Back Child Support and Social Security

My husband just got back a lump sum payment from SSA, but he is behind 10,000 or more in child support. Will child support take out what is owed for child support and give him what's left?

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August 10, 20180 found this helpful

It may be garnished. I would make an appointment with Social Security with all the documentation necessary to prove your case.

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August 10, 20180 found this helpful

You should be asking your questions at your local Social Security office as well as whatever office is handling your child support as they are the only people who can give you the true answers.

  • One question; how do you receive your child support payments?
  • Paid through the court with your divorce decree?
  • Or does he pay the money directly to you?
  • If paid through the court have you notified them about his disability and pending check payment for SS benefits for back months since he filed for disability? It is your responsibility to notify them as they do not get notices from SS about any of this. They may be able to help you get some of the arrears but it may be too late for them to stop this check (as he has probably already cashed it).
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  • Social Security is the one that you will have to contact about the arrears in back support but if he has already received his check you are most likely too late for them to help you also. They will not stop payment on a check and they will not help you obtain money from the check they issued. They will only be able to help you (and only then if you have concrete proof that he owes that money) if the check has not already been sent to him.
  • You may be too late to be able to get any of that money unless he decides to voluntarily pay some of it to you.
  • Do you still have children under 19 years of age and still in high school that he is currently obligated to pay support?
  • Most likely, support payments were based on his income before his disability so have you discussed any changes in the support payments?
  • Do you know what type of disability he has through SS?
  • If it is SSDI then he will still be obligated to pay support but he may be able to get it reduced if his benefit payment is lower than his previous income.
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    But, more important is the fact that any child under 19 years (still at home and in school) can also receive a benefit check through SS - remember - this is the case if he is receiving payment on SSDI (NOT SSI).
  • If he is on disability from SS and it is SSI then he will no longer be obligated (legally) to pay child support and your children cannot draw anything from SS either.
  • All of this is complicated and you should go to SSA and discuss all of this as there are probably going to be some big changes and you need to know what you can legally do to protect yourself through all of this. Do not wait any longer as there are time periods for doing these things and you may have already missed out on receiving any money from his back payment check.
  • You may have to get an attorney but if you cannot afford to pay for their services you may be able to seek assistance through your local family services as you should be talking with them as well.
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August 12, 20180 found this helpful

From your question your main interest seems to be in getting payment for back support but, as I stated before, if he already has his back payment check then you most likely will not be able to get any payment from that check (this type of payment for back support has to be arranged/filed through Social Security BEFORE the check is ever issued). The only way you may be able to get any of the money from his back payment check is: If he has not already spent the money, the court may be able to put a hold on part of that money (if he has it in a bank) until it is proven that he does or does not owe back support. Only the court can do this; either through your attorney or if support payments were paid through the court you can talk with them and they may help you.

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No matter what, you will only be able to get a certain percentage of the check and that will not be the full amount he is in arrears.

Your main focus right now should be on what you will receive in the future as you have not stated how many children or their ages so his disability will affect your whole future support for these children.
Most likely, he has already filed for a change in support payments.
If he is on SSI he will no longer be legally obligated to pay ANY SUPPORT and you or the court cannot force him to and SS cannot hold any money from that benefit check no matter how much you and your children may need it. This is very serious.

If he is on SSDI (benefits from previous earnings) he WILL still be obligated to pay support and you can file with SS to have a portion of his benefit check paid to you for the back support as well as filing for SS benefit checks for your children (under age 19).

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You MUST go to the SSA to find out what YOUR options are as you probably do not know whether he is getting SSI or SSDI and may not really understand the difference.

The difference in SSI and SSDI benefits can change your world.
Go to the SSA soon.

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August 10, 20180 found this helpful

Talk to the Social Security Administration and ask for help. Their contact info is here:

www.ssa.gov/.../

If they are not helpful or you need more help cutting through the red tape or figuring out what they are telling you, talk to your state senator. Go in person! If yours is like mine, they are amazing!

I found ours by putting in Google search my town name and the phrase state senator. His name came right up. Their services are free paid for by our tax dollars, so may this can help you!!

Good luck!

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August 11, 20180 found this helpful

according to this site, "Under federal law, SSI benefits cannot be garnished to pay child support. ... It is considered to be a welfare benefit rather than an earned benefit like other SSA benefits."

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however other ssa benefits like those earned after a life of working and paying into the system can be garnished

you have to send the income withholding order issued by the judge to your local Social Security office to collect

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