Policy and Procedure Name:
Family Support Orders and Attorney Fees Paid Pursuant to
Deductions of Child Support from Lump Sum Payments
RC 4123.53; O.A.C. 4123-3-09
Kevin Abrams, Chief Operating Officer
Policy # CP-06-03, effective 11/16/18 and Procedure #
Rev. 05/06/19, 11/16/18, 11/14/16; New 12/01/14
Family Support and Attorney Fees Table of Contents
I. POLICY PURPOSE
Child Support or Family Support
Family Support Orders
Lump Sum Awards
A. General Policy Statement
C. Lump Sum Awards
D. Self-Insured (SI) Claims
E. Weekly Deduction Orders
F. Maximum Deduction Rates for
weekly deduction orders
G. Ending BWC’s Obligation
to Deduct Family Support
A. Standard Claim File
B. Receipt of a Family
Support Deduction Order
C. Processing Deduction
D. Special Considerations
in Processing Child Support Orders
E. Terminating Family
F. Attorney Fees or Honoring a
G. Miscellaneous Issues
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 claims
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 (ODJFS), and
oversight of those cases; the entity that will assist BWC claims services 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
Authority: The court or agency that publishes an order mandating
payment of family support. Common examples of issuing authorities are:
Administrative 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).
Domestic Relations Court – 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.
Juvenile Court – 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 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.
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.
- Deduction 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.
- Order of Intervention:
Order that requests BWC to reimburse an IW’s attorney for legal fees and
- Temporary 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.
- Termination Order: Order
that ends the family support obligation, in whole or in part.
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).
1. 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;
2. Except for
benefits paid pursuant to:
Section 916 of the Longshore and Harbor Workers Act
Disabled Workers Relief Fund (DWRF) benefits
Marine Industry Fund
Accrued compensation award issued pursuant to an injured worker’s (IW)
Violation of a Specific Safety Requirement (VSSR) because it is a
penalty and not compensation.
1. 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.
2. Prior to
deducting an amount for family support, BWC shall first recoup monies for any
overpayments and deduct attorney fees, if applicable.
Insured (SI) claims are subject to family support orders.
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 directly.
It is the policy of BWC to apply
weekly deduction orders to the following types of
total compensation (TT);
3. Wage Loss
Maintenance Wage Loss (LMWL);
Total Disability (PTD);
6. Change of
payments of the following types of compensation, except the initial payment of:
Permanent Partial (%PP);
Loss (SL) to the IW or claimant; and
It is the policy of BWC to apply weekly deduction orders consistent with
federal consumer protection guidelines in the following manner:
Up to 50% of disposable income if the claimant is supporting another
family (up to 55% if there are arrears greater than 12 weeks);
b. Up to 60%
of disposable income if the claimant is not supporting another family (up to
65% if there are arrears greater than 12 weeks)
2. If the
FSEA order does not specify a withholding rate, BWC will withhold up to 55% of
a claimant’s rate unless:
a. The FSEA
order sets a withholding rate different from those enumerated above, BWC will
withhold the rate mandated by the order.
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
The formula is: Each amount ordered by the court divided by the total
amount of all orders (all percentages totaled should be 100%).
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% = $47.85
Sara: $165 x 18% = $29.70
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.
4. 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.
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.
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.
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 V.F.1-3, below.
2. BWC may
release funds to the claimant when:
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. 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.
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.
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
there is a C-230, BWC will honor it; or,
claimant is paid the entire remaining balance.
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
1. BWC staff
shall refer to the Standard
Claim File Documentation and Altered Documents policy and procedure for
claim note requirements; and
follow any other specific instructions for claim notes included in this
If claims services staff receives an order, claims services staff shall
immediately send the order to the BWC Family Support Unit (FSU) (e.g., fax,
email with scanned attachment).
The FSU, upon receipt of the order either from the claims services staff
or directly from the Family Support Enforcement Agency (FSEA), shall:
Verify the existence of the claimant and claim number(s) based on the
social security number provided on the FSEA order.
the beneficiary or dependent is receiving death benefits, enter a note in the
claim and create a user-generated work item for the assigned claims service
specialist (CSS) as notice that there is an order for family support that must
be manually processed.
services staff shall manually allocate family support benefits to the
appropriate agency and shall complete the “FSEA Apportionment Calculator”
the claimant cannot be identified or there is no claim, follow section II.D.,
Write the claim number(s) on the FSEA order;
Image the order into the claims management system for all the claimant’s
Create the child support record and attach to the customer; and,
Note the effective date of the order, which is:
date specified in the order; or,
date BWC receives the order;
Enter the FSEA withholding dollar amount into the claims management
Upon notice that the FSU has imaged the order into a claim, claims
services staff shall verify all the following information in the order
regarding the injured worker (IW)/claimant with the information in the claims
Social Security Number
Amount of Deduction
Effective date of the order.
