The Social Security Administration offers a variety of benefits to Americans who are in need of financial assistance whether due to disability or low income. When the recipients of Social Security benefits are non-custodial parents, the parents who are expecting to receive child support payments are often unsure of whether Social Security benefits can be garnished for back child support. Maryland parents who are wondering about this issue may benefit from learning more about Social Security and child support.
They only type of Social Security benefit that cannot be garnished for current or back child support payments is Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. This is because SSI is not based on a beneficiary's earned income. SSI is considered to be a type of welfare benefit that is based on the beneficiary's need rather than the amount of money that beneficiary paid into the system.
Retirement, survivor's benefits and disability benefits can be garnished for both current and back child support payments. This is because a beneficiary pays into the system throughout his or her working life. These benefits can be garnished once a judge issues an income withholding order, and it is presented to the Social Security Administration. Those seeking to have someone's wages garnished can make a claim even if the application for the benefits is pending, and, if the benefits stop, the claim will stay on file and automatically resume once benefits resume.
Maryland attorneys who focus their practices on family law can help a custodial parent start a garnishment of benefits for the purpose of obtaining current or back child support money owed. Attorneys can help obtain an order from a judge in the state. Then, they can assist in filing that order with the Social Security Administration.
Source: Time, "How to Collect Child Support from an Ex's Social Security Benefits", Kerri Anne Renzulli, March 17, 2015