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)
Rick Percy, Chief
of Operational Policy, Analytics & Compliance (Signature on File)
Policy # CP-06-03,
I. POLICY PURPOSE
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.
This 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 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).
Lump 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 support.
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.
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 pursuant
1. Section 916 of the Longshore and
Harbor Workers Act
2. Disabled Workers Relief Fund (DWRF)
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, which
1. The date, if specified, in the
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
E. It is the policy of BWC to apply
weekly deduction orders to the following types of compensation:
1. Temporary total compensation (TT);
2. Living Maintenance (LM);
3. Wage Loss (WL);
4. Living Maintenance Wage Loss (LMWL);
5. Permanent Total Disability (PTD);
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 (%PP);
b. Scheduled Loss (SL) to the IW
or claimant; and
c. Temporary Partial (TP).
F. Deduction Rates for weekly deduction
1. BWC will withhold 55% of a claimant’s rate for an order, unless:
a. The order specifically sets another
b. The claimant has multiple family
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
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% = $47.85
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
1. Termination Order or Arrearage
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 claimant
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
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 of awards:
of accrued %PP;
of accrued SL;
iii. Lump Sum Settlements (LSS);
iv. Facial Disfigurements (FD);
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
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.H.1.b.above, of $150.00 or greater and there is an open order for family
b. The attorney may request attorney
fees and expenses from the award:
If there is an
active support order; and
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
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 amount.
c. If the attorney has filed a C-255:
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
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 recouped.
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:
If there 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