If the individual cannot be identified as a customer within the claims
management system based on the information the court provides, the FSU shall add
a new person customer attaching the child support information as appropriate.
The claims management system will automatically generate the “Notice to FSEA No
Claim for SSN” letter to FSEA.
If claims services staff has questions about the order, or they have
received a conflicting order, claims services staff should contact the FSEA to
clarify and shall provide documentation of the direction received from FSEA.
After FSU has entered the weekly/monthly rates listed in the order that
were calculated by the FSEA into the claims management system, claims services
Build the appropriate compensation plan as soon as possible following
the effective date of the order.
Begin withholding family support from the weekly benefit as of the
effective date of the withholding order until the expiration of the order.
Not withhold family support when an IW is being paid a weekly benefit in
arrears until that weekly benefit catches up to the effective date of the
Workers’ compensation benefits that are recalculated due to an increase
in the average weekly wage (AWW) and paid out in a lump sum are not subject to
the weekly child support withholding order, unless BWC was unable to pay the
full amount of the support order when the compensation was originally paid.
Example: Child Support is ordered beginning 12/15/2016 and the next
pension period begins 12/11/2016 – withholding date would begin 12/15/2016.
Example: Child Support is ordered beginning 10/15/2016 but the warrant
covering that period has already been processed; child support would begin on
the first day of the next pension period.
Example: Weekly payments began on 07/15/2016 and on 10/01/2016 wages
were recalculated which caused a lump sum payment to be created; if BWC could
pay the full amount of the support order when weekly payments began in July, no
new money will be allocated to family support even when a withholding order was
in place during this period.
Weekly Deduction Orders
Claims services staff shall process weekly deduction orders for
compensation paid on a weekly basis, including:
total compensation (TT);
iii. Wage Loss
Maintenance Wage Loss (LMWL);
Total Disability (PTD);
vi. Change of
vii. Death Benefits;
viii. All payments of the following
types of compensation, except the initial payment of:
Permanent Partial (%PP);
Loss (SL) to the IW or claimant; and
If the weekly deduction order is terminated by the child support agency,
BWC is no longer obligated to withhold the weekly deduction from any
compensation regardless of the dates that compensation covers.
FSU shall calculate a weekly rate for the deduction ordered to be paid
any way other than a weekly rate.
Example: Court orders a bi-weekly rate of $100.00. Claims services staff
shall divide by 2 to get the weekly rate of $50.00.
Example: Court orders bi-monthly rate of $100.00. Claims services staff
shall multiply $100.00 by 24 payments and then divide by 52 to get a weekly
rate of $46.15.
Example: Court orders monthly rate of $100.00. Claims services staff
shall multiply $100.00 by 12 and then divide by 52 to get a weekly rate of
Except for in death claims, the claims management system will
automatically withhold up to a total of 55% of an IW’s rate for child support
If the FSEA order is for any amount other than 55%, the CSS will need to
manually create an FSEA allocation.
The calculation can be completed using the “FSEA Allocation Exceeding
The CSS on the centralized Survivor Benefits Team shall manually
calculate the amount to be withheld from the claimant’s death benefits and
shall allocate appropriately.
Multiple Weekly Withholding Orders
To manually process the multiple weekly withholding orders, claims
services staff shall:
Calculate the prorated percentage of each order and apply to the total
Divide each amount that is court-ordered by the total amount of all
orders, bringing the total percentage to 100%.
Claimant has weekly family support order 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%
After figuring the percentages, claims services staff shall multiply 55%
by the weekly compensation rate, which is $300.00. Therefore, the total
allowable deduction is $165.00.
Then, claims services staff shall multiply the total allowable deduction
of $165.00 by the percentages to figure the amended deduction amount staff must
send to meet the child support obligations. In this example:
Susie: $165 x
53% = $87.45
Amy: $165 x
29% = $47.85
Sara: $165 x
18% = $29.70
Amended Deduction Orders or Adjustment of Wages
When the court orders an amended deduction, FSU shall input the amended
deduction amount into the claims management system.
