Can Social Security Benefits be taken for child support?

Generally, your Social Security benefits, both SSDI and SSI, cannot be garnished by creditors, subject to a few exceptions.

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The Federal Government can garnish your SSDI (Social Security Disability) benefits to recover any money owed to it, i.e. back taxes or government backed student loans. SSDI benefits can also be garnished for child support arrears as well as current child support obligations. This would include any retroactive award you may be entitled to receive. In addition, if your dependents receive auxiliary benefits under your claim, that will not satisfy or offset your child support obligation.

SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits cannot be taken for child support, loan payments or taxes.

If you owe child support and are receiving SSDI benefits, you will continue to be obligated to pay child support. You will need to seek a modification of the support order to reflect your SSDI income. Any modification takes effect from the date the petition is filed; it will not adjust any arrears you may owe.

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