Can you garnish Social Security disability benefits for child support

hand in the cookie jar

A quickie article answering a common question: can you garnish Social Security disability benefits for child support?

Title 2 Disability Insurance (aka SSDI or DIB) benefits can be garnished for child support.

However, Title 16 Supplemental Security Income (aka SSI) benefits cannot be garnished. 

This is general information only and not legal advice. Contact a lawyer for advice on your specific circumstances.

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Disclaimer: This is NOT legal advice. This site provides general information about Social Security disability cases in Colorado. To discuss your particular circumstances, please contact a lawyer in your area. Please review the full disclaimer .

About Tomasz Stasiuk

Tomasz Stasiuk is a Colorado Springs Social Security disability lawyer and the founding attorney of the Stasiuk Firm - a law firm specializing in Social Security disability cases in Colorado. Follow Tomasz Stasiuk on Google and Twitter

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  • nestor31

    My daughter may go to live with her father she is 12. I have been disabled since 1997 and on social security benefits only as my husband works I'm not eligible nor have ever taken the ssdi. My question is, how is my child support figured out as far as what I pay? The court facilitator told me I have to include the auxilery benefits. How can I do this if she is not living with me I'm assuming I am no longer entitled to the auxilery benefits and only my benefit should be in that child support calculation. Which is true?

  • Fullington 1954

    GOOD DAY MR. STASIUK . MY NAME IS JESSE F. SMITH I WAS WORKING IN KUWAIT FOR A CO. C.S.A. I WAS A SUPERVISOR FOR AIR CONDITION FOR A ARMY CAMP THERE. WHERE I LOST MY SMALL TOE DUE TO DIABETES. ALSO MY ANKLE IS AT A 45 DEGREE I HAVE A CASE FOR WORK COMP I’AM UNABLE TO WALK ALSO I’AM LIVE IN THE PHIPPINES WITH MY WIFE AND 3 YEAR KID. HOW DO I SIGN UP SSD THANK-YOU JESS SMITH

  • http://www.StasiukFirm.com TomaszStasiuk

    Social Security has some information about applying for benefits while outside the United States:

    http://www.socialsecurity.gov/hlp/isba/10/hlp-isba-add.htm
    In the Philippines, SSA says to contact your Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO) 1131 Roxas Boulevard Manila, Philippines

    http://www.socialsecurity.gov/foreign/index.html provides a list of foreign SSA offices.

    One of these should help you answer your question.

  • Tomm88077

    it’s really sad in this country when you have to hire a lawyer to get SSDI

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    I understand you sentiment. Social Security is a complicated system. Many people ask me why it has to be so hard to get disability benefits.

    However, as a lawyer helping people get their Social Security benefits, your comment strikes a cord with me. Lawyers try to help people navigate the Social Security system and take the burden off them.

    Ultimately, no one has to hire a lawyer on their Social Security case. In this this country, anyone can represent themselves in most legal proceedings.

    Compared to the cost of most legal services, hiring a lawyer on a Social Security case has low fees and strongly regulated to protect the public. Social Security limits fees to 25% of back benefits (and nothing of the ongoing/future benefits), the percentage is further capped at $6k. Compare this to the price of a divorce, DUI, will, just about anything. Most other legal services start at north of $150/hr or at a 33% or higher contingency.

    Of course, the system could be easier (and certainly faster). We’re just trying to help give our clients the best chance possible while we wait for the decision.

    Thanks for reading Tom!

  • Withing Ruth

    Question: My son’s ex-live in has 50/50 custody of their 2 girls. He gets SSD & 2 smaller checks for the girls. He pays the girls’ expenses when he has them 50% of the time as well as anytime the ex asks for money. The ex just went to SS recently and directed them to send the checks directly to her. Is that legal?

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    I am not going to touch whether it is “legal” or not. Your son can contact SSA if he disputes the change and they can review what remedy he has (if any).

    However, you seem to suggest that your son keeps 100% of the girls’ benefits, yet pays for the girls’ expense when they are with him (50% of the time), or when his ex “asks him for money.” If that is the case, I can see why she might want to change the arrangement and stop having to “ask him for money” when the girls are with her (the other 50% of the time). If this is accurate, it might raise issues with whether the girls’ benefits are being used properly.

    Of course, this may not be an accurate picture. I understand that one thing about divorces and post-divorce relationships is that they are anything but simple.

    All I can say is that I cannot answer the question. SSA can discuss the options in a situation like this.

  • Purplecrazes

    my husband just got put on ssdi and the state of mass he owes alot of child support. so they have garnished 60% of his check. what can we do to get this changed. we live in vermont.  please help linda and glen.

  • Romey Aksland

    Hello, My legally blind adult brother is on SSI. He has been for over 10 years. About a year ago the state of Oregon has garnished his SSI check for child support. They take out $279 per month. They forward $79.00 to his ex girlfriend and send my brother back a check $100 each month. This just doesnt sound right to me. He has called the social security office repeatedly and is told that there isnt anything they can do about it. He has called the state of Oregons child support department and they say there isnt anything to be done either. My brother lives in California. He isnt oppossed to paying his child support obligation but he cant afford to pay his rent any longer. What or who should I contact to try to get this straightened out? Any direction or advise would be GREATLY appreciated!  thank you

  • B Hines95

    my grandson is a survivor his mom died in  april 2006 , he only receive 147.oo a month for social security, this does not seem right to me , they based his income on his mothers last job.  She had several jobs before and even recieved
    income tax. What can I do straighten this mishap up.

  • http://www.Planet10Tech.com TomaszStasiuk

    You can give Social Security a call. 

    If you would like to check what your grandson’s benefits should be, try Social Security Advice Online. They are a national company made up of former Social Security managers. Note: this is a private company not affiliated with the Social Security Administration. You can reach them at http://socialsecurityadviceonline.com and (513) 860-5924 , (513) 779-7439. 

  • Jimdun1013

    my ex gets ssd and my daughter gets a ssd check also. does he still pay his current support on top of that?  he also got a lump sum check for her (and himself) he said that check belongs to him for the child support he paid out of pocket for the past 2 years.  that the ssd check she gets comes out of his monthly ssd check to pay his child support? what is the truth? my daught has been getting the short end of the stick  :-(

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.tofflemire Mary Tofflemire

    my ex husband will be receiving SSI very soon… he owes me $20,000 in back child support, plus he does not pay his monthly assigned support.. I have our 12 year old son 100% of the time, my son does not even want to go for a visit…BTW we live in California… My ex husband says once he gets his SSI, he will no longer owe me any child support….he also says the court will not garnish his wages…my ex says he is having my sons benefits put in a trust fund that our son can not have access to till he reaches the age of 25… I have an attorney, I just have not seen her yet… but i do have child support orders, and he does owe me $20,000… once he gets his first lump sum back payment check, will it be able to be garnished for the money he owes….he again pays no current support, hasnt for a long time…my ex tells me, that i am up a creek and he will owe me nothing… is this true?