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Garnishing Disability for Child Support

Category Child Support
Depending on the type of disability benefits you receive your payments might be garnished to pay current and past child support. This is a guide about garnishing disability for child support.
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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 1 found this helpful
December 9, 2010

I am currently receiving child support payments from my ex-husband who is on disability. He was ordered to pay $551 per month according to my decree. We have been going to court because he is trying to get the amount lowered because he pays support for 4 others as well, but was not married to the mothers.

Our children are 21 and 19 now, but he owes way over $30 thousand and $24 thousand of that amount is the principle, the other is the interest. His attorney is trying to get it lowered to $50 (can that be lowered that drastically?) because he is on a fixed income and disability.

At the DHS administration hearing I was told that the amount will probably be lowered since my divorce decree was so many years ago. The DHS representative said that although he was ordered to pay the $551.00 when we divorced the guidelines to garnish wages from his disability check are different now. They have, however, been garnishing the current amount from his disability check for the past year.

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My question is why or how can it be lowered so drastically? Will I have to get a lawyer to fight this or what can I look into to make sure the change does not occur? Thanks.

By Donna from Tulsa, OK

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December 10, 20100 found this helpful
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I don't believe anyone who posts to this board is qualified to answer your question. Laws are different in every state. You really need the advise of an attorney from your state that is familar with your type of problem.

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June 5, 20110 found this helpful
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Unless the Social Security laws have drastically changed in very recent years, Social Security Disability can be garnished. I am still receiving back child support from garnishing his disability payments for my son who is now 30. And let me say, I did not live in a big house with a swimming pool. I lived in a 728-square-foot one-bedroom house with my son from his age 6 to 19 and we had no air conditioning until he was 17. We were never able to take vacations or even go to very many movies. I became an expert in finding free things to do in our small town.

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My ex-husband always worked "under the table" so as to hide from us and to keep from paying taxes, etc. It was when my son's father went on Social Security Disability that we were finally notified that he had been found. I had registered with our local Missouri Support Enforcement Unit, but unless you are actually on welfare, locating non-supporting fathers is very low priority with them. I was never on welfare, my salary was always barely above the income limits.

Before hiring a lawyer, talk to your Social Security office first, it will probably require an actual visit. You probably won't even need a lawyer. They will tell you the documents you will need. Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
January 29, 2013

I pay child support out of my SS benefits. My arrears balance kept accumulating even though I wasn't able to work. Can that arrears balance be taken off to the date my application was filed and approved by the state for SSDI?

By Carl

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January 31, 20130 found this helpful
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Hi - it cannot be stressed enough that each case is sometimes different so no one can advise you but someone at your Social Security office. Go there and ask questions - please.

As a general rule SS/SSI/SSID have nothing to do with child support as child support is a court order and not the US government.
Child support is still owed even if the child/children are receiving SS benefits.

The court can sometimes set it up so that SS benefits can go towards child support but only an attorney can help you with this.
Free Attorney services are usually available for anyone on SSI.

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March 12, 20120 found this helpful

My son doesn't have his father's last name. His father is now disabled. Can he still receive benefits from his father's disability?

By Chastity

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Anonymous
March 15, 20120 found this helpful
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You'll need to go to your local Social Security office and speak to a representative. They will give you an application and a list of all the documents/documentation required. Be sure to make a photocopy of absolutely everything you give them, including your filled out application and attached documents, before turning it in because records do sometimes get lost or misplaced (I found that out first hand) and you don't want to have to start the process all over again.

And, yes, as long as you can prove your child is the fathers your child will most likely be able to receive an amount of benefits based on the fathers disability income.

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May 28, 20110 found this helpful

Do I need to hire a lawyer or does the D.A. file for a garnishment of my ex-husband's SSD benefits for back child support in Tennessee?

By vdl

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May 29, 20110 found this helpful
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Call the local Social Security office, they will be able to advise you on the best route to take. They may award more money for the SSD benefactor to cover child support but be warned they probably will not cover all of it. The extra money will be sent straight to the parent with the children and the balance will be the responsibility of the parent collecting SSD.
When I signed up for SSD I informed my SS councelor that I had child support responsibilities. They raised my SSD amount by a little over $600 a month but I was still responsible for $291 a month. Very acceptable all things considered. But if the spouse on SSD is a low life and doesn't want to pay, even if it is a lower amount, you may still need to a lawyer to get the balance. The Social Security office will be able to clarify. To my knowledge SSD can not be garnished.

