Social Security and Back Child Support

March 15, 2009

My children's father owes me about $50000 in back child support payments. He just won a social security disability case and will get a lump sum. I was told that no one can make him pay child support with his lump sum. Can anyone tell me how I can make him pay?

Pam from Georgia


Child Support Payments and Social Security

It is my understanding that when a parent collects disability, each of that person's 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. (03/25/2007)

By Ariela

Child Support Payments and Social Security

I would check with the attorney general in your state. Many states will attach the bread winner's pay. Or maybe you could check with a legal service. Most states have such a service for folks who can not pay an attorney. (03/26/2007)

By Deanj

Child Support Payments and Social Security

The child support bureau, the court system in your area needs to be made aware of his lump sum, and the SS office needs to be made aware that he is behind in child support. ASAP. Your kids are entitled to their portion. I went thru a similar situation and my childrens' portion was taken out before my ex ever received his. Unbeknown to him (not a happy camper was he, but oh well). Good luck with this and hang in there and be persistent. You might also try Legal Aid in your area for help. (03/26/2007)

By Jule

Child Support Payments and Social Security

You need to contact the district attorney in your county because they have a unit for child support recovery. They will know what to do. I would act quickly.

By clh

Child Support Payments and Social Security

There is a mix up in what kind of payments being received by the other parent. If he/she is collecting SSI disability then child support will not enforce payments to the other parent, not saying that is is not still owed.

Now if the parents had worked, and had started collecting Social Security for whatever reason then yes, the child(ren) would be granted a portion monthly. (05/16/2008)

By Lamb

Child Support Payments and Social Security

No, No and No. If your ex is due a lump sum amount of monies from Social Security the local CSEA can place a holder on that money and it will be sent directly to the CSEA for the children. I know this because in Butler County, Ohio I have this holder on my childrens' father.


By Angela

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17 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.

January 9, 2015

How can Social Security deduct child support from your check when the child is 34 years old? Isn't there a limit of time even if you owe some back child support?

By Terry


January 9, 20154 found this helpful
Best Answer

My guess is that happens when you are extremely far behind on your support payments. It doesn't matter how old the child is he/she is still entitled to the support.

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May 3, 20162 found this helpful
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Depends on the state where you live and the location where the order for support was filed. Some states have NO statue of limitation on collection.

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April 8, 2013

My son's father lives in Marion South Carolina and I live in Maryland. He is on SSI so he sends me a letter saying that he no longer has to pay child support because he's on SSI now. This is not fair to me because he never paid when he was not on it. Please help.



April 10, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

Go to the Social Security Administration in your area or see your social worker. They will help since he is right he doesn't have to pay child support but it will be withdrawn from his SSI check. Also, you should receive back payments so have all your records ready when you go.

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October 25, 2014

My ex is on Social Security Disability. I receive a monthly payment from Social Security for back child support. He recently went to jail. I need to know if I will stop getting those payments because his check will be suspended while he is in jail.

By H. Brown


October 27, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Most likely you will still receive your benefits - but - please check with your SS office so you will know for sure. Why worry when the answer is so easy to obtain?

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January 2, 2011

I recently got back pay from SSD for a closed period {March 2008-July 2009}, $16,900. When I filed for SSD we were married. We broke up in September of 2008.

I have paid child support and have never been late. Is my ex entitled to any of this back pay for child support? It is a one time lump sum payment and I'm currently unemployed and had to go to court this past July to reduce my support from $600 to $200 a month. This all was done through the court. Please help me, I am not a dead beat dad and have a lot of IOUs out there that will take a big chunk of the money.

By kev from Concord, NH


January 8, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Kev, it's wonderful that you actually want to see to your children's financial welfare. Very few "men" have your stand-up attitude. Deeli and Lilac are right: you should ask the SSA office to be sure. However, since you're not in arrears, none of your lump sum should be garnished for child support. And yes, if you're permanently or long-term disabled, your children should receive checks of their own as your dependents. My children received checks as my husband's stepchildren when we got married. His disability was permanent, congestive heart failure. It rolled over to SSR from SSD when he turned 65. Their checks ceased when they turned 18 and weren't enrolled in college. Best to you as you travel this difficult road.

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July 14, 2014

I'm owed $46,000 in child support. My ex was approved for SSDI and backpay. He just started receiving checks.There was a judgement made for so much to be paid to me for back child support out of each check. He will also get back pay for 3 years, will I receive that also to pay off what he owes?

By Charlene


July 14, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Call your local Social Security Office and ask them. They can give you the right answer. Something you should consider is your "ex" also has back bills to pay too.

