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Child Support Payments and Social Security

Category Child Support
When a parent who has been required to pay child support also receives Social Security, one or both parents may be confused as to how this works. There are certain permissions and restrictions on what can be garnished from Social Security payments. This is a guide about child support payments and social security.
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March 14, 20141 found this helpful

It is my understanding that the following is true.

If you are divorced and have a dependent child and that child is receiving social security benefits, in most states, the benefit the child receives does indeed affect the amount of child support paid by the person responsible for paying child support.

I am a father, divorced and have a young child. He lives with his mom. I pay child support in the amount of $1,200 dollars a month. When I retire, my child will be eligible to receive approximately $1200 per month in dependent SS payments (my monthly SS benefit will be approximately $2,400.) The child is eligible to receive 50% of my benefit on his own. It does not affect my benefit.

What most states do. They add the total of the social security benefits my child will receive in a year to my annual income for child support amount calculation only. This is not taxable income, it is just added to calculate the child support amount.

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The monthly payment from Social Security for the child is then deducted from my court ordered support payment, recalculated after adding the child benefit to my income for calculation purposes only. So if I was paying $1,200 a month out of my own pocket and the child's benefit from SSA is $1,200, I no longer have to pay child support. If the SSA child support is less than the court ordered support I must pay the difference. If it is greater than the court ordered amount I do not get a refund of the excess.

So social security benefits for a dependent child can reduce or eliminate child support payments for the spouse who is legally obligated to pay them by virtue of your divorce orders. You can not double dip or receive both.

The dependent child does not have to live with the spouse paying child support. The benefit is due the child regardless as it is the child's wherever he or she is residing.

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I have read many responses to questions saying the spouse obligated to pay child support has to continue to pay the same amount despite any social security benefits the child receives. I believe that is not true, at least for children of retirees.

By Bill F

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By 2 found this helpful
January 31, 2012

My solution for problems with child support payments is that you must absolutely document EVERYTHING and keep that documentation until either the non-custodial parent dies and any children are over 18 or the end of time, whichever comes first.

When in doubt, ask the question, write down the person's name and the answer, date and time, etc. If you are required to send information to the courts, make a copy before you mail it, and send everything certified mail, so you get a receipt. Most of all, be consistent, be thorough, and file things on time!

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Source: My own experiences of 13 years fighting for child support.

By Eileen M. from Elk Grove, CA

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January 24, 2012

Your child is eligible to draw social security if one of his or her parents draw. If it is less than the court ordered amount, the parent would have to pay the extra. The parent drawing SS can also go to court and get an adjustment in thier payments. Most of the time what SS pays the child is about half of what the parent draws.

If you call SS office or better yet, go there and they can answer your questions, Also, your County Atorney's office on child support can answer questions.

By HAPPYINHARNED from Harned, KY

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By 1 found this helpful
January 6, 2012

In the case of SS benefits and child support etc, the answers are readily available from the SS office. Call the SS office or go on line to them with your question and your problem is solved.

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December 15, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about Social Security and back child support. Certain types of government programs can have their disbursements garnished for child support.

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September 27, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about "Can SSI be garnished for child support?". Some state and federal assistance programs can be garnished to pay child support.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
February 25, 2014

My son has autism. He receives SSI. I am in the process of getting a divorce. My soon to be ex wants child support for him. If she receives child support will it effect his SSI?

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By bbcookie45

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February 25, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

The amount of SSI a person, whether that person is an adult or a child depends on what other income there is in the house. Anyway that is the way it used to be. If it is still that way the child support will affect the amount of SSI your son receives. You should talk to your local Social Security Office.

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February 26, 20140 found this helpful
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My daughter gets SSI. Her dad just started paying child support. It did reduce her check, but you can call Social Security and they can tell you the formula they use because some of the child support income will get disregarded.

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June 6, 20121 found this helpful

My ex is collecting Social Security. He never paid me child support the whole time my children were growing up. He worked under the table all those years and I never could collect, so I put a 10% interest on the unpaid balance. Well Social Security is taking his Social Security from him to pay back support. Can they take all your money when you owe child support?

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By Donna

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June 7, 20120 found this helpful

The way I understand it is, a person has to be left enough to live on. Anyway that is the way it works with regular child support. Consult you local child support enforcement office.