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November 26, 20140 found this helpful

I recently was awarded disability by the VA. I have child support arrears and wanted to know is there any way they can be eradicated or reduced.

By James

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November 26, 20140 found this helpful
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You will have to talk to your local Child support Collect Office about this. It is free to talk to them. That being said, you created a child, children, and it is your responsibility to at least partially support them.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 14, 2011

Can child support take my back pay from SSDI that I get for my kids now?

By Clifford

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Anonymous
May 16, 20110 found this helpful
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If you mean your SSDI for you anything is possible depending on the state you live in. If you mean the supplemental for your children because of your disability I honestly don't think their money would be attached because it's for their expenses. The best thing to do is contact your local Social Security office and ask them what the rules would be for your particular circumstance.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 3, 2017

My ex-wife owes me 15k in back child support. She hired a lawyer so that she would be approved for disability. When she is awarded disability they will owe her a good bit of back pay. Will the back child support she owes be paid? Does the lawyer get paid before anyone? She will owe him 8k. We both live in Louisiana. I am not sure what type of disability she will be awarded. She can't work due to severe anxiety.

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February 3, 20170 found this helpful

If she is on SSI disability, and has a very low income, she can ask that future child support payments be modified. She is still legally obligated to pay back child support, and the back pay may be garnished.

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February 4, 20170 found this helpful

I strongly suggest that you find the answer to your question NOW; do not wait until your ex-wife receives the back due disability. You can make an appointment with SSA (if the disability is SSA, if not, contact the correct disability entity), bring all required information,etc., and, this is important, make a list of the questions and concerns you have BEFORE the interview and bring the list with you. This will, hopefully, guarantee that you will have all the information you need regarding the back due child support.

Good Luck!

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February 5, 20170 found this helpful

You talk as if your ex-wife will definitely be awarded disability just because she hired an attorney to file. True - this is usually correct as attorneys evaluate a case before accepting it but I have seen them fail also.

How was the total back payment of this money decided? Have you anything legally stating this figure? If not, you will need to get that established as proof will be necessary.

I believe you should hire an attorney ASAP whether you visit Social Security or not. This is a lot of money and even a few days delay could mean you lost it.

If you decide to go to SS (a regular SS office can help you) or an attorney, you will need all of your original papers concerning divorce, support information, as well as all information concerning children involved and records of payments received.

Hopefully, your support was paid through a government agency as that gives you a quick, legal account of money paid.

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March 28, 20170 found this helpful

It depends on whether she is getting SSI or SSDI as to whether or not you will receive money. My ex-husband is 129k (you read that right - $129,000) in arrears for our 4 children. He was just approved for SSDI at the end of January. DCSE called me and told me. I did some research and found out that because he's approved for disability, that each of our children are entitled to auxiliary disability benefits. So, I went and filed for those on their behalf. Because he applied for SS a long time ago (Dec. 2013) they owed back pay. 40 months of it. I received just over 32k in back pay for the kids auxiliary benefits! Each child will now begin receiving benefits of $211/mo.

HE is also entitled to 40 months of back pay. So 40 x (whatever is SSDI payment is) That should be paid to me to pay for his arrears. Waiting to see how all that shakes out, as we live in different states and are at the mercy of each states DCSE to do their part.

The lawyer is only allowed to collect 25% of the back pay - up to $6,000. The lawyer may not collect more than $6,000 by law.

I very strongly urge you to stay on top of her case, as best you can. They won't give you her info, but if she gets approved, your daughter will be eligible for auxiliary benefits. Since she's just starting the process, it could take years. That's all retroactive to the day she first applies for SS. You will need her SS#. You might be able to find a way around it if you don't have it, but I imagine it could be quite the hassle.
When DSCE told me my ex was approved, I went the very next day to the SS office and made an appointment. My appointment was on a Monday and by Friday I had 32k in my bank account.

Good luck to you!

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By 0 found this helpful
September 8, 2016

It's been years since I've received child support. The local child support office took him to court years ago and of course he applied for disability (imagine that). Years later he was finally approved for his disability and that his back pay is being intercepted due to him having arrears. Does anybody know how long the child support office holds onto these funds before disbursing them? I know that tax interception depends on them being married (hold for six months) or them being single they hold it for 30 days. I was just wondering how long they will hold the back pay?