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November 24, 2013

My ex-husband (the non-custodial parent) was recently approved to receive SSDI. Our son will receive a lump-sum payment and monthly payments. My ex has filed a petition not only to stop paying child support, but also to force me to turn over our son's lump-sum payment to him, stating that the lump-sum is meant to repay him for child support he paid during the SSDI application period.

I'm hiring an attorney. Does anyone know of a similar case? If so, what was the outcome? Thank you very much.

By Rachel


November 26, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you can afford to pay an attorney then you should try to find one that specializes in this type of case. Every case is different as well as state laws so you may wish to check as many places as possible (SS office, child support offices, etc).

According to your income, you may be able to get free legal services for something like this. Be sure to keep copies of all communication concerning this matter.

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July 31, 2014

I am owed over $17,000.00 in back child support from a mother who gets official mental disability and benefits from SS administration. She is also receiving 1400.00 a month for her 3 year old because the man she lived with died; it's call survivors benefits. Can I get back child support from her disability payments and her survivors benefits?

And no, the man who died is not the parent of the child. The benefits are paid to her because she was living in same house but a different room. She gets 2000+ a month and I want my support arrears. Can I get those from the SS office?

By Mike W


July 31, 20140 found this helpful
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Call your local Social Security Office and talk to them. As far as the mother of your child collecting money from different sources, that isn't so unusual. I have a friend that collects a quite large some in disability from the state that she lived in when she got injured on the job, more than 20 years ago. She moved back to her home state because she couldn't afford to live in the state where she was injured on what she was drawing. She is still collecting that money, plus US Government disability/ plus retirement Social Security, and drawing off her ex husbands retirement social security. At the time she moved back here she was getting $1,000 a month from the state where she was injured and I'm sure it has increased a fair amount over the years.

That being said you have to talk to the Social Security Office to get the right answer to your question.

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August 10, 2018

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?


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).
  • 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. 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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My husband is currently having child arrears garnished out of his paychecks. His children are in their mid 20s and he's been paying off arrears for 5 years now and only owes 3k more. He put off retirement a year after he was old enough to start collecting retirement benefits. We just found out he will get a lump sum for working till 67 instead of 66. Even though he's been paying $500 a month regularly will child support take his lump sum?

We also have a minor teen child of our own that will get benefits of approximately $500 a month based off her father's retirement. He has no issue continuing to pay the court ordered amount of $500 a month out of his monthly retirement amount so would they still take the lump sum just to pay it off sooner?

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June 2, 2019

I am about to retire. I owe back child support. Will my Social Security retirement be garnished? How much of it can be taken?

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August 23, 2013

My dad is about to get SSI and owes back child support from when I was younger. My mama stopped it, but he still owes something. Will Social Security take that from his pay and if so will I receive anything? I'm 18.

By K. Michelle


August 24, 20130 found this helpful

You will have to talk to your local Social Security Office and the Office of Child Support Enforcement. The way I look at is you are an adult, why would you get anything? I would think something should go to your mother being she spent hard earned money raising you.

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August 27, 20130 found this helpful

Talk to Social Security.

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April 17, 2016

My daughter's father hasn't been in her life for years. The courts ordered him to pay $165 a month, but he couldn't keep a job for whatever excuse he wants to give. I have been disabled myself since 2010 and I receive a check for her as well. Her father smoked like a chimney and ended up with COPD and congestive heart failure. Now he has to be on oxygen 24/7 and is applying for disability. I understand that there are 2 kinds, SSI (for those who haven't earned enough through working) and SSDI (for those who have worked a legitimate job and made money over the table.) Unfortunately her father worked a lot of "under the table" jobs so I doubt he will qualify for SSDI.

I've heard that if he gets the SSI, all of his back child support (he owes roughly $10,000) will be forgiven. Please someone tell me I'm wrong! That would be so unfair to the children of these deadbeat dads!


April 17, 20160 found this helpful

Only the Social Security Administration can answer your questions. You can make an appointment at your local SSA office to address your questions.

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November 6, 2014

In 2011 my ex-husband received a lump sum payment from SSA for SSD. He owed $28,360 in back child support and an active garnishment was in place. The back support was collected from his lump sum payment. At the same time my son received a lump sum payment from SSA as well. The payments were similar. SSA processed the benefit lump sum payment and sent 3360.80 of the back support. For almost 4 years they had not paid the rest of the back support. Will I receive the rest of my payment plus interest?

By Shannon J


November 8, 20140 found this helpful

You may be able to get answers through your local SS office but your best bet would be an attorney who specializes in this area. This is a complicated area and not easily answered.

An attorney may want a lump sum payment or a percentage of whatever they collect so be careful and ask a lot of questions about payment.

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