Parents owe it to their children to provide them with the necessary care and attention they need. This support takes place regardless of whether the parents live together, are separated or divorced. In the United States, child support is usually collected from the parent with a higher income level to reduce the strain on the parent with the lower income.
“It is ethical for parents to provide for their minors even if the relationship or marriage with their partners has not worked out,” says Galit Moskowitz of Moskowitz Law Group, LLC. The decision of which parent pays child support and how much the parent should pay depends on the parents’ income.
Any money received by parents is not considered income. What happens on the income list differs from state to state. If you are involved in a child support case, you may need to retain the services of a qualified Social Security attorney to handle such a case.
What is child support and how does it work?
Parents are required to provide emotional and financial support to their children until they reach the age of eighteen. This obligation remains even when a parent does not live with their child(ren) or shares care responsibilities with another person.
Child support is most often paid by the parents according to a court order. Some of the common forms of child support are tuition, child care, medical care, and other forms of financial assistance. The money is used to offset some of the costs of raising a child.
Paying Child Support as a Recipient of a Government Assistance Program
When a parent is in receipt of a government assistance program such as Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Income, paying child support can add additional strain. Indeed, the allowance paid by these assistance programs is barely sufficient to enable the parent to survive and may not be sufficient to pay child support.
Therefore, a parent responsible for paying child support may not be obligated to do so if they are in receipt of Supplemental Security Income. However, parents who are recipients of SSDI can pay child support through a court order. What happens is that the benefits are paid to the child and can be considered the parent paying the child support.
How SSI Works
An in-depth explanation of how SSI works will make restrictions on support payments for recipients more understandable. The additional security income is almost the same as an SSDI. The significant difference between the two programs is that SSI recipients are not required to accumulate work credits before being eligible.
Beneficiaries of SSI programs are people with disabilities or over the age of 65. The benefits paid by the assistance program are barely enough to meet the beneficiary’s needs. Although the court can order that they pay child support, they cannot enforce it.
SSI is not recognized as actual income when calculating child support. Therefore, recipients are not required to pay child support with the benefit.
Explaining Social Security Disability Income
Social Security Disability Income is a government assistance program for workers with disabilities who, prior to their disability, were able to earn a living wage. During the period of active work, the beneficiaries must have paid social security contributions to benefit from this type of aid.
The benefits paid to the beneficiary generally depend on the amount he earned while actively working. If a recipient has worked more hours, they will likely receive more SSDI.
Therefore, one can be ordered by the court to pay alimony from the income of the SSDI if the amount of the benefit is high enough. However, before the court comes to this conclusion, the amount of the parent’s benefit will have to be considered.
Are there penalties for failing to provide child support?
Conversely, non-payment of child support may result in the court ordering the payment. Other consequences may result from failure to pay child support, such as seizure of property, a court order requiring payment of the full amount owed, and withholding of the parent’s tax refund.
Although SSI and SSDI payments may not amount to much, recipients can choose not to pay child support or pay child support through their benefits. To do this, it may be necessary to consult a social protection lawyer who will advise you on the best way to approach the situation.