Support Orders and Attorney Fees Paid Pursuant to Deductions of Child Support
from Lump Sum Payments
4123.67; 3121.0311; 3121.034; 3121.037; 3119.01 (C)(7)
Percy, Chief of Operational Policy, Analytics & Compliance (Signature on
# CP-06-03, effective 12/01/2014
purpose of this policy is to ensure that BWC appropriately honors family
support orders (child support and spousal support) and processes requests for
attorney fees in accordance with the law.
policy applies to BWC field staff.
Support or Family Support Enforcement Agency: The agency
responsible for placing cases into the Support Enforcement Tracking System
(SETS), the system operated by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services,
and oversight of those cases; the entity that will assist BWC field staff with obtaining
necessary documentation to process court orders.
Support Orders: Orders
from an issuing authority that relate to child support, spousal support or
arrearages accumulated for the non-payment of either.
court or agency that publishes an order mandating payment of family support.
Common examples of issuing authorities are:
Local agencies that have vested legal authority and the orders are signed by an
administrator who has the legal authority to do so (e.g., Administrative
– County court that issues orders generated as a result of a divorce or
dissolution, and the orders are either signed by a judge and/or have a court
clerk filing stamp.
County court that issues orders as a result of parentage or “unruly child”
issues, and the orders are signed by a judge and/or have a court clerk filing
Out-of-State – A non-Ohio
domestic or juvenile court or legally-sanctioned agency that issues an order
that BWC processes directly and without involvement of the Ohio Interstate
Central Registry within the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).
Sum Awards: Any
type of compensation that results in at least one lump sum payment (i.e.,
issuance of payment that is equivalent to more than one standard payment of the
compensation type), not just lump sum advancements or lump sum settlements.
Orders: The written notification of a decision made by an
administrative or judicial entity regarding child support or family support that
is legally binding and may require BWC to take action in a claim.
Order: Order that requires BWC to take
deductions from compensation payable to an injured worker (IW), and may
include directives for child support, “arrearage only,” or spousal
of Intervention: Order that requests BWC to
reimburse an IW’s attorney for legal fees and expenses.
Restraining Order: For purposes of this policy,
an order that requires BWC to stop payment of benefits, generally until an
order establishing support is issued.
Order: Order that ends the family support
obligation, in whole or in part.
A. It is the policy
of BWC to deduct overpayments and attorney fees from an award before
calculating the amount of money it will send to the Family Support Enforcement
B. It is the policy
of BWC to honor deduction orders for child support, spousal support and arrearages
related to child support and spousal support, and deduct monies from workers’
compensation benefits to meet the obligations those orders create, except for
benefits paid pursuant to:
1. Section 916 of
the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act
2. Disabled Workers
Relief Fund (DWRF) benefits
3. Marine Industry
4. Black Lung
compensation award issued pursuant to an injured worker’s (IW) death
6. Violation of a Specific
Safety Requirement (VSSR), because it is a penalty and not compensation.
C. If compensation
is payable, BWC will comply with a family support order by building the
compensation payment plan as soon as possible after determining the order’s
effective date, which is:
1. The date, if
specified, in the order; or,
2. The date BWC
receives the order.
D. Self Insured
(SI) claims are subject to family support orders and BWC’s claim management
system systematically generates the “Notice to FSEA for Self Insured Claim”
letter to the court with the SI employer’s name and address and notice that the
SI employer pays the IW directl0079.
E. It is the policy
of BWC to apply weekly deduction orders to the following types of compensation:
1. Temporary total
3. Wage Loss (WL);
4. Living Maintenance
Wage Loss (LMWL);
5. Permanent Total
6. Change of
7. Death Benefits;
8. All payments of
the following types of compensation, except the initial payment of:
Permanent Partial (%PP);
b. Scheduled Loss
(SL) to the IW or claimant; and
F. Deduction Rates
for weekly deduction orders
1. BWC will
withhold 55% of a claimant’s rate for an order, unless:
a. The order
specifically sets another withholding rate.
b. The claimant has
multiple family support orders.
i. If the total of the
multiple orders exceeds 55% of the claimant’s rate, each order is prorated and
the percentage of each order is applied to the total deduction allowable.
ii. The formula is: Each
amount ordered by the court divided by the total amount of all orders (all percentages
totaled should be 100%).
iii. Example: IW has weekly
withholding rate of $208.86
Susie is ordered
to receive $110.16 (divide by 208.86) =53%
Amy is ordered
to receive $61.20 (divide by 208.86) =29%
Sara is ordered
to receive $37.50 (divide by 208.86) = 18%
In this case,
based on the claimant’s weekly compensation rate of $300.00, the total
allowable deduction is $165.
Susie: $165 x
53% = $87.45
Amy: $165 x 29%
Sara: $165 x
18% = $29.70
2. Upon receipt of
an Amended Deduction Order, it is the policy of BWC to collect the amount stated
in the amended order and recalculate the withholding, as needed.
3. If the claimant’s
rate of compensation increases and BWC was unable to pay the full amount of a
support order because of the 55% limitation, BWC will recalculate prior
deduction amounts and pay up to the ordered deduction amount, if a deduction
order is still in effect.
