GENERAL PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

CS 004P Communication with Customers

06/28/00 Revised 03/23/16 Training Completed 08/24/15

U.C.A. 75-5-501-504

 

 

Definitions

 

1.                   Agent – Person who has legal authority to act on another person’s (the “principal’s”) behalf as authorized by a Power of Attorney (POA) document.

 

2.                   Power of Attorney (POA) – Written, legal authorization for one person to act on another person’s behalf.  Once a POA is properly executed, a third party can take action and make decisions on another person’s behalf subject to any limitations of the POA (refer to U.C.A. 75-5-501 through 504, for the relevant statutes that address POA in Utah).

 

3.                   Principal – Person who authorizes someone else (the “agent” or “third party”) to act on the person’s behalf.

 

4.                   Third Party – Anyone other than a custodial parent (CP), non-custodial parent (NCP), or the CP’s or NCP’s attorney.

 

 

ORS/CSS Telephone Number

 

The Office of Recovery Services/Child Support Services (ORS/CSS) has established the following telephone number for customer use:

 

ORS Main Number:  (801) 536-8500.

 

 

ORS/CSS Mailing Addresses

 

Correspondence address and return address for all ORS/CSS offices:

 

OFFICE OF RECOVERY SERVICES

CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES

PO BOX 45033

SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84145-0033

 

Payment address for all ORS/CSS offices:

 

OFFICE OF RECOVERY SERVICES

CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES

PO BOX 45011

SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84145-0011

 

Electronic Payment Enrollment Address (Used only for IVR Electronic Payment Enrollment, forms XEFT/XEFA):

 

OFFICE OF RECOVERY SERVICES

ATTN: EFT UNIT

PO BOX 142450

SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84114-2450

 

 

Responding to Telephone Calls

 

When responding to telephone calls from customers, employees must provide accurate information and be professional.  Employees are responsible to ensure that all information provided to customers is accurate and correct.  Answer all incoming telephone calls if you are in your work area unless you are already engaged in a telephone call, email response, work-related discussion with a customer or co-worker, or you are completing a complex task on a case.  By answering telephone calls when they are received, you provide responsive customer service to callers, reduce ORS complaints, and decrease lost productivity of other employees taking the call as a back-up.

 

If an employee is not available to answer the call, a caller may leave a message for the employee, wait to speak to the employee, or wait to speak to another available employee.   If a caller leaves a voice mail message for you, return the call as soon as possible but no later than the next business day.

 

All employees with voice mail must record an appropriate greeting on their voice mail.

 

Document all calls from the NCP or CP in the case narratives. 

 

When an incoming call is received about a specific case, you must establish whether or not the caller is a case participant by receiving at least two items of identifying information from the caller.

 

NOTE:  The case participant must provide this information to you in order to discuss case-specific information.  Do not provide this information to the caller for confirmation.

 

Once the identity of the caller is established, you may discuss case-specific information if the caller is a case participant.  Refer to subsection Third Party Contacts below for more information about providing information to third parties.  Do not read case notes to any caller or provide private information such as the DOB, SSN, employer name/address of any case participant, or protected legal advice from the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to any caller.  If a caller wishes to provide or update case-specific information on file with ORS, establish the identity of the caller before updating the appropriate screens and adding a narrative in ORSIS with the information provided by the caller. 

 

 

Demanding Caller Procedures

 

If a caller asks a question that you are unable to answer, you may:

1.                   Briefly place the caller on hold while you research the issue(s);

 

2.                   Inform the caller you need an opportunity to research the issue(s) and will return the call, if more time is needed; or,

 

3.                   You may refer the caller to the senior agent, the team manager or another employee who is able to assist the caller.

 

If the call cannot be referred at that time (e.g., the senior agent is busy), advise the caller that you will take a message and provide the caller with the anticipated time frame for a return call.  The call must be returned within the promised time frame.

 

If a caller becomes difficult or it becomes necessary to request assistance from the team manager, have the team manager join in on the call.  If the manager or senior agent is not available to help you with the caller, you may advise the caller that a return call will be made once the manager (or senior agent) is available.

 

If a caller is verbally abusive or uses profane language, calmly notify the caller that you will terminate the call unless s/he will act in a respectful manner that will allow you to answer questions and provide appropriate information.  If the caller does not change his/her behavior after being warned, you may terminate the phone call.  Document the conversation in the case narratives and notify your manager by email of the caller’s name, case relationship, and case number.