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February 21, 20170 found this helpful

You would need to call the court or child support and ask. Each state or county has different procedures.

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February 22, 20170 found this helpful

It can take awhile, depending on where you live. The good news is that you are entitled and will get it eventually.

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February 22, 20170 found this helpful

Sounds like you may be paid back for some of the expenses paid (maybe hardships?) that you endured. This is really great because so many go through this type of situation and never receive even acknowledgement and very rarely money.
You should contact and stay in touch with your local child support office that made the original case as they will be the agency with all the information.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 4, 2017

If a mother has been ordered to pay child support and all at once she quits her job and sighs up for disability, does she get out of paying all the back child support that she is behind on? She is trying to get out of paying child support by signing up for disability and she is very able to work.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 3, 2017

From anyone's experience, are the Social Security Disability Insurance payments made directly to Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA)? A certain amount of money is being garnished and being paid to the child/ custodial parent. I am not sure if this payment is paid directly to CSEA. I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

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June 3, 20170 found this helpful

From Nola.com:Garnishment of Your Disability Payments. If you are awarded SSI, your benefits cannot be garnished to make child support payments. If you receive SSDI and have been court-ordered to pay child support (or alimony), your benefits can be garnished to satisfy your legal obligation.

From this explanation, I would assume the payments garnished are going to the CSEA and then going to the guardian of the child.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 3, 2016

I am a 51 year old, divorced, disabled non-custodial father of four kids. I get 1449.00 per month in SSDI benifits. I'm supposed to pay 550.00 per month child support. Their mother gets 714.00 per month from my disability as like a survivor benefit. Is the 550.00 that I'm supposed to pay supposed to be taken out of the 714.00 or in addition too?

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May 4, 20160 found this helpful

You should contact the agency responsible to provide your benefits to answer your question.

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May 4, 20160 found this helpful

Also-Financial Help For Seniors:

SENIORS-National Council On Aging (NCOA)

The National Counseling On Aging has a free resource site:
www.BenefitsCheckUp.org

This site is a confidential, free and easy resource service to help people 55 years and older locate and apply for benefits. There are numerous financial assistance programs, both public and private, that can help struggling Seniors trying to make ends meet. The site has information on more than 2000 programs. Many are available to anyone in need who qualify, while others are available only to older adults and can help them retain their independence.

Benefit Types
Food Assistance, Health Care, Prescription Drugs, Utility Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), low income housing, tax relief, respite care, free legal assistance and many other benefit programs are available.
To use the site, you enter basic information about the person in need-date of birth, zip code, and check boxes for what the person needs assistance with. The site generates a report instantly, listing links to the programs and services that the person may qualify for.

Some assistance programs can be applied for online while other have downloadable form to be printed and mailed, faxed or emailed in, and some require you to contact the program directly.

Benefits Enrollment Center
It is also possible to get help in person at a Benefits Enrollment Center. There are currently 36 centers in 24 states and 12 more will be added in 2016. Visit the online site for locations:
www.NCOA.org/centerforbenefits/becs

BottomLinePersonal.com050116-DCA

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By 0 found this helpful
March 24, 2016

My son was disabled before the age of 19. He is now 45 and until last year, when I started drawing SS, he was getting SSI. He is now drawing disability from AD on my work record. He draws half of what I draw. It is about $100 more than he drew on SSI.

He is the noncustodial parent of a 12 year old. He was not required to pay child support out of his SSI check. I have always helped as much as I can with clothes, dance lessons, etc. He barely makes enough to get through the month. Will he now be required to pay support? If he was drawing SS disability off of his own record, I know he would. But he gets much less drawing off of mine.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 7, 2016

Is there a program that will replace the money they take out for child support from a person on disability?

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August 8, 20160 found this helpful

I have researched many benefit programs but have neither heard of (nor found) one that essentially pays for the child support deducted from a disability (or any other) benefit. Unfortunately for the non-custodial parent paying (or not!) child support, SSA Disability is one program that the custodial parent can access for ongoing future and past arrears payments.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 1, 2016

My ex husband collects SSD and pays child support. The children are with me and my fiancé. We financially take care of everything for them on our own with the little amount of SSD they receive and child support. My question is, my ex is moving for the 10th time and continues to harass me and my fiancé trying to claim that the children receive SSD which, they do know through domestic relations because I made sure they knew plus I called to double check today and they informed me yes they know and legally I am ok and did everything right from my end. So with him paying SSD, does he still have to to pay child support? And does domestic relations take from child support?

