WV - DHHR - BCSE

Income Withholding FAQ's

1. What do I do when the obligor does not make enough to cover the court-ordered amount to be withheld?

If no arrears are owed or the arrearage has been owed for less than 12 weeks, the limit is:

a.         40% of the obligor's disposable earnings if the obligor is supporting another spouse or other dependents; OR

b.         50% of the obligor's disposable earnings if the obligor has no other spouse or dependents.

If the arrears are owed for twelve (12) weeks or more, the limit is:


a.         45% of the obligor's disposable earnings if the obligor is supporting another spouse or other dependents; OR

b.         55% of the obligor's disposable earnings if the obligor does not have another spouse or other dependents.

(WVCODE 48-14-408)

These withholding limitations do not apply to bonuses.  The employer is to withhold and remit 50% of any bonus to the BCSE up to the amount of the total arrearage.  Bonus checks should be reported to the Employer Relations unit electronically or by fax to 304-558-1487.  (Put link to “Notice of Intent to Distribute Lump Sum Payments/Bonus Checks” form here)  An Income Withholding Notice/Order will be mailed or faxed informing you of the appropriate amount to be withheld on a case by case basis.

 

2. How do I determine the obligor's disposable earnings?

“Disposable earnings” means that part of the individual's earnings remaining after the deduction of any amounts required by law to be withheld.   WVCODE 48-1-223

 

3. Are withholdings on a “first come, first serve” basis?

No.  You must withhold for all withholdings you receive.   WVCODE 48-16-503

 

4. Some of our employees already have wage attachments against their paychecks.  How do we handle these attachments and child support?

Child support withholdings take priority over all other garnishments against the same wages except federal tax liens.  Only after satisfying the child support obligation (to the maximum allowed limit) may you honor the other wage attachments.  WVCODE 48-14-417

 

5. If I receive multiple income withholdings, am I required to send a separate check for each one?

No.  Normally, you can add all amounts withheld together and write one check.  WVCODE 48-14-413

NOTE:  Always check the remittance address.  You may need to send to different states or address in some circumstances.

 

6. What should I do if my employee tells me the amount being withheld is not the correct amount or he/she already paid the child support directly to the custodial parent?

You must continue to withhold wages according to the Order/Notice to withhold until you are notified by the child support enforcement agency to change the amount being withheld or to stop withholding.  Please advise the employee to contact the child support agency directly.

 

7. Must I withhold child support or can the employee pay it on his own?

You are required to withhold the support when you receive an Order/Notice to Withhold Income for Support from the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement or from an out-of-state child support agency.

 

8. May I pay the employee's income withholding amount in advance?

Yes.  However, if the employee terminates his employment before the end of the month, any child support paid in advance will not be refunded.

 

9. May I withhold additional money at the employee's request?

Yes, but it needs to be documented this is at the employee's request.

 

10. Income withholdings require extra work for my company.  May I charge a fee to my employees for processing the withholding?

Yes.  The employer is entitled to deduct an additional $1.00 per withholding.  WVCODE 48-14-406

 

11. May I get a printout of the payments I have sent in on a particular employee?

No.  If you have questions concerning certain payments, please contact the Employer Relations unit at 800-835-4683 (or 304-558-1134 in Kanawha County).

 

12. Should I withhold on bonus checks?

Yes.  Bonus checks should be reported to the Employer Relations unit electronically or by fax to 304-558-1487.  (Put link to “Notice of Intent to Distribute Lump Sum Payments/Bonus Checks” form here)  An Income Withholding Notice/Order will be mailed or faxed informing you of the appropriate amount to be withheld on a case by case basis.

 

13. If an employee works overtime, should an additional amount be withheld?

No.  You are required to send only the amount shown on the income withholding notice.  The only exception would be if you are not withholding the full amount ordered because of low earnings.

 

14. If an employee becomes deceased and is still owed wages, should I withhold from the last check?

Yes.

 

15. How will I know when to stop withholding or if the arrears are paid in full?

The BCSE will send a termination or amended income withholding.  Until a new order is received, you must comply with the original order.

 

16. Are employers required to withhold child support from payments to an independent contractor?

Yes, the withholding notice applies to all income, not just wages.

 

17. If the employee is off work without pay, am I still required to send in child support?

No, but the absence should be reported to the BCSE.

