Making sense of child support and how it is calculated can be overwhelming, and we are here to assist you in making sure all factors have been included.Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is part of the calculation of gross income, as both parties are required to reveal their entire gross income.This includes traditional income gained from a W-2, self-employment income, and also Social Security payments, pension payments, and SSDI.Typically, monthly payments are dispersed to the individual that is deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration.These payments are not only intended to support the individual but their family/dependents as well, and there is typically an amount separated as a supplement to SSDI, called the dependency benefit.The dependency benefit is to supplement your already-calculated SSDI and, as implied, is intended to benefit your dependents.If you are receiving SSDI and are going through a divorce and you will no longer be the primary custodial parent, the dependency benefit may be paid to the custodial parent.This ensures that the supplemental benefit continues to serve its purpose, which is to benefit the child or dependent.
What if I’m Ordered to Pay Child Support Using my SSDI?
Courts in Massachusetts will generally factor in the dependency benefit and deduct this from the amount that is ordered for child support.For example, if the child support ordered is $100 a week and the primary custodial parent is receiving $50 for the dependency benefit, then the remainder of $50 will be owed, rather than the entire $100.In the event that the dependency benefit exceeds the child support order, the primary custodial parent receives the full payment.Working with a trusted and experienced family law firm to understand all this entails will help to ensure that you are abiding by the child support order.
Are SSDI and SSI Benefits Treated the Same in Child Support Orders?
As explained above, there is a credit issued for the dependency benefit, changing the calculation of the support payment ordered.SSI does not include the same credit, as it addresses thechild’s own disability without considering the wage-earning history of the parent.Therefore, the calculation of the SSI does not change due to a credit, and the full amount will generally go to the custodial parent.
Is Garnishment Allowed in Child Support Payments from SSDI?
What if the child support payment isn’t being made and that parent is on SSDI?Funds received from SSDI are subject to garnishment for child support payments, according to both Federal and Massachusetts law, although there are limits to the amounts.We can help you to determine what those limits are based on your specific situation and walk you through the process.
To learn more regarding your specific set of circumstances, contact us today at 774-214-2137.