When someone fails to meet their child support obligations, the individual with custody of their children has the option of having their wages garnished. However, if someone is no longer working, this is not possible. If they are collecting Social Security benefits, those benefits may be garnished. Social Security benefits for survivor, disability or retirement benefits may be eligible because they are paid into over someone's lifetime. Since Supplemental Security Income is considered welfare, people may not garnish these benefits.
Before someone can garnish an individual's Social Security benefits, they must first prove to the court that the person in question is not making child support payments or owes back payments. Once someone has done this, the judge will issue an income withholding order, which will need to be filed with the local Social Security office.