Orders and Attorney Fees Paid Pursuant to Deductions of Child Support from
Lump Sum Payments
3121.0311; 3121.034; 3121.037; 3119.01 (C)(7)
Chief of Operational Policy, Analytics & Compliance (Signature on File)
CP-06-03, effective 12/01/2014
The 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.
applies to BWC field staff.
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.
from an issuing authority that relate to child support, spousal support or arrearages
accumulated for the non-payment of either.
The court or
agency that publishes an order mandating payment of family support. Common
examples of issuing authorities are:
Entities – 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 Hearing Officer).
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
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 stamp.
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).
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.
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.
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 support.
of Intervention: Order
that requests BWC to reimburse an IW’s attorney for legal fees and
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.
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 Agency (FSEA).
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
1. Section 916 of the Longshore
and Harbor Workers Act
2. Disabled Workers Relief Fund
3. Marine Industry Fund
4. Black Lung
5. Accrued 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,
1. The date, if specified, in
the order; or,
2. The date BWC receives the
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 compensation
2. Living Maintenance (LM);
3. Wage Loss (WL);
4. Living Maintenance Wage Loss
5. Permanent Total Disability
6. Change of Occupation;
7. Death Benefits;
8. All payments of the following
types of compensation, except the initial payment of:
a. Percent Permanent Partial
b. Scheduled Loss (SL) to the IW
or claimant; and
c. Temporary Partial (TP).
F. Deduction Rates for weekly
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.
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.
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
Susie: $165 x 53% = $87.45
Amy: $165 x 29% =
Sara: $165 x 18% =
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
1. Termination Order or
Arrearage Only letter
a. Termination 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
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.
H. Special Considerations
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 court.
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
Initial payment of
Initial payment of
iii. Lump Sum Settlements (LSS);
iv. Facial Disfigurements (FD);
v. Initial payment of accrued
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
b. The attorney may request
attorney fees and expenses from the award:
If there is an active
support order; and
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 appropriate
c. If the attorney has filed a
The attorney will
be paid before the child support obligation is paid.
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
Child support will
first be deducted from that award and then the C-230 will be honored.
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 is
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:
is a C-230, BWC will honor it; or,
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.