G. Ending BWC’s
Obligation to Deduct Family Support
Order or Arrearage Only letter
orders are the responsibility of the claimant to initiate as not all courts
will routinely issue one when the obligation to provide support ends.
b. Upon receipt of
a termination order, BWC will discontinue sending payments for family support,
even if past periods of compensation are awarded for a period of time that the
now-terminated order was active.
c. If BWC issues
payment of family support after the court issues a termination order for any
reason, BWC will not pursue recovery of an overpayment from the FSEA. Rather,
it is the responsibility of the claimant to work with the FSEA to recoup monies
if the claimant chooses to pursue it.
d. If BWC receives
a termination order after a “Notice to Attorney of Lump Sum Payment” letter is
issued, BWC shall hold the lump sum payment for 30 days to allow the attorney
to request fees and expenses. See Section G.3., below.
2. BWC may release
funds to the claimant when:
a. FSEA notifies
BWC in writing or via an order that there are no arrearages; or
b. FSEA fails to
respond to BWC within the prescribed timeframe.
1. Lump Sum Processing
– It is the policy of BWC to subject lump sum awards of $150.00 or greater to
lump sum processing for payment of family support. Prior to deducting an amount
for family support, BWC shall first recoup monies for any overpayments and
deduct attorney fees, if applicable.
a. BWC may recoup
100% of a lump sum award if the claimant is in arrears and if requested by the
b. BWC shall notify
the FSEA and the claimant/claimant’s representative in writing about lump sum
awards of $150.00 or greater that may be subject to deductions for the
following type of awards:
i. Initial payment
of accrued %PP;
ii. Initial payment
of accrued SL;
iii. Lump Sum Settlements
v. Initial payment
of accrued TP;
vi. Lump Sum
Advancements (LSA), except advancements ordered to be paid as attorney fees (LSA-AF);
vii. Increases to the
average weekly wage that result in a lump sum amount payable to the IW for
awards under B.1.a and b.
2. Multiple FSEA
Orders – It is the policy of BWC to use the “FSEA Apportionment Calculator” to
divide a lump sum payment amongst multiple FSEA orders unless BWC receives a
court order mandating specific amounts to cases.
3. Attorney Fees
a. It is the policy
of BWC to notify the attorney of record if BWC is issuing any lump sum payment,
as listed in section IV.G.1.b.above, of $150.00 or greater and there is an open
order for family support.
b. The attorney may
request attorney fees and expenses from the award:
i. If there is an
active support order; and
ii. The attorney
submits the request for payment on or before 30 days from notification of the lump
sum payment and provides supporting documentation that shall include:
a) The fee
agreement signed by the claimant; and
b) The Affidavit
for Attorney Fees (C-255) or equivalent affidavit that contains all the
information requested on the C-255.
iii. The expenses
must be itemized expenses related to the compensation that the claimant is
receiving and that are allowed for in the fee agreement.
iv. The fees must be
agreed to in the fee agreement, related to the compensation the claimant is
receiving, and may be requested in a variety of ways:
a) The attorney may
list the specific dollar amount owed; and/or
b) The attorney may
list the percentage of the award owed. If both the specific dollar amount and
percentage are listed, the amounts must be equal or payment will be rejected.
c) If an affidavit
lists only a percentage and no dollar amount, BWC will calculate and pay the
c. If the attorney
has filed a C-255:
i. The attorney
will be paid before the child support obligation is paid.
ii. The payment will
be sent to the attorney in the attorney’s name.
d. If the attorney
has failed to file a C-255 but has filed an Authorization to Receive
Workers’ Compensation Check (C-230):
i. Child support
will first be deducted from that award and then the C-230 will be honored.
ii. The payment will
be sent in the claimant’s name.
e. If the attorney
has filed a C-255, but has failed to submit documentation within the 30 days as
required in section IV.H.3.b., above, then BWC is absolved of its obligation to
make payment directly to the attorney and will issue payment to the FSEA.
1. It is the policy
of BWC, when collecting overpayments from the claimant for periods of
compensation that the claimant was not entitled to receive, to also recoup from
the claimant any payment from that overpaid period of compensation paid
directly to FSEA.
a. BWC will collect
the payment of family support made during the overpaid period of compensation based
on the appropriate percentage for the type of compensation from which the overpayment
b. BWC generally will
not pursue an overpayment from an FSEA.
2. BWC will deduct
overpayments from the actual gross award prior to distributing monies to an
authorized representative, FSEA or the claimant.
3. The general
order of deductions when there is an overpayment is:
b. If the remaining
balance of the award after the overpayment deduction is less than $150.00:
i. If there is a C-230,
BWC will honor it; or,
ii. The claimant is
paid the entire remaining balance.
c. If the remaining
balance of the award after the overpayment deduction is equal to or greater than
$150.00, the lump sum process applies, as outlined in section IV.H., above.
BWC staff may
refer to the corresponding procedure for this policy entitled “Family Support
Orders and Attorney Fees Paid Pursuant to Deductions of Child Support from Lump
Sum Payments” for further guidance.