This topic contains information on the following subjects:
Support orders for Public Assistance (PA) cases must be reviewed at a minimum of every three (3) years.
1. The case cannot be in the Locate Processing Status;
2. The case must be workable;
3. The case must have a current support obligation;
4. The case must have a North Carolina court order;
5. The case must have at least one (1) child participant less than eighteen (18) years of age.
If the PA case does not meet all of the review criteria, it is currently unreviewable.
A Notice Of Right To Request Review (DSS-4721) is sent to both parties in NPA (Non-Public Assistance) cases and MAO (Medical Assistance Only) cases requesting full CSS services thirty-five (35) months after the most recent "Order Date". The notice advises that the case is approaching three (3) years review eligibility.
CSS only conducts three-year reviews for NPA cases if either party requests a review.
Both the Notice Of Right To Request Review (DSS-4721) that is sent to the parties in Non-Public Assistance (NPA) cases and the Notice Of Impending Review (DSS-4490) that is sent to the parties in Public Assistance (PA) cases inform the parties of their right to request a review at other than a three-year interval if a change in circumstances exists.
Thirty (30) days after the Notice Of Impending Review (DSS-4490) is sent, the responsible CSS worker receives notice to begin the evaluation process. To complete the review:
1. Workers review and evaluate all available information relating to the parents' incomes and expenditures for the child and the needs of the child. Parents are expected to provide information to substantiate any need for modification.
2. If the order is less than three (3) years old, workers review all of the information that has been received regarding any changes in circumstances. If no valid change in circumstances has been indicated, workers can conclude the review on the basis that the support order does not qualify for adjustment.
3. If health insurance is being added to an obligation or any change in the actual premium cost has occurred, workers apply the appropriate credit to the computation of the support obligation.
4. Workers complete the appropriate obligation calculation worksheet(s).
5. Workers determine whether the review results indicate that adjustment of the order is appropriate.
6. Workers notify the CP and NCP of the results of the review. They send the Notice of Review Results/Challenge Procedure (DSS-4568) to both the CP and NCP and include a copy of the completed NC Guidelines Worksheet with the notices.
If no modification is indicated and neither party has provided additional information for consideration or protested the review results within the 30-day period OR if both parties are in agreement that they do not want the order modified, the review is concluded. CSS does not pursue an adjustment of the order.
If an adjustment is appropriate and the parties are in agreement with the proposed terms of modification, CSS can offer the opportunity to voluntarily modify the order.
Any voluntary modification order (modified VSA or consent order) must be signed by the parties to the action. If CSS has intervened in an order in which the CP is already a party, the CP as well as the NCP must be in agreement and sign the order. If all parties to the action are not in agreement, judicial action might be required for modification of the order.
If the CP is not a party to the action, the CP must be advised of the terms of the agreement, and although not required, it is strongly recommended that the CP also sign any voluntary modification order.
The agency attorney must review the order before it is mailed to the parent(s) for signing.
Once the modification order is completed and signed by all appropriate parties, workers must obtain the judge's signature, file the order and a copy of the NC Guidelines Worksheet with the court, and update the CSS case record with the applicable court order data.
If adjustment of the obligation is appropriate and the parties do not voluntarily amend the order, CSS must file a motion to modify the order with the court.
The court might deny the motion, approve the motion and modify the order, or enter a temporary order to allow additional time for the resolution of any outstanding issues.
See the Intergovernmental Chapter for information about the review and adjustment process for intergovernmental CSS cases.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.