Options For Changing The Treatment Of Child Support In The Ssi Program
The amount of child support SSI children receive under current law varies considerably . Almost two-thirds of SSI children reported as receiving child support receive monthly payments of $200 or less. Three-quarters of the children who receive monthly payments of $200 or less do not have any other countable income, including any income from the custodial parent deemed available to the child . A change in the amount of child support that is counted when determining children’s SSI benefits could have a significant impact on the total household income for these families.
Several options would allow children receiving SSI to keep more of the child support paid by an absent parent. Option;1 would exclude all child support from countable income, Option;2 would increase the percentage of child support excluded, and Option;3 would replace the current rule of excluding one-third of child support with a fixed dollar exclusion.
Option;1. Exclude all child support from countable income. This option would provide the greatest incentive for absent parents to provide child support. It would increase the total income available for the child’s care and thereby encourage more custodial parents to seek out CSE services, knowing that the child support would not affect the SSI benefit for their child.
Cordell & Cordell Understands The Concerns Men Face During Divorce
The Secretary of the Treasury may seize benefits to satisfy an outstanding tax obligation and either a state agency or an individual claimant may garnish benefits to satisfy an outstanding child support or maintenance obligation. See 42 U.S.C. § 659 and Social Security Ruling 79-4.
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Where I practice, there is a 20-year statute of limitations on child support arrearage collection that begins as soon as the child turns 18. This period may be tolled if the state attempts to collect on the arrearage.
If your state has not gone after you for collection in the past, and your children are over the age of 38, the state may be precluded from garnishing your social security benefits to pay child support.
Please keep in mind that I am unable to provide you with specific advice on divorce. If you would like more advice on divorce concerning child support laws, contact a mens divorce attorney near you.
Cordell & Cordell has mens divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Daniel Exner, a Staff Attorney in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.
Question: I Have A Disabled Child Who Qualifies For Ssi Benefits Will My Support Payments Change The Amount My Kid Gets
Answer: Yes. This is a very complicated issue, but for every child support dollar you get, they reduce your childs SSI the same amount. When the court orders any;SSI beneficiarys parent to pay child support, those payments can end the childs;access to government benefits.
Why is this? Well, the Social Security Administration classifies a big part of a child support payment as unearned income while calculating SSI benefits. If the amount of unearned income is greater than the entire SSI benefit , the beneficiary loses SSI and possibly Medicaid.
Opening an ABLE account in your childs name can help overcome this issue. Eligibility for public benefits like SSI depends on your total financial resources and monthly income falling below a certain level. In other words, a family must remain poor to qualify for and keep getting SSI. The ABLE Act recognizes the significant costs of living with a disability and lets you;put money into;savings without losing your SSI;benefits.
The ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals with significant disabilities with an age of onset of disability before turning 26 years old. If your child meets this age criteria and qualifies for SSI, you are automatically eligible to establish an ABLE account.
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What Is Supplemental Security Income
SSI is a program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides monthly cash payments to low-income elderly or disabled individuals, including blind or disabled children. In addition, to be eligible for SSI the individual must have very few assets. For children on SSI, the Social Security Administration reduces the childs SSI benefit by two-thirds of the amount that is paid in child support.
What Happens If The Social Security Dependent Benefit Exceeds The Amount Ordered By The Court
The court has found that in Illinois an amount paid in excess of a current child support obligation is considered a gratuity. This means that the overpayment is considered a gift to the child. In the case of;Childerson v. Hess, the court held that payments to the minor child from the noncustodial parents Social Security could be credited toward the noncustodial parents child support obligation; however, the noncustodial parent was entitled to credit only up to the amount of obligation and excess was considered a gift to the child. 555 N.E.2d 1070, 1073 .
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How Does A Disabled Childs Social Security Benefits Affect A Noncustodial Parents Child Support Obligation
The Supplemental Security Income Program is a social welfare program for the aged, blind and disabled. SSI is paid to families of disabled children qualifying under Title XVI of the Social Security Act to ensure that the recipients needs are met at a level that provides for the necessities of life. SSI benefits received by a disabled child are intended to supplement other income, not substitute for it. Therefore, the noncustodial parents child support obligation is not impacted by the receipt of SSI on behalf of a disabled child.
