  

Following are the federal timeframes including the closure reasons, notice requirements, and self-assessment provisions.

Federal Timeframes

Federal Closure Reasons

Under certain circumstances, a IV-D child support case may be closed as long as it meets at least one of the following requirements which are outlined in the federal regulations (45 CFR 303.11) and supporting documentation for the case closure decision is maintained in the case record.  

1) There is no longer a current support order and arrears are under $500.00 or unenforceable ((b)(1)).


Note:  If the remaining arrears are being collected through an enforcement action (e.g. wage withholding), do not close the case until the arrears are paid in full or the non-custodial parent stops paying.


Note: The following criteria must be met for a support case to be considered unenforceable:
  • The case is currently not a paying case, no payments have been posted for the past 12 months, and no payments are anticipated in the near future.
  • No federal offset money has been received by the Child Support Enforcement Program (CSE) during the last two (2) years.
  • CSE shall have collected $500 or less on the case over the past two (2) years by methods other than federal offset.
  • There are no financial institution accounts belonging to the obligor that can be attached.
  • No executable assets have been identified for the obligor.

2) There is no longer a current support order and all arrearages in the case are assigned to the State ((b)(2)).


Note:  The Case must meet the closure criteria for at least one of the other closure reasons found in this section in order to be closed for this reason; for example, Arrears Unenforceable.

3) There is no longer a current support order, the children have reached the age of majority, the noncustodial parent is entering or has entered long-term care arrangements (such as a residential care facility or home health care), and the noncustodial parent has no income or assets available above the subsistence level that could levied or attached for support ((b)(3)).


Note:  Documentation shall include a letter from the long-term care facility or a physician verifying the noncustodial parent is in the facility.  

4)  The noncustodial parent or alleged father is deceased and no further action, including a levy against the estate, can be taken ((b)(4).

5) The noncustodial parent is living with the minor child (as the primary caregiver or in an intact two parent household), and the IV-D agency has determined that services are not appropriate or are no longer appropriate ((b)(5)).


Note:  At least one letter shall be sent to the custodial parent to attempt to verify the child’s whereabouts (if not an intact family).  If the custodial parent does not respond after 10 days, the case can be closed.  Documentation including verification from the school, verification of the household found in EPICS or WES or  any other documentation that proves relevant shall be accepted.   If possible, the District Office will resolve current support and/or the arrears, if warranted. 


6)   Paternity cannot be established because: 

(i) The child is at least 18 years old and an action to establish paternity is barred by a statute of limitations ((b)(6)(i)); 
(ii) A genetic test or court order has excluded the alleged father ((b)(6)(ii));
(iii) The Wyoming CSE Program determined that it would not be in the best interest of the child to establish paternity ((b)(6)(iii)); or
(iv) The identity of the alleged father is unknown and cannot be identified through diligent efforts including at least one interview by the Wyoming CSE Program with the recipient of services ((b)(6)(iv)).

7)   The non-custodial parent’s location is unknown and the case worker has made diligent efforts all of which have been unsuccessful to locate the non-custodial parent:

(i) Over a two (2)  year period when sufficient information is available to initiate automated locate sources ((b)(7)(i)); 
(ii) Over a 6 month period when there is not sufficient information to access automated locate sources ((b)(7)(ii)); or
(iii) After a 1-year period when there is sufficient information to initiate an automated locate effort, but locate interfaces are unable to verify a Social Security Number ((b)(7)(iii)).


Note:  7 (iii)  closure reason requires state approval.


8)   The non-custodial parent cannot pay support for the duration of the child’s minority (or after the child reached the age of majority), and shows no evidence of support potential  because ((b)(8)): 

(i) The parent has been institutionalized in a psychiatric facility;
(ii) Is incarcerated; or
(iii) Has a medically verified total and permanent disability.

Wyoming shall ensure that no income or assets are available above the subsistence level that could be levied or attached for support.


Note  If Wyoming CSP receives SVES verification through the portal of the non-custodial parent’s disability or if the non-custodial parent provides a letter from the Social Security Administration that states the non-custodial parent is receiving SSI benefits, Wyoming CSP shall accept the SVES verification or the letter as determination of a total permanent disability.  Once the disability is identified and confirmed, the District CS office shall follow-up to ensure the non-custodial parent has no other income or assets above the subsistence level available for garnishment. 

9)  The noncustodial parent’s sole income is from:

(i) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments ((b)(9)(i)); or
(ii) Both SSI payments and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) ((b)(9)(ii)).

10) The non-custodial parent is a citizen of, or lives in, a foreign country, does not work for the United States or a corporation with offices in the United States, and has no reachable domestic assets. Additionally, Wyoming does not have reciprocity or  Federal or State treaty with the country ((b)(10)). 


Note  Citizenship shall be determined using the best information available at the time the decision is made to close the case.

11) The services provided are “locate only” ((b)(11)).

12) The Non-IV-A recipient of services or the Initiating State requests closure and there is no assignment to Wyoming ((b)(12)).


