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Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

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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


Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Jeff B.07/22/2013

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.

By Anonymous [848]04/03/2011

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!

By Dickalatorre03/31/2011

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.

By gem [149]02/25/2011

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!

By SAT [2]02/24/2011

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.

By Anonymous [848]02/24/2011

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.

By Suntydt [75]02/23/2011

Ditto what Redhatterb said.

By Joan [13]02/23/2011

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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Archive: Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

My ex husband and I have been divorced for three years. After the split he filed for SSI with a claim of mental health issues resulting from my leaving, and he got approved.

So now I have a three year old little girl who literally gets nothing from him and I was wondering if since he gets SSI if she could draw from that and receive help as well. There is no court ordered child support agreement, since he had no income at the time I filed. I just said I could do it on my own (I really really just needed him to stay away from us). So what can I do now?

By Heather from Indianapolis, IN

RE: Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

The child should be eligible. Check with your social security office. (12/03/2010)

By certifiedinsane

RE: Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

SSI cannot be garnished for child support. If he were receiving Social Security Disability (SSA) benefits your child could also be signed up to receive from his account. Unfortunately, unless he becomes employable and gets a job and ceases to receive SSI or is somehow deemed eligible for SSA/disability benefits, you are at a stand still on receiving anything from him. Sorry. (12/03/2010)

By curious74432

RE: Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

Call your Child Support Office and ask them some of these questions. (12/03/2010)

By redhatterb

RE: Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

Don't ask advice from people who may not give you the correct answer. Look at the different answers you got from here. My opinion is that you can get something for your child. It will not be taken from his benefits, but will be based on his benefits and will come from Social security. Please call or go to your local office. They will not "run you through the mill". That is not what they are paid to do. They will treat you with respect and see that you receive anything you are entitled to. (12/03/2010)

By Lilac

RE: Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

I agree, contact your local SS office. My ex was on S. S. disability and he worked with his case worker to get S.S. benefits sent to me for my son. I was lucky enough to get over $500 per month for several years until my son turned 18. (12/03/2010)

By kathyj311

RE: Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

As others have said, seek the council from the Social Security Office themselves. The are very helpful with these situations. The only thing not in your favor is there was no court ordered support at the time of your divorce. They may say he has no legal obligation to you and not be able to help. The only thing you can do then is ask him directly. Sorry, it doesn't sound like he has any interest in helping you and your daughter. By Suntydt

RE: Can SSI Be Garnished for Child Support?

Go to this website: (12/04/2010)

By yoder178

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