 

If a caller continues to call to discuss the same issue(s), you may advise the caller that there is no new information to provide regarding the issue(s) and that no additional information can be provided unless new information is obtained.  If there are no new issues or information to provide, you may politely advise the caller of this, and then end the call.  Document the conversation in the case narratives in the event the caller contacts another employee or the Customer Service Unit (CSU) regarding the same issue(s).

 

If a caller makes any threats to ORS, you, themselves or any other individuals on the case, you must immediately report the incident.  Consult with your regional management on involving law enforcement when threats are made by a caller.

 

 

Responding to Email Inquiries - Procedures

 

Case-specific email inquiries may be sent directly to the employee, may be forwarded to the employee by another workgroup (e.g., the Customer Service Unit (CSU)), or may be forwarded from another ORS email account (e.g., inquiries from the ORS web page).  To ensure that accurate information is provided and that private or restricted information is not released in email communication, ORS case-related email responses from employees are not authorized without manager review and approval.

 

NOTE:  Email inquiries may also be handled by CSU or other work groups approved to respond to email inquiries by CSS or ORS Administration.

 

You may only send or respond to an ORS case-related email inquiry after obtaining manager review and approval. is the approval needs to be documented in the case notes, and is only allowed for the following approved exceptions:

 

1.                   Request locate or contact information from a case participant;

2.                   Contact other government agencies (e.g., Department of Workforce Services);

3.                   Communicate with intergovernmental agencies when CSENet is not available;

4.                   Contact case participants deployed with the military; or,

5.                   Communicate with case participants who are out-of-the-country.

 

NOTE:  Do not provide any private or restricted information in any email response (e.g., SSN or Federal Tax Information (FTI)).  The use of emoticons is prohibited in all email correspondence with any client, regardless of whether they are the CP, NCP, POA or the client’s attorney.  Never use emoticons in any email correspondence with another state employee/agency when discussing a client or a case.  Copies of all written correspondence can be requested through the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA). 

 

For all other case-related email inquires that are received, follow these procedures:

 

1.                   Review the email inquiry.

2.                   Review the case, including the recent case history.

3.                   Send the email response to the NCP/CP.

4.                   Prepare a written response for manager approval.

5.                   Mail the approved response letter to the NCP/CP using the address in ORSIS for the individual.

   

 

Using Approved Applications to Respond to Customers

 

Employees may only use approved computer applications when contacting or responding to customers. 

 

 

Complaint Procedures

 

When a complaint is received, it should be handled at the lowest level possible.  Any complaint that involves or is addressed to the ORS Director, Department of Human Services (DHS) Director, or Governor, should immediately be referred to the ORS Legislative and Constituent Affairs Director for review. 

 

Accuracy is very important when responding to a complaint and employees are responsible for the accuracy of their responses.  The following are guidelines for responding to a complaint:

 

1.                   When a complaint is received from the NCP/CP:

a.                   Inform the person that  time will be needed to review the case;

b.                  Request a telephone number to call him/her back; and,

c.                   Provide a time when a return call may be expected.  A response to a complaint at this level should be provided before the end of the next business day. 

 

2.                   Review the case history as far back as needed to understand what has happened on the case before responding to the complaint.

 

3.                   Notify your manager that a complaint has been received and provide him/her with a summary of the issues.  The manager may be aware of previous complaints from this person. 

 

NOTE:  Keep your manager updated on the progress of the complaint as you work on the case.

 

4.                   At the manager’s discretion, s/he may notify you of other concerns about the case.  If no concerns are noted and the manager authorizes you to respond, you may proceed with a response to the NCP/CP complaint. 

 

5.                   Respond to the complaint within the promised time frame.  Contact the NCP/CP and provide an update of the actions taken on the case.  If additional action on the case is still needed, provide an estimate of when the required actions will be completed.  A response must be provided within the time frame promised.

 

NOTE:  If a letter is sent to the NCP/CP, it must be approved by the team manager prior to sending the letter.

 

6.                   If the complaint cannot be resolved by the employee, involve a senior agent or the team manager.  Provide an update of the actions that have been taken on the case.  The manager (or senior agent designee) will attempt to resolve the complaint.  If the complaint cannot be resolved by the manager, notify the Associate Regional Director (ARD) and the Regional Director (RD) about the complaint and the actions taken on the case.