Will I Have To Pay Child Support If I Receive Social Security Income
SSI is a program that makes monthly payments to elderly, blind or disabled people with a very low income and few resources. A parent cant be forced to pay child support if his or her only income is SSI. Texas law specifically says that SSI is not income. Tell the court if your only income is SSI. Get a statement from the Social Security Administration stating that you get SSI and give this statement to the court. If you were ordered to pay child support before you began getting SSI, you can ask the court to change your child support amount to $0. Use this toolkit to ask a judge to change your child support: I need to change a custody, visitation or support order.
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Child Benefits In Lieu Of Child Support
If you get SSDI, your child may be eligible for Social Security dependents benefits based on your earnings records. You should make sure that either you or the other parent apply for benefits for your child as soon as you are approved for SSDI. In some states, dependent child benefits are credited towards any child support obligations. This means, for example, that if your child support obligation is $400 a month, but your child gets $250 a month in dependent benefits based on your earnings record, you would only be responsible for the $150 gap. In some states, if the child’s benefits are greater than your support obligation, you wouldn’t be required to pay child support at all. This is true, for example, in the District of Columbia and in the state of Maryland.
Child benefits may also be used to cover any arrearages you may have accrued after you became disabled. Check your state’s laws to see how dependent child benefits and child support are handled, or speak to a family law attorney.
Can My Social Security Check Be Garnished For Child Support
Can my social security check be garnished for child support is a question some parents may find themselves wondering. The answer to that questions depends on the type of social security benefit the parent receives. Two main types of benefits are Social Security Disability Income and Supplemental Security Income .
SSI vs. SSDI:
The Tennessee Supreme Court in Tennessee Dept. of Human Servs. ex rel. Young v. Young, 802 S.W.2d 594 provides a detailed explanation of the comparison of SSI benefits to SSDI benefits.
SSI benefits are a form of public assistance and are not dependent upon the earnings a person previously had. SSI is a safety net program to assist people who are entitled to little or no income from Social Security Disability Income . Only after all other sources have been explored is eligibility for SSI benefits determined. Hence, the amount of money to which an SSI recipient is entitled is contingent upon how little a person makes or has made rather than how much. An eligible SSI recipients benefits are the amount necessary to raise the recipients income to the prescribed minimum level. However, the amount of a Social Security disability recipients benefits is keyed to how much that person has paid into the Social Security system over time as a form of renumeration for employment.
CALCULATION OF CHILD SUPPORT
REASONS FOR GARNISHMENT
Current Child Support Obligations
Judgment for Child Support Arrearages
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Will Ssi Recipients Get A Second Stimulus Check
Congress hasnt yet agreed who ll be eligible to receive a second stimulus check , but its expected that more people will be included the second time around. For example, if rules shift, you might not automatically get another round of stimulus money, even if you received the first direct payment.
Ssdi Child Support Credit Not Automatic: Disabled Parent Must File Complaint For Modification
A final note is this: if a noncustodial parent who is subject to a child support order becomes disabled, he or she must file a Complaint for Modification in order for dependency benefits to be credited against that parents child support obligation. In Tatar v. Schuker , the Appeals Court held that a disabled parent can be held in contempt for nonpayment of child support, even if the custodial parent is receiving the dependency benefit as a result of the noncustodial parents disability, if the noncustodial parent fails to file a Complaint for Modification seeking a credit for SSDI payments.
About the Author: Kimberley Keyes is a Massachusetts divorce lawyer and Massachusetts family law attorney for Lynch & Owens, located in Hingham, Massachusetts and East Sandwich, Massachusetts. She is also a mediator for South Shore Divorce Mediation.
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The Ssdi Dependency Benefit: Extra Disability Payments For Dependent Children
Typically, SSDI payments are delivered in monthly checks to the individual deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration. However, SSDI are not intended just to support the disabled person, but also that persons family. If a SSDI recipient has any dependent children, the SSDI payments will be substantially increased to provide financial support for both the recipient and his or her dependent children. This additional, supplemental SSDI income is called the dependency benefit, and it can be quite generous, with custodial parents often receiving as much as $300 every week for the dependency benefit. In some instances, the dependency benefit nearly equals the underling SSDI payment that the individual worker receives for his or her disability.
However, things get complicated if the SSDI recipient the disabled parent is divorced or is a non-custodial parent who pays child support. In these cases, the government separates the payments to the SSDI recipient and the dependency benefit paid for the dependent children. If the SSDI recipient is not the primary custodial parent, then the dependency benefit may be paid directly to the other parent.
