TN 2 (01-17)
GN 03314.040 Disclosure Without Consent to State and Local Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Agencies
A. Disclosure of information to the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE)
OCSE provides State CSE agencies with information on the location, income, and assets of child support obligors. This information is obtained through computer matching activities with State and Federal agencies. OCSE maintains and provides the information to State CSE agencies via the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS).
Section 453 of the Social Security Act requires SSA to provide Social Security Numbers (SSN), addresses, and benefit data to OCSE/FPLS. We may also disclose tax return information to CSE agencies for their CSE program administration, in accordance with 26 U.S.C. § 6103(1)(7) and (8). The benefit information we provide to FPLS is the same as that from the State Verification and Exchange System (SVES) IV data exchange (SSN verification, Title II data, and Title XVI data). The data we send to FPLS reduces the number of requests that State CSE agencies send to field offices (FO). For information on SVES IV, see GN 03314.155A.
B. Disclosure of information to State and local CSE agencies
In addition to disclosure of data to OCSE/FPLS, State CSE agencies may receive certain non-tax return information from us through an electronic data exchange. To determine if we have a data exchange in effect with a particular State or local CSE agency, consult with the regional office Data Exchange Coordinator or Privacy Act Coordinator. However, there may be times when an FO will receive a request from a State or local CSE. FOs may honor these requests only in emergency or sensitive situations. For more information regarding these situations, see GN 03314.040C in this section.
C. Disclosure policy
This list shows the authorized purposes for permissible disclosures of information in our records to either OCSE/FPLS or State and local CSE agencies:
1. Searching for absent parents
We disclose benefit data and tax return information to OCSE/FPLS, as detailed in GN 03314.040A in this section. If a State or local CSE agency requests benefit or earnings information from us for purposes of locating an absent parent, refer the requesting CSE agency to FPLS.
2. Parental kidnapping and custody cases
FPLS provides State CSE agencies with location information for the purpose of enforcing a State law, with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child, and making or enforcing a child custody or visitation determination as defined in section 463(d)(1) of the Social Security Act.
We may disclose certain non-tax return information to a public health official, if there are allegations of imminent danger to a child's health or safety. Disclosure in this situation is permissible under the health and safety exception to the Privacy Act. For more information on this exception, see GN 03316.135.
3. Garnishment of benefit checks
Section 459 of the Social Security Act authorizes garnishment of Federal benefits for child support or alimony obligations. For an explanation of legal processes regarding garnishment for child support and how to process interrogatories, see GN 02410.200.
D. Procedure for handling requests
State CSE agencies should obtain information for child support enforcement purposes through FPLS, or through electronic data exchanges with us, as discussed in GN 03314.040A and GN 03314.040B in this section. However, an FO may provide information to the CSE agency or another State or local agency in emergency or sensitive situations. For information regarding the handling of requests from State and local agencies, see GN 03314.001E.
E. State Child Support Enforcement offices
You can locate the addresses and telephone numbers of State CSE agencies at: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/extinf.html.