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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: July 27, 2012
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16 Child Support Services

Referrals

IESA Section 6(2)(d) requires compliance with Child Support Services (CSS) requirements as a condition of eligibility for Income Support (IS) benefits.

IESA Part 5 and the Child and Adult Support Services Regulation provides the government’s authority to pursue child and adult support, and to direct support payments to the Crown.

INTENT

The purpose of CSS is to ensure that child support agreements are negotiated or orders are obtained for single parents or parents of blended household units.

The CSS program is guided by the following principles:

  • Children have the right to be supported by their parents.
  • Parents are responsible for providing support for dependent children to the best of their ability.


A substantial cost savings in the amount of IS benefits paid to individuals occurs when all appropriate IS clients are referred to CSS.

The Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) is administered by the Department of Justice. Their mandate is the enforcement of legal agreements and orders. CSS obtains child support agreements and orders and registers these with MEP. MEP collects support payments on agreements or orders registered with their program.

POLICY 

IS staff refer to CSS when:

  • A dependent child is supported by IS benefits (including those over 17 years of age and those whose parent is considered a dependant of an IS recipient), and
  • At least one of the child’s parents is not included as part of the household unit on the income support budget, or
  • There is an existing adult support order for an adult of the household unit.


All Status First Nations people residing off reserve who receive IS benefits under the IESA give their rights for child/adult support to the province.

PROCEDURES

New Files

Referral Procedures

The IS worker determines CSS referrals by verifying the names of the biological or adoptive parents for each dependent child listed on the budget. If both parents are not on the budget, the IS worker refers the client to CSS, by completing the CSS Referral screens in Client File function 7.

When the client indicates there is a possibility of more than one responsible person for one dependant, the IS worker completes the Responsible Person Information screen for one of the responsible persons, and records the details about the other responsible person(s) into Mobius Notes.

The IS worker must ensure that all appropriate dependants are associated to the applicable responsible person(s). When there is more than one responsible person for the file, the IS worker must associate the dependants with the applicable responsible person, not all to the same responsible person.

Reopened Files

If CCD Alert 28 Non-Compliant Child Support Services exists on the file and/or Mobius Notes placed by CSS indicate the client has not complied with CSS, the IS worker determines if any benefits should be issued before the client meets with the Child Support Worker (CSW). If the client cooperates with the CSW, and if a CCD Alert 28 Non-Compliant Child Support Services alert exists, the IS worker deletes the alert and places a comment into Mobius Notes. 

Within 3 Months

When a file is reopened within 3 months, (information is still on LISA) the worker:

  • Reviews the information on the Dependant Information Update screen and ensures the CSS Referral Flags are entered correctly for each dependant,
  • Selects all dependants with a ‘YCSS Referral Flag and ensures they have been associated with a responsible person,
  • For dependants who:
    • Have previously been coded CSS Referral FlagY’ and
    • will remain on the file and
    • have at least one parent not included on the file,
    • leave the CSS Referral Flag coded as ‘Y’. This will correctly re-refer the dependant(s) to CSS.
  • For dependants who:
    • Have previously been coded CSS Referral Flag Y’, and
    • Are being deleted from the file,
    • Change the referral flag to CSS Referral Flag N’, enter the appropriate CSS Closure Reason, and records comments into Mobius Notes if necessary.

Note
If the CSS Closure Reason 4 is used, the IS worker must document the reasons for the CSS Closure into Mobius Notes.

More Than 3 Months

The CSS Referral information is deleted when the LISA file is purged. When a file is downloaded from CCD and reopened, the IS worker completes the CSS Referral information in Client File as outlined for new files.

Verification of Support Payments

The IS worker reviews the status of each child who has a responsible parent identified in the CSS Referral screens to determine if the applicant is receiving support directly for each dependent child.

When applicants are in receipt of support, the amount of the payment is entered on the budget, under Income Code 4001 Child/Adult Support. This income is deducted dollar for dollar from the applicant’s income support benefits.

The worker records whether or not the applicant is registered with MEP into Mobius Notes.

When payments are being made by the responsible parent(s) to MEP, the IS worker confirms with the applicant if MEP is forwarding the support to them. The amount of support received by the applicant from MEP is deducted dollar for dollar on the budget, using Income Code 4001 Child/Adult Support.

Referrals to CSS

The IS worker refers the applicant to CSS:

  • When the dependent child has a responsible parent, including a deceased parent. (The CSW will examine the possibility of the estate of the deceased parent providing funds to the dependent child.), and
  • Whether support payments are being received or not, or
  • When a person who is required to pay support offers or agrees to pay the rent or mortgage payments on the applicant’s home directly to the landlord or mortgage company.

Note
The CSW decides whether the support received by the applicant is reasonable and initiates appropriate action if it is not.

The worker:

  • Advises applicants that information regarding CSS is included in the Income Support booklet.
  • If the applicant has submitted copies of support agreements, court orders or divorce documents, forwards them to the CSW.
  • If the applicant has indicated the responsible person is voluntarily paying support, but is without a legal agreement or order, records the information into Mobius Notes.


Referral Procedures for Supports and Financial Services Coordinator (SFSC)

Review of Active Files and Preventing Incomplete CSS Referrals

When the SFSC makes changes to the household unit situation in Client File function 7, they must review and ensure the information is correct in the Dependant Information Update and Responsible Person Information screens. Updating this information ensures referrals are sent to TOMIS when appropriate, and informs the CSW when the circumstances requiring support action no longer exist.

