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Collecting back child support from Social Security

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2015 | Firm News

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.

This can be filed when someone is already receiving benefits or, in some cases, where an application is pending. After the order is filed, the office will begin garnishing the individual’s benefits. This will either be the amount of child support owed or a percentage of the back support that is outstanding.

If someone is not receiving the child support payments they are owed, it can make it difficult to make ends meet since children can be very expensive to raise. When an individual is not getting support payments in a timely manner or is owed support payments, they have a number of options for seeking this compensation. A family law attorney may be able to assist someone in seeking child support through the courts.