 

7.                   If the complaint reaches the RD, the RD will attempt to resolve the complaint.  The RD will determine if/when the ORS Constituent Affairs Director should be notified about the complaint, unless the person complaining intends to address to the ORS Director, DHS Director, or Governor’s office.  In this situation, the ORS Constituent Affairs Director should be notified.

 

NOTE:  Document all complaints that are received and all actions taken in response to a complaint in the case narratives

 

 

Third Party Contacts

 

Effective on January 2, 2015, ORS will only discuss case-specific information about child support cases with the case participants (i.e., the NCP or CP).  Case-specific information (e.g., case status, history, and balance) will no longer be discussed with a third party, unless a valid, documented Power of Attorney (POA) is on file for the case.  For additional information, refer to subsection Power of Attorney Documents, below.

 

General information (e.g., the services that ORS provides or the policies and procedures that apply to all ORS cases) can be discussed with both case participants and third parties.

 

If you are contacted by a third party, determine if this person was previously authorized to obtain information on the case prior to the implementation of this policy.   If the person was previously authorized to obtain information on the case, notify the third party of the following:

 

1.                   ORS will only discuss case-specific information with the NCP or CP.  Case-specific information will no longer be discussed with a third party; and,

 

NOTE: It is not considered a third-party situation when/if the NCP/CP comes into the office and brings in other people with him/her.  Because the NCP/ CP is in the office and is the one asking for case-specific information, it is okay to discuss the case with him/her, as well as answer all of his/her questions. 

 

2.                   Any previously received authorizations are no longer valid without a POA under this policy.

 

NOTE:  When contacted by a third party previously authorized to obtain information on the case, add a new narrative to document the date the third party was advised that case information will no longer be provided without a POA.  Do not delete previous narratives regarding third party authorizations to maintain the history of the case. 

 

 

Power of Attorney Documents

 

Once a valid Power of Attorney (POA) is completed by an NCP or CP, a copy is received by ORS, and reviewed by the AGO to confirm its validity, the authorized agent (third party) for the NCP or CP can obtain information and request that action be taken on an ORS case on behalf of the principal (NCP or CP).  A valid POA document enables the authorized agent to access the same documents or information that ORS could provide to the NCP or CP under law or policy.

 

The required elements of a valid POA are:

 

1.                   The principal must be competent to authorize the agent to act on his/her behalf;

2.                   The authorization by the principal must be in writing;

3.                   The POA must clearly indicate that the principal is authorizing the agent to act on his/her behalf; and,

4.                   A properly executed Notarial Certificate to identify the signer of the document.

 

 

Power of Attorney – Limits, Duration, and Revocation

 

A POA document may define or limit the scope of the agent’s authorization to a specific action or duty.  It may also limit the duration (the time period that the authorized agent may act on behalf of the NCP/CP) of the POA to a specific time period (e.g., for the duration of the NCP/CP’s military deployment).  If a POA document does not specify a time period or duration of the document, CSS will honor the POA until notified that it has been revoked or is no longer valid. 

 

NOTE:  If the NCP/CP is deployed, he or she must provide CSS with a valid POA document before the case can be discussed with the authorized agent.

 

The principal (CP or NCP) may revoke a POA in writing at any time.  A POA automatically terminates upon the death of the principal, unless specifically stipulated otherwise. 

 

Consult with the AGO with any questions relating to the validity, scope, or duration of a POA.

 

 

Attorney Representation

 

When you receive notification that an attorney is representing a CP/NCP, enter a case narrative documenting the attorney’s name, address and telephone number, Utah State Bar number, which case participant the attorney represents, and the date this information was received. 

 

An attorney who represents a CP or NCP can:

 

1.                   Contact ORS on behalf of the CP/NCP;

2.                   Request that actions be taken on the case;

3.                   Receive notices and statements on behalf of the CP/NCP; and,

4.                   Receive the same information that the case participant is entitled to receive. 

 

NOTE:  Remember only public information can be provided to the CP/NCP or the attorney during any telephone or email conversation. 

 

 

Using Interpreters to Communicate with Case Participants

 

When you are unable to communicate with a case participant because of a language barrier, an interpreter should be used.  If a case participant brings a third party to interpret, you may discuss case-specific information with the interpreter so that the information can be provided to the case participant.  Do not provide private or restricted information to the interpreter during the discussion.  If you believe that the interpreter is not providing an accurate translation, you should use the ORS-provided over-the-phone interpreter.