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August 2, 20160 found this helpful

State child support laws and collection requirements vary so it is impossible to answer your question without additional information. However, your ex-husband should contact SSA and the child support agency to clarify his concerns as they are the provider of his benefits and child support requirements.

If your ex-husband continues to harass you, you can file an action with your local police to prevent him from further contact, etc.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 21, 2016

My son's father just got approved for disability. He owes child support. How do I go about getting him to pay?

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July 21, 20160 found this helpful

Contact the SSA office in your area and make an appointment to meet with a representative. Bring copies of all pertinent papers-birth certificates, child support court orders, etc.

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December 9, 20100 found this helpful

My disability is being garnished for child support. I need to know by law, can they do that? I am experiencing extreme hardship with little monies to see me through the rest of the month.

By janet garnier from CA

Answers:

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

If you don't pay child support, who is supposed to do it. Income is income and if you have a child you deserve to pay. (09/23/2010)

By Joan

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

I can only tell you my experience. When I applied for SSD I told them I payed child support, $900 a month. I was granted an additional amount of money through my SSD that was sent directly to my ex. It was not the total amount, but it helped. From my SSD I only had to pay $291 a month. I'm sure if I didn't pay it my ex could garnish my SSD. Just a bit of info in case you never talked to social services about your child support payments. (09/23/2010)

By Suntydt

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

I am a firm believer in supporting one's children. Having said that let me tell you that the way the laws are written make it impossible to get out from under the bill once your name is in the system. One of my sons has a son who is 24, has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan in the Army. My son is a machinist so has had periods over the years when he would be out of work. He is still having money taken out of his payroll check for interest accrued when he wasn't able to pay. Mind you, his son is 24 and has a toddler. It looks like my son will go to his grave paying child support. (09/24/2010)

By Marty Dick

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

If the DA's office has received notice that you are delinquent in child support they can garnish any incoming money. They can also suspend your driver's license and any professional licenses you have in the state. You may be experiencing hardship, but what about the child and mother. They are likely experiencing hardship as well through no fault of their own. Get another job if necessary and support the child you made. (09/25/2010)

By Linda L.

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

Your child should also be receiving a check from SSD; it does not matter that you are no longer together with your child's other parent. A simple phone call to SS office should take care of that.

The amount of child support is not written in stone, it can be changed according to your circumstances. Unfortunately, you will have to hire an attorney to get your child support payment amount rectified through the courts. It can be changed depending on the amount of money you do receive each month. You are usually required to pay your child a percentage of the money you get in each month. If the judge sees the amount you are living on as minimal, he may accept the amount that SSD pays your child as full payment.

You will however, be responsible for full payment, including late payments, of everything owed until it goes through the courts.

Hope all works out for both you and your child/children. (09/26/2010)

By susan

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

I am sorry that I am not being sympathetic here, but what about the hardships your child and custodial parent have had to and continue to endure? This is your child and children come first and the fact that you speak of garnishment means this situation has been going on for a very, very long time. :-( And, yes, the garnishment is legal because it's a court ordered judgment to protect the child you brought in to this world!

Do take the advice of another poster to request supplemental SSI for your child, but you will still owe the back and newer adjusted child support. (09/26/2010)

By Ann

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September 23, 20100 found this helpful

I was receiving child support until my husband lost his job. He received back pay last Friday for the time he was out and is now on 60% disability from his employer. Will I collect any child support from his back pay or from his future disability payments?
Thank you for your time.

By RStewart109 from NC

Answers:

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

Go to your local Child Support Enforcement Office and see what steps can be taken. The above mentioned office is usually connected with the department of social services. I think they will be able to advise you and maybe even do the paper work for you. (07/24/2010)

By Joan

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

We never got a lump sum just a monthly garnishment from his check. Make sure Social Security knows he owes child support. The Dept of Child Enforcement can help with that if you are not already using it.
(DCSE) (07/29/2010)

By gem

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

I'm not sure about the state that you live in, but there are different types of disability: social security disability, workman's compensation disability. Social security disability will send monthly checks to a child of a disabled person. Workman's compensation disability won't.