The SFSC must review and update the CSS Referral screens when the following occurs:

  • A dependant is added on a single parent or blended household unit file.
  • A spouse is deleted and there are one or more dependants.
  • A spouse is added and there are one or more dependants.
  • Some change is made in Client File function 7 and a dependant on a single parent file was not previously associated with any responsible person.
  • The monthly FMR01 Incomplete CSS Referral Report shows dependants on single parent files who have an incomplete CSS Referral.


The SFSC:

  • Ensures the CSS Referral Flags are entered correctly for each dependant on the Dependant Information Update screen.
  • When changing a CSS Referral Flag from a ‘Y’ to an ‘N’, enters a CSS Closure Reason and if necessary, records comments into Mobius Notes.
  • Selects all dependants with a ‘YCSS Referral Flag on the Dependant Information Update screen, and ensures they have been associated with a responsible person on the Responsible Person Information screen.


The SFSC communicates the following information to the CSW by recording comments into Mobius

Notes
:

  • The client requests a referral because they have new information about the responsible person.
  • A couple has a child in common but a common-law relationship is not acknowledged by the client and the client is upheld on an appeal.


The following changes on LISA automatically produce electronic messages on active TOMIS files so the SFSC does not need to contact the CSW:

  • A file changes from one program to another e.g., IS to AISH or AAHB  
  • A dependant is deleted from the file
  • The SFSC changes the CSS Referral Flag from ‘Y’ to ‘N’ with a Closure Reason 2 Respondent Added” or 4Other: See Mobius Notes
  • The IS/AISH/AAHB file is closed 
  • An unreferred dependant is added to the IS/AISH/AAHB file
  • The IS/AISH/AAHB DO changes
  • A spouse, who is a CSS Applicant, is deleted from the IS/AISH/AAHB file
  • The IS/AISH/AAHB file number changes for the CSS Applicant
  • The client’s name is changed in any way 
  • The birth date of a dependant referred to TOMIS is changed


The following information from Pay History automatically produces electronic messages on active and closed TOMIS files when:

  • The IS benefit is less than the amount of child support directed to the Crown, as recorded in TOMIS, and
  • The amount in Income Code 4001 Child/Adult Support differs from the amount of support directed to the client, as recorded in TOMIS.


Reopened Files

When a file is reopened for a single parent or blended household unit, the SFSC:

  • Determines if any benefits should be issued before the client meets with the CSW, if CCD Alert 28 Non-Compliant Child Support Services exists on the file. If the client co-operates with the CSW, the SFSC deletes the alert.
  • Reviews the information on the Dependant Information Update screen and ensures the CSS Referral Flags are entered correctly for each dependant,
  • Selects all dependants with a ‘YCSS Referral Flag and ensures they have been associated with a responsible person,
  • When changing a CSS Referral Flag from a ‘Y’ to an ‘N’, enters a CSS Closure Reason, and if necessary, enters comments into Mobius Notes. (The SFSC must change the CSS Referral Flag to ‘N’ and enter CSS Closure Reason 4 when deleting dependants at the time of reopening a file, when the dependants have had a CSSS Referral completed previously.)


Referrals With No Dependants

The IS worker views the divorce or separation agreement or order to verify if the applicant was awarded adult support.

In situations where an applicant has been awarded adult support, the IS worker refers the applicant to CSS and attaches a copy of the agreement or court order to the CSS 2922 Referral to Child Support Services.

The client is advised to report on the CRC any adult support payments received either directly from the ex-spouse/partner or from MEP.

A referral is not made to CSS if there is no agreement or order for adult support.

Both Parents Not Part of Household Unit

In situations where a dependant is being supported by income support benefits in a household unit where neither of the parents is recorded on the budget, the client is referred to CSS.

The worker records CSS referral information in the CSS Referral screens in Client File function 7.

For example, an individual applies for IS benefits with three dependants. The worker determines two dependants are the applicant’s biological children. The CSS Referral screens are completed by recording the information applicable to these dependants. The responsible person is the biological or adoptive parent who is not part of the household unit on the income support budget.

The IS worker determines the third dependant is the applicant’s niece. The CSS Referral screens are completed by recording the information applicable to this dependant. The responsible parents are the biological or adoptive parents of this dependant. The IS worker records the name and address of one of the parents in the Responsible Person Information screen and enters the name and relevant information concerning the other responsible parent into Mobius Notes.

The SFSC:

  • Answers the question “Are/Were the parents legally married to each other?” appropriately for the relationship of the dependant’s parents.
  • Selects “Head of Household” as the CSS Applicant (the person who is receiving the income support benefits for the care of this dependant).

    Note
    Do not use “Other Dependant Child” as the selection for the CSS Applicant in this situation.

  • Selects the third dependant to associate them with the Responsible Person, and presses ‘Enter’.


Correction of Wrong CSS Applicant Referral

The supervisor or designated staff member uses Correction of CSS Referral function 15 when:

  • The dependant in a three generation household unit who is the parent, is deleted from the IS file and there were more than 2 dependants, or
  • The worker or SFSC enters the wrong selection of CSS Applicant on the Responsible Person Information screen and saves the information.


Off-Reserve Status First Nations People

When IS benefits have been applied for, or are issued on LISA, the IS worker refers off reserve Status First Nations people to CSS in the same manner as all other income support clients.

When IS benefits are not issued on LISA, the Regional Director’s office and the CSS Specialist discuss with the band the process for referrals and the provision of CSS.