Note  When the recipient of services requests closure, the case worker shall send a Response to Request for Closure of a Child Support Case.  This document lists the actions cancelled when closing a child support case.  For a list of the actions stopped at closure, please see Appendix 12.A - Child Support Enforcement Actions Cancelled.

13) There is a finding of good cause that child support enforcement may not proceed without risk of harm to the child or caretaker relative ((b)(14)).  (See 6.2 Intake – Application for details regarding good cause).

14) The IV-D agency is unable to contact the Non-IV-A custodial parent despite a good faith effort to contact the recipient through at least two different methods. ((b)(15)).  


Note:  If only one method of contact is available, the case manager will document this in the Case Activity Logs.

15) The Non-IV-A recipient of services does not cooperate with a documented request by the Wyoming CSP and the requested action is essential for the next step in providing IV-D services ((b)(16).  


Note:  Failure to complete and return the Statement of Understanding (See Appendix 6.A for an example) does not qualify as non-cooperation.


16) The Responding State documents failure by the Initiating State to take action that is essential for the next step in services ((b)(17)).


Note:   The Wyoming CSP shall notify the Initiating State of its intent to close 60 days prior to the closure of the case

17) The Initiating agency notifies the Responding State that the Initiating State has closed its case ((b)(18)).

18) The Initiating agency notifies the Responding State that its intergovernmental services are no longer needed ((b)(19)).


Note:  If the underlying support order is a Wyoming order and is connected to a Wyoming Mother vs. Father POSSE case, the children shall be transferred back to the original Mother vs. Father POSSE case before closure.

19)  Another assistance program, including IV-A, IV-E, SNAP and Medicaid has referred a case to the IV-D agency that is inappropriate to establish, enforce, or continue to enforce a child support order and the custodial parent or noncustodial parent has not applied for services ((b)(20)). (See 12.2 – Special Circumstances for more information on closing a case as Opened in Error).

20)  The IV-D case, including a case with assigned arrears has been transferred to a Tribal IV-D agency and Wyoming CSP has complied with the following procedures ((b)(21):

i).    Before transferring the IV-D case to a Tribal IV-D agency and closing the IV-D case with Wyoming CSP:
A. The recipient of services requested the Wyoming CSP to transfer the case to the Tribal IV-D agency and close the case with the Wyoming CSP; or
B. The Wyoming CSP notified the recipient of services of its intent to transfer the case to the Tribal IV-D agency and close the case with the Wyoming CSP and the recipient did not respond to the notice to transfer the case within 60 calendar days from the date notice was provided;
ii). The Wyoming CSP completely and fully transferred and closed the case; and
iii). The Wyoming CSP notified the recipient of services that the case has been transferred to the Tribal IV-D agency and closed; or
(iv).  The Tribal IV-D agency has a State-Tribal agreement approved by OCSE to transfer and close cases. The State-Tribal agreement must include a provision for obtaining the consent from the recipient of services to transfer and close the case.

21)  The Wyoming CSP shall close a case and maintain supporting documentation for a case closure when the following criteria has been met ((b)(21)(c):
(1) The child is eligible for health care services from the Indian Health Service (IHS); and 
(2) The IV-D case was opened because of a Medicaid referral based solely upon health care services, including Purchased/Referred Care program provided through an Indian Health Program (as defined at 25 U.S.C. 1603(12)).


Note:  When closing an enforcement case, the case worker shall send a notice terminating wage withholding orders to all employers associated with the non-custodial parent for the last three (3) years and a notice terminating health insurance to the most recent employer.



Note:  Do not remove the intergovernmental information when closing a case where Wyoming is the Responding State.


Notice of Closure

Federal regulation requires notice to the recipient of services or the Initiating State in cases meeting closure criteria above for (1) through (10) and (15) through (16).  The Wyoming CSP shall notify the recipient of services in writing 60 days prior to the closure of the case of its intent to close a case.

When a case worker sets a case for closure in POSSE and in addition to any specific District CSP Office procedures, the case worker shall ensure the paternity data in POSSE is updated according to Appendix 12.E – PEP Data Reliability Review.  


Note:  Federal regulation requires that a case be kept open if the recipient of services or the initiating agency supplies information which could lead to the establishment of paternity or a support order or enforcement of an order, or if contact is reestablished with the recipient of services..


Self Assessment Visit

To comply with this federal regulation through the self-assessment review as described in 17.3 Audits – Self-Assessment Review, a state shall properly close IV-D cases 90% of the time.  (45 CFR 305.63(b)(2) and 45 CFR 308.2(a))  

Approval Process

To comply with this federal regulation through the self-assessment review as described in 17.3 Audits – Self-Assessment Review, a state shall properly close IV-D cases 90% of the time.  (45 CFR 305.63(b)(2) and 45 CFR 308.2(a))  

Reinstated Closed Cases

An applicant may request the District CSE Office re-open a closed child support case by completing the application as described in 6.2 Intake – Application and paying the application fee as provided in 5.2 Fees - Application Fee.  

Cross Reference

Version Number Last Revised Date
6May 10, 2017