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January 22, 20140 found this helpful

My ex pays child support. He is court obligated to pay 70% of my daughter's medical. We have been divorced 13 years. I have never had his support raised. I remarried, so I never pursued him for his part of the obligation.

My current husband died last year. My daughter collects SS survivors benefits as his step-child. As a single mom, I can no longer pay her medical bills on my own. My ex carries insurance on her. He has an HRA which is always empty when she needs it, so I pay out of pocket. If I take him to court to raise his child support and try to collect on his part of her medical bills, will she lose her survivors benefit?

Will her benefits be calculated as my income, possibly lowering his child support obligation? I'm a full-time student with a part-time job, making $100 monthly. Our daughter is 16. He hasn't contacted either one of us since she was three. He just hangs up on me when I call.

By Carolina S.

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January 23, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

I do not know which state you are in, but we live in GA. While raising a troubled Grandchild, we had to sue each parent for child support. As others here have suggested, your state's child support enforcement office should be able to handle having your ex's matters examined. They are able to garnish his pay and have the money sent directly to you. We were able to receive back support and medical expenses, as well.

You also can go, (plan to spend a long time), to the Social Security office. Your daughter's SSI may change if her child support is increased. Does she qualify for medicaid? That would cover her medical bills.
Also, try contacting the Patient Advocate Foundation. com.
They try to match you with sources that may be able to help you with medical bills and prescriptions. I wish you luck.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 3, 2016

My ex-husband was just approved for disability (SSI) and is receiving one check for himself and one check for our daughter. Should I (she) get this check in lieu of child support? (or in addition to?) He has moved two states away and doesn't plan to see her much aside from a few weeks in the summer time, so I am not sure why he should be getting a check made out to her. Can anyone clarify for me? Thanks!

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By 0 found this helpful
October 5, 2017

Am I entitled to my ex-husband's Social Security for back child support? It's about $45,000. He recently passed away.

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October 11, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

SSI and child support.

Step 1
You can file a claim in probate court against his estate for back child support.

Step 2
Minor child should receive death benefits,you must petition the social security in order to receive these benefits.

Step 3
Back child support can not be taken from supplemental security income.

Step 4
It can be taken from other SSI income.

Step 5
Here is a link that will help http://info.leg  check-24389.html

Step 6
Contact your SSI office in your area.

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By 1 found this helpful
July 30, 2015

I am 8 months pregnant. Yesterday, the father quit his job and told me he would not be working "for a while" because he is trying to get SSI. His mom is struggling financially and so they are trying to convince his counselor that he is "unable" to work and I think she is falling for it. I am meeting with her next week. We had a written agreement he would pay for daycare and verbal agreement he would help with my rent, when I would not be paid, for the last month for my maternity leave.

When I asked him about that, he said I should give our baby up for adoption! I will, of course, find a way to pay for the daycare. I already cut off my cable and started saving even more, and am prepared to support this child on my own. I don't feel I should have to by myself or give my child away like he suggests.

Once my child is born, I plan to file for child support since he has been unstable and inconsistent for my last 5 months of pregnancy. I used a support calculator and it stated that he can use his mental illness to get out of paying even though he is perfectly capable of working! He has been working and/or in school for the past 3 years! Is this true? Has anyone else filed for child support while the non custodial parent was either applying for or receiving SSI? What was your amount? I make 2300 a month, but I have bills including rent, car insurance, daycare for my 8 y/o (300 a month) and daycare for this one will be (500).

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

My husband and I have 3 children together. He has 3 children with his ex-wife. Two of his children with his ex-wife are grown (specifically 19 and 21). She has been on welfare for years.

My husband was injured and has not worked in 4 years. During this time he was fighting for Social Security. Now that he has been approved, they are taking over half his check to pay back child support and the 19 year old and youngest child are also getting SSI checks. I have lost my job and my children are the ones suffering. What can I do?

By jjfab from Portland, TN

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

If he owes back child support, he owes back child support. That happens when you get involved with a divorced person who is supposed to be paying child support. I tried to tell my daughter that, when she was 20 and planning on marrying a man with a small child from a previous marriage. Specifically I told her she would end up resenting it and she did, then when their youngest of four was less than two years old the dad left for another woman and within a year they had a kid of their own. There were times he got behind on child support to my daughter because he was changing jobs, or whatever, he lives in another state, so he never go far enough behind for the state to go after him and bring him back. The daughter he has with his third wife has never had to go without anything and the wife doesn't work. Their daughter has the best clothes, takes ballet lessons, horseback riding lessons, and on and on.