 

18. What do I do about the withholding if an employee is called up for active military duty?

Contact the local child support office that issued the original income withholding order and tell them that your employee has been called to active duty and provide the date of activation.  So long as the employee does not have wages, you are not required to send support; however, when the employee returns to work, you must begin withholding immediately.

 

19. If the BCSE did not receive a payment I mailed, is the replacement mailed to the same address?

Contact BCSE Employer Relations unit at 800-835-4683 (or 304-558-1134 in Kanawha County).

 

20. If I send money by mistake, is it possible to have it refunded?

Call 800-835-4683 (or 304-558-1134 in Kanawha County) and speak with someone in the Child Support Employer Relations unit.

 

21. If I make an error on the child support remittance, will I be required to send payment as soon as possible to correct the error?

Yes.   WVCODE 48-14-413

 

22. Can I be held liable for a mistaken payment?

Yes.   WVCODE 48-14-413

23. If I receive information that a payment I sent was not received and the payment has not cleared my bank, should I immediately stop payment on the check?

No.  Contact the Employer Relations unit at 800-835-4683 (or 304-558-1134 in Kanawha County) prior to placing a stop payment on the check.

 

24. If I am withholding for another state, am I required to withhold on the WV order also?

Yes, please contact the Employer Relations unit at 800-835-4683 (or 304-558-1134 in Kanawha County) for additional instructions.

 

25. Is it my responsibility to report an increase in an employee's salary to BCSE?

Upon written request, an employer is to provide information regarding an obligor's employment, wages or salary, medical insurance, start date, and location of employment to the BCSE.


 

26. How and where do I report terminations?

Click on the quick link.  "Employee Information Link."


 

27. May I fax termination notices, and if so, to whom?

Yes.  All fax's should be sent to the Employer Relations unit at 304-558-1487.

 

28. If the obligor is terminated, do I need to report the new employer (if known), and the obligor’s current address and telephone number to the BCSE?

Yes.  WVCODE 48-12-107; WVCODE 48-14-412

 

29. Do I need to notify the BCSE when an employee is on a leave of absence?

Yes.  Call the BCSE Employer Relations unit at 800-835-4683 (or 304-558-1134 in Kanawha County) and report the dates the employee will be off work.

 

30. If an employee is drawing unemployment, do I need to report this to BCSE?

Yes, unemployment is subject to income withholding.

 

31. If an employee provides a new address, should I report this to BCSE?

Yes, this needs to be reported immediately.

 

32. If an employee has filed for Workers’ Compensation, should I notify BCSE?

Yes, this is a source of income that should be attached.

 

33. Why am I provided only one wage assignment transmittal form and required to make additional copies each month?

The WV Bureau for Child Support Enforcement (BCSE) sends one copy because not all employers have the same pay cycle.  The BCSE requests that you make the appropriate number of copies based upon the pay cycles in your monthly payroll.

 

34. Where do I mail child support payments?

Mail your remittance to:  

WV BUREAU FOR CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT

P.O. BOX 247

CHARLESTON, WV 25321-0247.

NOTE:  Always check the remittance address.  You may need to send to different states or address in some circumstances.

 

35. Can I remit payments electronically?

Yes.  Click on the quick link for details.  "Electronic payment information." 

36. If I remit payments electronically, what should I do with the paper wage assignment transmittal form?

You are not required to send in the transmittal.  However, it needs to be reviewed for accuracy.  The wage assignment transmittal form is sent to all employers to ensure they have received an income withholding for each employee listed.  If an employee is listed on the wage assignment transmittal and you are not remitting child support, you should call the employer hotline at 800-835-4683 (or 304-558-1134 in Kanawha County) to obtain a copy of the income withholding order.

 

37. What are the benefits of sending child support payments electronically?

EFT eliminates the cost to employers of printing paper checks, supporting documents, and paying  postage.  EFT payments also reduce errors and eliminate stop payments on lost checks.

 

38. If an obligor leaves my employment and is rehired, do I need to report through New Hire again?

Yes, every time someone is hired or rehired, you should report to new hire.

 

39. Who do I contact with a change of address or new telephone number?

Click on the quick link.  “UPDATE EMPLOYER INFORMATION”.

 

40. What do I do if I close or sell my business?

Click on the quick link.  “UPDATE EMPLOYER INFORMATION”.