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Can Social Security Disability be garnished to pay Child Support?

If you are struggling to care for a child, you depend on child support payments to meet your child’s basic necessities, and your ex-spouse is receiving federal disability benefits, you may be wondering if child support can be paid from your ex-spouse’s disability benefits.

According to Social Security Ruling 79-4, the Social Security Administration can withhold a percentage of a claimant’s Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI benefits in an amount equal to what SSA could withhold to pay delinquent income tax debt.

The Social Security Administration will not withhold interest or penalties and they will notify the SSDI claimant approximately 60 days in advance.

What if your spouse is receiving Supplemental Security Income, not Social Security Disability Insurance benefits? SSI benefits or Supplemental Security Income benefits are generally not seized for child support. The rational for this is that SSI is considered a public welfare benefit and is not considered income or is not derived from the claimant’s earnings record. Supplemental Security income is similar to other public benefits that are not seized such as food stamps.

So to answer the question, if your ex-spouse is receiving Social Security Disability Insurance a percentage of their disability pay can be garnished to pay child support obligations. If your ex-spouse is receiving Supplemental Security Income, however, the Federal Government will not garnish their SSI payment to pay child support.

Social Security Disability laws are created by the Federal Government and all states have the same obligation to follow federal laws.

For more information about child support and disability benefits you can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or if you would like a disability attorney to review your claim you can fill out the FREE evaluation form and a disability advocate will call you to review your claim or you can call our office at 1-800-641-3759 to talk to someone now.