My advice is hurry up and get a job, child support enforcement can't touch your wages. Whenever I talk to somebody who is considering getting involved with somebody, be it male or female who has to pay child support, because there is bound to end up being some kind of problems; I advise them to steer clear of the relationship. From what I have heard my former son-in-laws current wife had done her fair share of complaining because he is paying child support and their daughter has to go without because of it.

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

I feel for you! Have you looked for jobs caring for additional children in your home or coming to their home? Caring for an elderly person in his or her home is another possibility. If you're not seeing advertisements ask about such jobs among friends or at churches.

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful

Go down to the social security department and talk to them. He should no longer be paying anything for the 21 year old and I don't believe he is responsible for the 19 yr old but I am not sure. SSD should be able to clarify what his responsibility is. Of course if it is back pay in child support that is a different issue. But talk to SSD to find out.

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May 26, 20110 found this helpful

I am not sure about the older children but a man is obligated to suppose all of his children, not just the ones from the latest wife. You are going to have to find another job maybe out of your normal field of work but he must support his kids. If he was not paying his child support in the past then he has to make it up. Yes your children are suffering but they are not to blame. Definitely check about the two older children but my guess is that the money they are getting is the back support they did not get when he owed it.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 16, 2017

Social Security is sending money to the wrong child support account; what can we do? They won't give us any tracking information other that to say it went to the Sacrament office of child support. California, the originating jurisdiction, doesn't know where the funds are and keeps referring us back to Colorado, the jurisdiction of our residence. And Colorado child support can't get an answer from Social Security! Madness. What do we do and who can assist us in getting this taken care of?

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December 3, 20110 found this helpful

My child's father is on SSI and is court ordered to pay child support. I am told they can not garnish his check. I am also told they can not take his license or put him in jail for not paying child support. He is out here having all kinds of kids and doesn't have to support any of them. I don't think it is fair that he can have 10-15 and not be held responsible. What can I do to have him pay child support?

By Alexis S.

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October 9, 20110 found this helpful

I signed over primary custody to my ex-husband back in 2003 when I became sick and was going through a divorce at the same time. I felt it better for my son's sake at the time rather than a long mud slinging divorce and custody battle.

It was court ordered in 2003 that I pay my ex-husband $37/week even though I was not working and he was making over $80,000 a year. He had been the bread winner for most of our marriage.

I also filed a social security disability case in 2003. Because I was hardly able to work, I had become behind in my child support. My ex-husband came up with a figure of being in arrears $7000 when we went back to court in 2008.

I took him to court in January to enforce my joint custody rights. We then came up with an agreement that I would pay him $37 per week as per the court order and an additional $15 a week towards the arrears. The judge signed off on that and other arrangements we had made. My ex-husband did ask if I would sign off on probation. I agreed.

Although I was paying my child support ahead of time Middlesex County, New Jersey Child Support Probation put in to have my pay garnished from my job. They weren't even suppose to do this unless I was late, which I wasn't. In November of 2008 I won my Social Security Disability claim. I was awarded $1200/mo plus retro pay going back to 2003. I informed my ex-husband to go to Social Security and see what he could get for my son since I had signed over primary custody, but I still had joint custody.

Just from what I know, he received $25,000 retroactive back to 2003 for my son from my disability fund. He has been receiving a monthly check for $638/month, plus when I was collecting unemployment they were garnishing that $52/week. They also starting garnishing my SSD check for another $52/week for child support. Along with collecting 3 different checks for child support from my SSD fund, he also had my tax refunds, stimulus checks, rebate check, and anything else I was due to receive garnished for payment towards arrears for the original $7000 he said I owed.

My ex-husband is re-married with another child. He makes at least $85,000 a year through a job my father had gotten him with the Ironworker's union. I receive, after the child support garnishment, $950.00 a month. Without the child support garnishment I would be receiving $1196/month. That is my whole income.

My ex-husband, as of now, since my unemployment ran out is receiving close to $1000/month in child support alone. I also have my son on the weekends and he refuses to send him with any clothes, shoes, etc. He says I should also be buying my son's clothes. He and his wife both work and make well over $150K a year with child support included.