You can, however garnish his settlement check, if you know when he is supposed to receive it (you will need the help of an attorney). All the paperwork must be done ahead of time and given to his company before his settlement check is written. This way, he won't have time to spend the money, and part of the settlement will be made out to you. It can be kind of difficult, since his employer will try to protect him and doesn't have to tell you about when the check is being written. I have a friend who did this, and got several years of child support payments that her ex failed to pay for their two kids, over $8000 in one check. Her husband was furious, but her kids had a right to the money. (08/06/2010)

By susan

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July 24, 20100 found this helpful

My daughter lost her job and is having a very hard time finding one. She and her little one are now in danger of being evicted from their low income apartment because she doesn't have money for this month's rent. Her child's father refuses to pay any child support and he won't get a job because he lives at his father's house for free. He lives off his new wife's disability check.

Does his daughter have a right to any of his wife's ($1500) disability check? I believe her check comes from Social Security. He will never get a job (so she can garnish) and doesn't have a drivers license to revoke. He would rather go to jail than work! My daughter is a wonderful mother but is having a hard time finding a new job and any child support would help!

By Cyinda

Answers:

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

No, you cannot get money from your ex's new wife's income. File charges against him for non child support. If he's a dodger, he could put things in his new wife's name and you cannot touch it.

This is strictly a problem between exs to resolve with court system help. It'll take weeks to get things ironed out. If the new wife is pressed to come to her dead beats rescue, she might provide dollars to keep him out of jail, but that grows old and I wouldn't depend on her income to always be available. Good luck to you and your child. I feel for you having to go through a rough time without ex's financial backing. It sure would make things easier.
(04/13/2009)

By Myrna

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

I don't think that you can do that, but do call Social Security and find out. Also, if she knows where he is living and has an address it seems depending on the laws where you live that she can have him arrested for not paying child support. I hope something works out for you and your daughter and her child. These are hard times and a dead beat parent is so sad. (04/13/2009)

By Rose

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

If he would rather go to jail then help his own daughter then put him there! If his new wife wants him then all back child support will have to be paid before he can get out, if he skips a month then put him right back in jail! Don't back down no matter what story he comes up with, sooner or later people will get tired of bailing him out. 7560 (04/14/2009)

By sandy

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

When I was married, my husband's first wife filed for an increase in child support based on my income. We actually went to court over this. I had just started a business (hence his increased income) and, with start-up expenses, only made about $1, the first 3 months and her request was denied. According to the lawyer, if my income was substantial, she would have gotten an increase. (04/15/2009)

By Maya Lee

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

Gee, the ex sounds worse even than mine! At least he paid up, eventually, to keep out of jail.
If your daughter isn't too proud, perhaps she could get some assistance from the Department of Jobs and Family Services, Human Services, or whatever that social service is called in your area. She should qualify for food stamps, at least, and perhaps cash and medical assistance, too.

One more thing: the low-income housing where we lived at one time had a policy, zero income meant zero rent until there was income. I recommend your daughter talk frankly with her landlord and see what arrangements are available to her. I'll be praying for you all. (04/15/2009)

By Lelia Jo Cordell

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

You don't have to garnish his SS benefits. SS has a child benefit that your child is automatically entitled to. Just go to SS with your child's birth certificate, the father's social security number and you can get your child signed up. It doesn't come out of his check. It automatically comes from the SS Child benefit, but if he owes "back" child support you can get that as a garnishment from current wages through a court order. (04/16/2009)

By Lynne

Garnishing Disability for Child Support

I am pretty sure that you cannot garnish your ex-husband's present wife's income. Your child is not her child. She is not responsible for any of his bills made before they were married, only the ones made afterwards. That doesn't mean that her lifestyle wouldn't be impacted by his previous bills.

If you know where your ex-husband lives, contact your state support enforcement unit and have them track him down for back child support. They can put a lien on his Social Security when he's eligible for it, especially if your child is under 19 at the time. Be sure and have the support enforcement unit place the lien now in case at some point in time he applies for Social Security Disability.

A word of warning though. If you are not on some type of welfare, your support enforcement unit will probably place you at the bottom. They do seem to be more interested in going after fathers of those on welfare so as to reimburse the state rather than gain income for custodial parents. (04/21/2009)

By Noella

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July 18, 20100 found this helpful

I live in Indiana and have just been ordered to pay child support on my 19 year old son that receives $449.00 a month from SSI for himself.

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