Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

My ex owes $25,000 in back child support and just got SSI with a lump sum of money how does that work?

By ppattt from Fort Myers, FL

February 6, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

SSI can absolutely NOT be garnished for child or spousal support.

I waited the 5 years to allow the SSDI to drop away so that I could SPECIFICALLY collect SSI (I 'owe' a great deal of ransom...errrr...'child support') and flip the bird to the ex.

Further, all 'license suspensions', ie : drivers, professional, hunting, fishing, ect....are null & void once SSI kicks in. (including, but not limited to passport seizures).

I can't tell you the satisfaction I feel when I mail a copy of my SSI award letter to (along with a note with a middle-finger watermark) to support collection unit demanding they void their driver's license suspensions once a year.

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November 20, 20160 found this helpful

I have been on as I for 11 months 2days ago I went to the bank I have direct deposit I had $54 but account balance said $4 they said I need to contact child support they gave me a number I got a voicemail saying state franchise board what do I do ?

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July 22, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

No! SSDI and Social Security can be garnished for child support, but SSI can't be garnished. The reason is that SSI is not considered as income, in the sense that the recipient earned it or that it comes from earnings that was paid in to Social Security. SSI does not come from the Social Security fund, but is given to low income people who don't qualify for Social Security or SSDI, and SSI is not considered as income, like Social Security and SSDI is.

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful

Check with Social Security or your child support collection officer. I am assuming you have a case manager in the child support collection office.

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February 23, 20110 found this helpful

Ditto what Redhatterb said.

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Anonymous Flag
February 24, 20110 found this helpful

Ditto on checking with your social security case worker but, as far as I know, just because you received a lump sum for back disability pay is not going to let your ex off the hook for what he/she owes. Be sure to talk to your case worker about benefits for your children if they are minors and/or still in school. Also, talk to them about possible taxes on the lump sum so that you're prepared if you might owe any. There are special rules for disability income.

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February 24, 20110 found this helpful

I and it sounds like others are confused about who received the lump sum payment. If you are owed support immediately file a claim with your child support office they will know the laws better.

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February 25, 20110 found this helpful

Yes! I would call division of child enforcement and let them know. They will take out a lump sum every month until the debt is paid in full.

Good Luck!


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March 31, 20110 found this helpful

The Reason that SSI and the large back-pay lump sum cannot be garnished is because:

In the case of disability there are 2 types of income,



SSDI can be garnished because they worked and this is their reward I guess, but because they worked for it and it's a larger amount of money they can take it and they will before he gets it, thats including the back-pay-he won't get a cent of that.

SSI (supplemental security income) is, well, poor people.

Its more of a low-income needs based income for people that didn't have enough work credits to get SSDI so the law says that nothing can touch that money because there isn't enough of it there to garnish.

As for SSI's back pay, thats a loop hole in the process. because nothing can touch the monthly money the back pay is a lump sum of the monthly money he should have been getting the whole time he was waiting so they can't touch that either.

In your situation if he didn't give you any money out of that then he is the bastard and I think that you can take him to court for that money but until then his monthly child support bill will add up and he'll probably lose his drivers license.

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July 28, 20160 found this helpful

still true in 2016/17?

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Anonymous Flag
April 3, 20110 found this helpful

RIckyAlatorre, The thing you are incorrect about is the difference between SSDI and SSI. I am disabled and I worked for 35 years (most of them 50 to 80 hours a week) and paid in to the social security system all of those years! I was put on SSI because of the severity of my medical condition, current financial condition and hence current needs.

Just wanted to let you know that SSI does not necessarily mean a person was poor and had not paid their equal share in to the system for the majority of their life before needing the assistance we paid for that the government did not 'invest and earn interest' as originally promised would be done! No, the government ended up putting that money in the general spending coffers instead! Had the government originally kept the investment promise there would be plenty plus more of interest earnings to cover all who are 'truly' entitled!

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November 1, 20150 found this helpful

In Arkansas they don't give u one large amount but three different installments and normally they will garnish whatever before u even see it but here they dont do child support garnishes because my dad has been on disability since I was three and when they divorced i was 13 I still haven't got anything from him and he still gets a check!!! And my sister gets a check and her babydaddy has custody of their kid he couldnt even get a child support case started shes disabled!!!! Kinda messed up cuz he needs help and my mom did to theres 10 of us he didn't have to help pay for!!! System failure!!!!!:( and they don't all treat u w respect trust me my moms is mean and rude all the time and doesn't like to listen!!!

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Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?
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