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SOUTH CAROLINA
FIRST THINGS FIRST Campaign. Integrated Child Support Services
A Division of the South Carolina Department of Social Services

Employer Frequently Asked Questions

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New Hire Reporting
ALL employers must report newly hired employees to the South Carolina New Hire Reporting Program. Report new hires on-line at www.scnewhire.com.
 

Employers play a vital role in ensuring the financial security of families by participating in the child support process. To underscore the importance in employer participation, State and Federal Laws have been enacted to guarantee that employers participate in the process. By complying with the basic requirements explained below, employers are fulfilling their role as corporate citizen and contributing to the welfare of the community.

Since requirements regarding employers' participation in the child support process vary from state to state, we can only provide this information for employers operating in South Carolina. Other states' requirements are similar, but employers in other states should contact the child support agency in their state for detailed requirements.

 
 
 
 
Are all child support orders enforceable through income withholding?
All child support orders issued or modified after January 3, 1994 are subject to immediate income withholding. In addition, all Title IV-D cases in which an order is issued or modified after October 31, 1990 are subject to immediate income withholding. All child support orders in which a delinquency occurs are subject to immediate income withholding no matter when the order was issued or modified.

How do employers know they are required to withhold income?
An employer must honor a notice to withhold from any of the following:

  • a Clerk of Court in any of the 46 counties in South Carolina
  • a Child Support Enforcement Agency in another state
  • a court in another state
If an employer receives a notice from any other source, they may wish to consult their attorney to find out if they are required to honor the request.

What kinds of income are subject to withholding?
All wages, salaries, commissions, vacation pay, bonuses, compensation as an independant contractor, workers' compensation, disability payments, annuity and retirement benefits, payments made pursuant to a retirement plan and interest are subject to withholding for child support.

When must an employer begin withholding child support payments from the employee's income?
An employer must begin withholding the amount(s) indicated on the notice to withhold no later than the pay period immediately following the pay period in which the notice was received.

When must an employer send the child support payments?
An employer must pay any amounts withheld within seven (7) working days from the date the income is withheld.

Pay Period Conversion
One monthly period equals:
   4.33 weekly periods
   2 semi-monthly periods
   2.17 bi-weekly periods
   0.5 bi-monthly periods
   0.333 quarterly periods
   0.167 semi-annual periods
 
What if an employer's pay period is different than the frequency on the notice to withhold?
An employer is not required to change the employee's pay period to match the frequency on the notice to withhold. If the employee's regularly scheduled pay period is not the same as the frequency on the notice to withhold, the employer should withhold an amount each pay period which over the period of one month would equal one month's support obligation, plus any fees or costs. See the chart to the right.

May an employer charge a fee for withholding child support payments from the employee's income?
Yes. For each instance of withholding of income the employer may charge a fee of up to $3.00. This fee is in addition to the amount withheld pusuant to the notice to withhold.

What are the penalties for not withholding?
If an employer wilfully fails to withhold income pursuant to a notice to withhold, the employer can be required to pay the full amount of child support they failed to withhold.

Are employers required to comply with withholding notices from other states?
Yes. Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act all employers are required to honor income withholding orders from other states. Payments should be sent to the registry or court indicated on the notice sent by that state.

What should an employer do if an employee already has income withholdings from their paycheck?
Federal and State Laws require withholdings for child support to take priority over ALL other income withholdings. An employer must withhold the full amount indicated on the notice to withhold unless this amount exceeds 50 percent of the employee's net disposable income. The notice to withhold should explain how to calculate net disposable income.

What should an employer do if an employee has multiple child support income withholdings?
The employer must comply with ALL notices to withhold by withholding the amounts designated on the notices to the extent possible, without exceeding 50 percent of the employee's net disposable income. The notice to withhold should explain how to calculate net disposable income. If the total amount to withhold exceeds this 50 percent threshold, the employer should allocate the withholdings for each notice so that the tolal amount withheld does not exceed this 50 percent threshold. The empoyer must also notify the entities issuing the notices in writing as to its reason for failing to fully comply. Amounts withheld for current obligations have priority over withholding for arrearages. In no case shall the allocation for multiple orders result in the failure to comply with one of the notices.

If an employer has multiple employees with income withholdings, can the employer combine all the child support into one check?
Yes, if the income withholdings are to be sent to the same court or registry. When withholdings are combined in a single check, the employer must include a list of employees for which income was withheld and exactly how much was withheld for each employee.

What should an employer do if the employee says the income withholding is wrong?
If an employee claims the notice to withhold is erroneous in any way, the employer should contact the issuer of the notice immediately. The issuer of the notice to withhold will be able to explain the origin and any details of the notice.

When can an employer stop income withholding?
An employer cannot terminate income withholding for current child support obligations or arrearage amounts unless they are told to do so by the issuer of the notice to withhold.

What should an employer do if the employee no longer works for them?
Within 20 days after an employee leaves employment, the employer must send a copy of the notice to withhold to the issuer and must notify the issuer in writing of the date employment was terminated, the date of the final paycheck, the last known address for the employee, and the employee's new employer, if known.

Are employers required to report the availability of health insurance?
Yes. Upon receipt of a notice to withhold child support obligations from an employee's income, the employer must report to the issuer of the notice if health insurance is available to the employee for the benefit of the child(ren) for which income is being withheld.




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