SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home


Sec454B[42 U.S.C. 654b] (a) State Disbursement Unit.—

(1) In general.—In order for a State to meet the requirements of this section, the State agency must establish and operate a unit (which shall be known as the “State disbursement unit”) for the collection and disbursement of payments under support orders—

(A) in all cases being enforced by the State pursuant to section 454(4); and

(B) in all cases not being enforced by the State under this part in which the support order is initially issued in the State on or after January 1, 1994, and in which the income of the noncustodial parent is subject to withholding pursuant to section 466(a)(8)(B).

(2) Operation.—The State disbursement unit shall be operated—

(A) directly by the State agency (or 2 or more State agencies under a regional cooperative agreement), or (to the extent appropriate) by a contractor responsible directly to the State agency; and

(B) except in cases described in paragraph (1)(B), in coordination with the automated system established by the State pursuant to section 454A.

(3) Linking of local disbursement units.—The State disbursement unit may be established by linking local disbursement units through an automated information network, subject to this section, if the Secretary agrees that the system will not costs more nor take more time to establish or operate than a centralized system. In addition, employers shall be given 1 location to which income withholding is sent.

(b) Required Procedures.—The State disbursement unit shall use automated procedures, electronic processes, and computer-driven technology to the maximum extent feasible, efficient, and economical, for the collection and disbursement of support payments, including procedures—

(1) for receipt of payments from parents, employers, and other States, and for disbursements to custodial parents and other obligees, the State agency, and the agencies of other States;

(2) for accurate identification of payments;

(3) to ensure prompt disbursement of the custodial parent’s share of any payment; and

(4) to furnish to any parent, upon request, timely information on the current status of support payments under an order requiring payments to be made by or to the parent, except that in cases described in subsection (a)(1)(B), the State disbursement unit shall not be required to convert and maintain in automated form records of payments kept pursuant to section 466(a)(8)(B)(iii) before the effective date of this section.

(c) Timing of Disbursements.—

(1) In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the State disbursement unit shall distribute all amounts payable under section 457(a) within 2 business days after receipt from the employer or other source of periodic income, if sufficient information identifying the payee is provided. The date of collection for amounts collected and distributed under this part is the date of receipt by the State disbursement unit, except that if current support is withheld by an employer in the month when due and is received by the State disbursement unit in a month other than the month when due, the date of withholding may be deemed to be the date of collection.

(2) Permissive retention of arrearages.—The State disbursement unit may delay the distribution of collections toward arrearages until the resolution of any timely appeal with respect to such arrearages.

(d) Business Day Defined.—As used in this section, the term “business day” means a day on which State offices are open for regular business.