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Electronic Child Support System Expands to More States

The Electronic Income Withholding Order for Child Support (e-IWO), designed for large employers, has become so prevalent that some states are considering the mandatory use of the program, said Bill Stuart, a software developer who works with the federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Stuart, a principal software developer at Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Enterprise Solutions Services unit, spoke May 26 at the American Payroll Association's 28th Annual Congress at National Harbor, Md.

The e-IWO portal, which facilitates the transmission of the withholding orders to employers, is used in 22 states, Stuart said, adding that New Jersey begins using the portal May 26.

The e-IWO program allows employers to make entries on a spreadsheet or PDF, Stuart said.

Pam Gasper, manager of garnishments for KBR Inc., and Corrinne Flores, CPP, agency relations manager for ADP services, said the electronic program is user-friendly, accurate and provides secure delivery to employers. The portal is a central location for child support orders and is helpful for employers dealing with multiple employment sites, Gasper said. The portal also quickly gets payments to state disbursement units and recipients.

The panel also spoke about converting to not just receiving support orders electronically, but also sending payments to the state disbursement units using electronic fund transfers. With the exception of South Carolina, state disbursement units receive and send payments electronically, said Nancy Benner, employer services specialist for the Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Going electronic for payments should be easy, especially for larger employers that use well-known payroll software, Benner said. The employers can use their own payroll and accounting software to send payments electronically, she said. Twelve states require employers of a certain size or with a certain number of orders to send payments electronically, she said, adding that 46 percent of payments for 2009 were sent electronically.

Nevada and Iowa recently passed legislation regarding electronic fund transfers, Benner said. Nevada's law requires employers with at least 50 employees to send payments electronically, effective July 1. Iowa's legislation become effective in l 2015, she said.

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