Except for death claims, the system will automatically adjust the
In death claims, the CSS on the Survivor Benefits Team shall manually
adjust the deduction amount.
When claims services staff adjusts previously paid periods of
compensation for which family support has also been paid, except for in death
claims, the system will automatically “check” to determine if the obligations
of the order(s) were met.
If the obligations of the orders were met, the system will automatically
continue to deduct.
If the obligations of the orders were not met:
And the adjustment results in additional monies to the IW, the system
will generate a payment to FSEA.
But if no additional monies are payable to the IW/claimant, the system
will continue to deduct any outstanding family support obligation from future
payments, and claims services staff need not take any further action.
In death claims, the CSS on the Survivor Benefits Team shall determine
if additional monies are payable to FSEA and make any additional payment to the
FSEA allocating accordingly.
Wage Loss (WWL) or LMWL
If the IW/claimant is receiving WWL or LMWL and earning a salary, claims
services staff shall contact the IW and ask if the employer is withholding
If the employer is withholding family support, claims services staff may
advise the IW that s/he may choose to contact the FSEA and obtain a termination
order to send to BWC.
Sum Awards and Lump Sum Settlements (LSS)
Claims services staff shall deduct family support arrearages from lump
sum awards equal to or greater than $150.00 for the compensation types listed
in V.D.2.b below, and shall deduct the family support after recouping monies
for overpayments and attorney fees, if applicable.
Staff shall use this process for the following awards/payments:
Catch-up/daywork payments, including:
Initial payments of scheduled loss to the IW or claimant;
Lump Sum Advancements;
Increases to the AWW that result in a lump sum amount payable to the IW
for awards under B.1.a and b.
Claims services staff shall ensure the claims management system deducts
overpayments and, when evidenced in accordance with section VI. of this
procedure, attorney fees, before paying family support obligations.
Claims services staff shall refer to and follow the FSEA Lump Sum
Processing workflows, found on COR.
If the claimant is represented, claims services staff shall send a
“Notice to Attorney of Lump Sum Payment” letter to the IW’s representative when:
i. Wages are set in the
ii. The lump sum award
becomes payable (after all appeal periods expire); or
iii. When the LSS order is
Claims services staff may deduct up to 100% of a lump sum award equal to
or greater than $150.00 if the claimant has family support arrearages unless
otherwise instructed by FSEA order.
Lump sum awards and multiple FSEA awards – claims services staff shall
disburse monies after receiving a response from all FSEA involved, or after the
30-day hold period expires, whichever is earlier.
Claims services staff shall use the “FSEA Apportionment Calculator” to
determine the appropriate apportionment when multiple awards are being
processed unless BWC receives a court order mandating specific amounts to
Claims services staff shall recoup overpayments from the claimant.
The overpayment amount includes both the payments issued directly to the
claimant and the child support payments issued out of the declared-overpayment
compensation that were paid directly to the FSEA.
Claims services staff shall recoup the overpayment, which shall include
the monies sent to the FSEA from the period of overpaid compensation, at the
appropriate percentage for the type of compensation from which the overpayment
is being recouped.
Claims services staff shall deduct overpayments from the actual gross
award prior to distributing monies to an authorized representative, FSEA or the
Claims services staff shall deduct from compensation as follows:
Attorney fees, if applicable;
If there are no attorney fees and a valid Authorization to Receive
Workers’ Compensation Payment (C-230) is on file, honor the C-230;
Any remaining balance is paid to the claimant.
The claims management system will automatically generate the “Notice to
FSEA for Self-Insured Claim” letter to FSEA if an order for family support is
received at BWC.
BWC will deduct family support obligations from bankrupt SI claims with
a valid court order.
BWC shall discontinue processing a deduction order when the IW/claimant
is no longer receiving compensation.
Temporary Restraining Order
Claims services staff shall immediately comply with any Temporary
Restraining Order (TRO) and stop payment pursuant to the TRO.
Claims services staff shall not re-start payment until the same court
that issued the TRO issues a subsequent order establishing weekly or lump sum
Claims services staff shall direct the IW to address questions regarding
the TRO with the issuing court.
Termination Order or Modified Order
Determine if the court is issuing a termination order that terminates
all current obligations, or if it is issuing an order labeled as a termination
order that only terminates some, but not all, of the obligations (e.g., a court
issues a T.O. ending only the weekly deduction amount but not the arrearages).
Upon receipt of a T.O. terminating only certain family support payments,
call the FSEA to determine if the FSEA wants BWC to continue to withhold for
other deductions not terminated in the T.O.