Is this possible that he can be collecting this much in child support from my SSD fund? Shouldn't that $25K in retro money he received have gone towards anything I had owed towards arrears. They are still garnishing me for arrears also. What can I do?

By Kelly C.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 20, 2010

My ex-husband informed me he will retire at age 62, very soon. He says my son will be eligible for social security. Does this mean his monthly child support payments will end?

By Mari from Wenatchee, WA

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March 25, 20070 found this helpful

It is my understanding that when a parent collects disability, each of that persons children is also eligible to collect SS disability payments too. You may already know this. But I'm not sure about the catching up part. Good luck.

Editor's Note: It might be worth calling the SS office to check but his children should be getting their own benefit as well as possible back pay and if you are their guardian, you will be the trustee.

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September 20, 20100 found this helpful

Call Social Security.

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September 20, 20100 found this helpful

How old is your son and is he disabled? Just because your ex-husband goes on social security doesn't mean your son will get it, The way I understand it from talking to many different people kids only get social security if they are disabled or if a parent dies, then they get survivor benefits. When I got divorced in 1983, my developmentally disabled daughter received SSI after I applied for it and her Dad also paid child support. In fact he was paying support before I applied for SSI for her. But calling social security for answers would be your best bet.

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September 20, 20100 found this helpful

Yes, call social security. If your ex is going to start collecting SS he is still responsible for child support if your child is under 18. Social Security may start sending you a check to help compensate what he needs to pay you but he will still probably be paying you.

I went to Social Security Disability two years ago after a medical incident that keeps me from working. I told Social Security about my child support requirement. They started sending my ex wife checks each month that cut my payments from $900 to roughly $300. But I am still obligated to pay until my kids turn 18. Not sure how that applies if the child is disabled. That is a question to ask as well.

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Anonymous
September 21, 20100 found this helpful

Please visit your local Social Security office to talk to them personally and get an application with instructions of what they need to know and for you to submit to them. And please know that despite another poster saying they think a child might not be able to get benefits because of a parent retiring, well, that is not the case. Here is an SS link that will be helpful to you:

http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10085.html

Oh, and if the SS is approved, your ex will still be responsible for the child support difference.

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September 22, 20100 found this helpful

In my situation, when my son's father started receiving SS, my son received a SS check PLUS the child support. The child support was not affected. Good luck! The SS continued until my son graduated (he was 18 when he graduated he turned 19 in July after graduation) and the SS continued through his 18th year while he was a full-time student. The last check was the month he graduated. Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
October 20, 2017

I just found out who my 23 year old son's father is, but he's deceased. Are we entitled to back child support or Social Security benefits? If so what documents will I need for verification?

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May 2, 20130 found this helpful

I have two daughters with my husband. We broke up and he went after my children and won. I was not receiving SSI at the time. He left NY where we are from and moved down south. I haven't seen them for two years after he left New York to move to South Carolina. I moved down to South Carolina to be with him and my kids, but things aren't working between us. I'm receiving a SSI check and he works. Can he collect child support from me, since I am disabled? And if so, how can he get financial help when he has got a job?

By M.F

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By 0 found this helpful
March 4, 2017

My disability check was being garnished for child support by court order and processed by Social Security. My daughter turned 18 last December and I received a notice that my support had been terminated. Then the same month I received a notice from SS again stating that she started college, so the garnishment would continue until she graduated. So I was never without paying and they pulled it out in Dec., Jan., Feb., and now March. Then I received another letter stating that she actually never started college, so the SS office said again I was not obligated to keep paying. Yet, they never stopped garnishing me. So I would ask, how do I get my over payments back? I use direct express. Will they put it on the direct express card or how will I get it?

thank you

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By 0 found this helpful
February 18, 2017

I am a grandparent raising 3 grandchildren. The parents were ordered to pay child support and not much at that, but anyway they have never paid a dime in 2 years. Now the mother is bragging that she will never have to pay me because she just got her SSI. My question is this, can the children draw on her SSI and receive a check also? This is completely unfair, I have to pay for everything for all these children and she won't even buy them a birthday present. I have to take the kids every other weekend to spend 2 hours with her for visits. And now she is bragging she don't have to pay. I think the law should say no child support, no visits.

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