Can I Modify My Child Support Payments While Im Disabled
Yes, youll likely have your child support payments modified if you experience a disability and cant work. This is because the courts base your child support payment on your income and income is often significantly reduced after a disability. If you want to try to modify your child support payment, you have a couple of options.
Negotiate with the other parent. If you have a good relationship with the other parent, you could reach an agreement to lower your monthly payment while youre on disability. This option allows the greatest flexibility, but youll have to be in agreement.
Youll also want to get your new agreement in writing, ideally in a contract drafted by an attorney and signed by both parties. Otherwise, the court might not honor the agreement.
- Request a child support modification. You can also request a modification from the court. The court looks at your income and ability to pay child support. This process can take longer than negotiating with the other parent, and you need to keep paying your existing child support amount until the court can modify it. The court may or may not reach a new agreement while youre still on disability.
Does my child qualify for dependents benefits?
Your child may qualify to receive benefits if youre receiving SSDI payments. The amount for each child is generally up to 50% of your disability benefits, but theres also a cap if you have multiple children that cant exceed 180% of your total benefit.
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Can We Make Our Own Child Support Agreement
Maybe. If the judge decides your agreement is in the childs best interest, the judge will sign an order based on your agreement. See Texas Family Code 154.124.
The agreement must be in writing and included in the order.
Caution: If you later decide that you want to change the amount of child support, it can be hard to modify child support IF you and the other parent reached an agreement in the past, AND that agreement differed from the guidelines. See Texas Family Code 156.401.
What If I Dont Pay My Child Support
If you dont to pay your court ordered child support, a judge can:
- sentence you to jail, and
- order you to pay all child support owed with interest, and
- take your federal income tax refund, and
- suspend your drivers license, and
- suspend any professional licenses you might have, and
- suspend your hunting license and fishing license, and
- order a lien filed against your property, and
- take your lottery winnings.
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Social Security Disability And Child Support
Like Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security Disability payments are based on your work record and what you paid into Social Security while you were working. These benefits can be paid out earlier than retirement age if you become disabled. The law treats these payments as income, so they can also be garnished for support arrears. If your child receives SSD dependent benefits due to your disability, however, this counts toward your regular child support obligation. For example, if shes receiving $100 a month in benefits and your child support obligation is $400 a month, your income withholding order for your regular support payments would be $300.
What Are Resources For The Purposes Of Child Support Calculation
The term resources refers to money from all sources, including
- dividend income,
- self-employment income ,
- severance pay,
- social security benefits ,
- veterans;disability benefits;,
- unemployment benefits,;
- disability;and workers compensation benefits,
- interest income,
- spousal maintenance and alimony.;
“Resources” are not: SSI, return on principal or capital, accounts receivable, TANF, or payments received for foster care of a child.
A judge cannot include the income of the; noncustodial;parents;spouse;when calculating;child support. See;Texas Family Code 154.069.;
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Having Trouble Paying Child Support When On Disability Payments
If, peradventure you have an issue paying your child support while on disability, there are a few ways to solve this. First off, you can try to modify your child support order.
To do this, you can argue with the court system in charge of your case, which is usually the state in which the child resides. At your hearing, youll need to be able to argue that your condition has affected your finances and made things hard for you. If you can convince the other parent, you can as well negotiate a new agreement on your own. However, ensure you put the agreement in writing to have it officially approved by a judge.
Can My Social Security Benefits Be Garnished For Child Support
There are two types of social security benefits, namely SSI , and SSDI . SSI is available to low-income individuals who most likely do not have a job or have not worked enough to qualify for SSDI. To qualify for SSI, you must have less than $2,000 in assets and a very limited income. On the other hand, SSDI is available to employees ages 65 or younger who have accumulated a certain amount of work credits and have paid Social Security taxes. If a party receives SSDI income, that partys spouse and children are entitled to benefits which are called auxiliary benefits or dependent benefits. This is additional income every month to cover the SSDI recipients dependents.
However, it is very important to remember that if you have a current child support obligation in place, and you apply for and begin receiving SSDI and SSDI dependent benefits, your child support obligation does not just automatically change. You still must petition the Court to modify your child support obligation based on the substantial change in your financial circumstances. You could be liable for back child support and arrears with interest if you do not meet your court ordered child support. Once you petition the court for a modification of your child support, your child support obligation will be retroactive to the date that you filed your Petition to Modify Child Support.
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