Central Payroll

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - GARNISHMENTS

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What is an Earnings Withholding Order for Taxes (EWOT)?

A EWOT is a wage garnishment. A wage garnishment is a legal procedure in which a portion of an employee’s earnings are required by law to be withheld and remitted to the issuing agency by an employer, for the payment of a debt such as child support or taxes.

I received a EWOT letter in the mail; do I need to do anything?

No. This letter is just to notify you that UC Berkeley has received and EWOT on your behalf and your future paychecks will be garnished until UCB receives a garnishment release from the issuing agency.

Why did you garnish my income?

UC Berkeley received an Earnings Withholding Order on your behalf to collect a debt. Delinquent balances include child support, taxes, penalties, fees, and interest, as well as non-tax debts owed to other government agencies and courts.

What is the garnishment amount?

Garnishments are 25% of a taxpayer's disposable income. In certain circumstances, UCB will receive a modified a garnishment payment amount. When we do, we will deduct the amount in the modification notice. UCB will mail a garnishment modification notice to your home address.

Are my wages going to be garnished each pay period or once a month?

See the Managing an Audit page for suggestions on interacting with auditors, both internal and external.

How is a garnishment released?

A release is a legal order that discharges you from responsibility to comply with a wage garnishment. UCB cannot issue a release. The release notification will come from the issuing agency to UCB via US mail or fax. We will mail garnishment release notices to your home address.

I received an Earnings Withholding Order and it creates a financial hardship for me. Can I get the wage garnishment payment reduced?

UCB cannot modify a wage garnishment order. You will need to call the issuing agency to discuss a financial hardship and the options available to you. Please use the telephone number shown on your copy of the order.

When will UC Berkeley stop garnishing my paycheck?

UC Berkeley must comply with the requirements of the Earnings Withholding Order for Taxes until UCB receives a legal order that discharges you from the wage garnishment.

Can I still sign up for direct deposit if my check is garnished?

Eligible for Direct Deposit: You may sign up for direct deposit if your Earnings Withholding Order for Taxes (EWOT) requires a flat dollar amount be deducted from your paycheck.

Not Eligible for Direct Deposit: If you’re EWOT states that a percentage must be deducted from every paycheck then you are not eligible to sign up for direct deposit.

Once you’re released from your EWOT then you may sign-up for direct deposit.

If I receive a paper check, where will it be sent?

Effective July 1, 2012, your check will be mailed to your home address on file in the HR system.

What if I have a question that is not listed in the FAQ?

For additional questions, email garnishment@berkeley.edu