Texas Commissioner of Workers’ Compensation Rod Bordelon recently signed a data sharing agreement with the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) to assist in the identification of individuals delinquent in their child support obligations.
The OCSE reports that Texas has become the fifteenth state workers’ compensation agency in the nation to improve child support collections through the OCSE’s insurance match program.
While the OCSE also receives information from over 466 commercial insurance companies, this information does not always include payments by self-insured political subdivisions and other insurance carriers.
To date, the 24 states who have developed the capability to identify insurance payments have reported that these data sharing agreements and other programs have resulted in over $5 million in collections for children and families nationwide.
Texas Labor Code §402.085 requires the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (TDI-DWC) to release information on a claim to certain entities responsible for enforcing a child support obligation or locating an absent parent. In addition, Texas Labor Code §408.203 provides that workers’ compensation indemnity benefits are subject to a lien for court-ordered child support.
The TDI-DWC will provide the information necessary to allow OCSE to identify individuals receiving workers’ compensation indemnity payments and the insurance carriers making those payments.
The TDI-DWC protects this confidential data from inadvertent disclosure and access through the use of multiple security levels, including authentication and encryption protocols.
After receiving this data, OCSE will furnish information resulting from data matches to the state agencies responsible for collecting child support, including the Texas Office of the Attorney General, Child Support Division.
By electronically sharing this information with the OCSE, the TDI-DWC hopes to improve child support collection efforts regardless of the location of the delinquent parent or the entity responsible for workers’ compensation payments.
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