Expire the withholding on the claims system upon receipt of the
termination order from the FSEA or upon clarification as noted in section
If claims services staff receives a termination order after the “Notice
to Attorney of Lump Sum Payment” letter has been issued, claims services staff
shall hold the lump sum payment for thirty (30) days.
Fees (Refer to the FSEA Lump Sum Processing workflows, found on COR)
services staff shall notify the claimant’s attorney of a lump sum award equal
to or greater than $150.00 if the claimant’s attorney represented the claimant
on the award that is resulting in the lump sum payment.
services staff shall send the “Notice to Attorney of Lump Sum Payment” letter.
letter is sent:
a) Once a
lump sum award becomes payable, or
b) When the
LSS order is mailed.
claims services staff shall notify FSEA that the letter has been sent to the
attorney and that after payment to the attorney or after the 30-day waiting
period expires, BWC shall issue another letter, “Notice to FSEA Lump Sum Hold,”
to the FSEA.
the FSEA secures a formal court order any time after the second letter was
sent, claims services staff shall process the court order as written without
waiting for the 30-day hold period to expire, unless:
a) An LSS is
b) There are
multiple FSEAs involved, and we have not received a response from each.
the FSEA or Court does not respond within the 30-day hold period provided for
in the “Notice to FSEA Lump Sum Hold” letter (i.e., the second letter sent),
claims services staff shall release payment to the IW.
b. If an
attorney submits a request for attorney fees within 30 days of the BWC
notification to the attorney, claims services staff shall:
that the attorney has provided:
A fee agreement signed by the claimant;
An affidavit for attorney fees (i.e., Affidavit for Attorney Fees
(C-255), or equivalent), signed by the attorney, that includes the specific fee
being requested; and,
If applicable, an itemized list of expenses related to the compensation
that the claimant is receiving and that are permitted in the fee agreement.
that the request for attorney fees is correct and does not:
Include other awards or future awards;
List a higher percentage than that allowed for in the fee agreement.
that the attorney is requesting the correct amount by:
Examining the fee agreement and comparing it to the request;
Determining, if the attorney requested both a percentage and a specific
amount, that those amounts match.
Or, calculating the amount that BWC will issue if the attorney only
included a percentage in the request.
Notify the attorney of any issues so that the attorney can resolve the
issue(s) prior to the expiration of the 30-day period.
Reject any request that does not meet the requirements listed in
the attorney is requesting expenses and claims services staff determine that
the expenses are not provided for in the fee agreement, claims services staff
Pay any appropriately requested attorney fees and deny only the expenses
that are not supported.
Staff with the local BWC attorney if claims services staff has questions
about the quality or relatedness of supporting documentation for the expenses.
services staff shall:
If the attorney has filed a C-255:
Pay the attorney within 14 days of receipt of the fee agreement and
affidavit requesting payment and issue payment to the attorney in the
attorney’s name; and
Then pay any family support obligation.
If the attorney has not filed a C-255 but has filed a C-230:
Deduct family support from the award;
Then honor the C-230 and issue payment in the claimant’s name.
If the attorney has filed a C-255 but has failed to submit documentation
within 30 days as required, then claims services staff:
a) Shall not
issue payment of attorney fees in the attorney’s name, but issue payment in the
issue notice and payment to the FSEA;
c) Honor a
C-230 if one was filed.
2. Honoring a
services staff shall determine if the attorney who requested attorney fees is
also the attorney listed on the C-230 in the claim.
b. If the
attorney is the same on both the C-230 and the request for attorney fees, staff
shall not honor the C-230.
the attorney listed on the C-230 is different from the attorney who requested
attorney fees, staff shall contact the claimant and the attorney listed on the
C-230 and notify them of the discrepancy.
an order has not yet been published and the claimant withdraws the C-230, claims
services staff shall no longer be obligated to honor it.
an order has been published or the claimant does not withdraw the C-230, claims
services staff may consult with the local BWC attorney to determine whether it
is appropriate to honor the C-230 in addition to the request for attorney fees.
3. If the IW
dismisses the attorney during an appeal period, claims services staff shall
send the “Notice to the Attorney” letter and allow the attorney an opportunity
to request payment.
of Court - Upon receipt of a Contempt of Court Order, claims services staff
shall immediately notify a BWC attorney.
2. Order of
Intervention – Upon receipt of an order that requires BWC to issue payment to a
claimant attorney for expenses, claims services staff shall comply and
immediately issue payment as ordered by the court.