If you are the declared as a secondary parent and the court mandates that you pay child support payments to the primary parent, you are probably wondering how your disability benefits will be affected. There are quite a few common questions that recipients of disability benefits may incur when they are forced to pay child support. If you were to become disabled while paying child support and start receiving disability, you must still continue to pay. However, if the amount you are making in disability is substantially lower than your usual income had you been working, child support payments may become a lot more overwhelming. Even though you must continue paying child support, you may ask the judge to lower payments for you until you can pay the original amount. This means you will have to petition your court and request paying a lower amount of support payments.
Will My Child Support Arrears be Adjusted Accordingly?
If you have missed a child support payment and actually end up owing the court after being placed on disability, your debt will not be adjusted because of your benefits and you will still owe the outstanding amount. The amount of outstanding support that you will be required by law to pay can be reduced upon request. If you fail to pay the late child support within two years, it will return to the original amount and will not be reduced again. Your child support payments may be eligible to be garnished, but it depends on which disability benefits you are currently receiving and if you have been making your payments for support on time. Supplemental Security Income (or SSI) payments are usually given to individuals with an already low income. SSI payments are not allowed to be garnished for child support because they are intended to help the essential needs of the adult benefiting from them. Social Security Disability Insurance (or SSDI) payments are payments allotted to all kinds of individuals from different income backgrounds, and are allowed to be garnished so that you can pay your child support payments. Fortunately, if you still owe a lot in child support, you may have your SSDI garnished so that the debt can be paid off. However, you may only use SSDI to garnish a percentage of your unpaid child support, and not the entire thing. After you receive your social security disability benefits, any depend of yours may also qualify to receive benefits (called auxiliary benefits) in your name. Auxiliary benefits may not be used for child support payments, but for needs (like food, shelter, water) for the child receiving them. The family allowance (auxiliary benefits) is not allowed to be used in order pay off child support payment debt. Any amount of money that your child or dependents receive from your social security disability benefits is added to what you owe in overdue child support. Do not hesitate to contact disability lawyer Memphis TN
Thanks to Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC for providing insight on the relationship between child support and disability benefits.