Disability Benefits And Child Support Payments

Disability benefits could influence the amount that you have to pay in child support. The important considerations are the type of disability benefits you are receiving and whether your child is receiving disability benefits.

The Type of Disability Benefits You Receive

The two main programs that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) runs for disabled Americans are Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits. SSI benefits are for lower income Americans and do not require a work history. As such, they do not factor into your income when a judge is determining the amount of child support you owe. SSDI benefits, on the other hand, do count as income.

Garnishing Disability Benefits

If you fall behind on child support payments, the type of your disability benefits again determines whether a court can garnish your benefits directly before you receive them. The SSI benefits are exempt from garnishment, whereas a court can take your SSDI benefits.

Social Security benefits for children based on their parent’s work record

Many disabled children are eligible to receive SSDI benefits based on the work history of one or both of their parents (children can also receive SSI benefits, which do not require a work history for either the children or their parents). States vary in how they treat children’s SSDI benefits based on their parent’s work record. In Oklahoma, a recent change in the law now requires that, if a child receives Social Security benefits, that money should count as income for the parent who receives that money. However, if the child’s benefits are a result of a disability of the child, those benefits do not figure into any of the child support calculations.

How have Social Security benefits played in role in your child support calculations?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys


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