03 Dec SSI Benefits and Child Support Payments in Florida
Divorce can be a trying event in anyone’s life. After the stress and emotional turmoil of the divorce is over, there is still the stress and frustration of paying alimony and child support. That can be more than enough for anyone to deal with, but when you become disabled and can’t work, making the payments can become more of a struggle. Fortunately, your child support payment amounts aren’t set in stone and if you qualify for Social Security Income or other disability benefits your child support payments can likely be modified.
Types of Social Security Benefits
There are two main types of social security benefits for the impaired, and both can be considered in your petition for modification of child support payments. These two types are Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Social Security Income is awarded for people who are disabled and have low income and few assets.
SSI is a monthly amount that varies based on the need of the recipient up to a maximum amount set by the federal government. However, in Florida the state can add funds to the quantity from the federal government. Social Security Disability Insurance, on the other hand, is available to all workers who become disabled, provided they have worked enough to qualify.
SSDI is paid into in the form of income taxes, and after a worker as paid into enough they can draw on them if they become disabled and can’t work. While both of these benefits are helpful, they still might not leave you with enough money to pay your child support. If this is the case, you need to take steps to modify your child support payments as soon as possible.
SSI Benefits and Child Support
If you’re paying child support while getting SSI benefits, you almost certainly can be changed. Florida can count your SSI payments as income towards your child support obligations, but since it almost certainly will be less than you were making at your job, your child support payments will go down.
When you get approved for your SSI benefits, you need to speak to your lawyer to set up a court date as quickly as you can to adjust your payments. You will need to bring all documentation relating to both your SSI benefits and your child support payments, proving the amounts of both. In Florida, if your SSI benefits are the only source of income you receive there is a good chance your child support obligations will be waived completely. Your SSI benefits cannot be garnished either.
SSDI Benefits and Child Support
If you’re receiving SSDI benefits and paying child support, your child support payments will likely change as well. Make sure to let your social security worker that you have minor children as there is a chance that your kids can be eligible for derivative benefits from the Social Security Administration.
Derivative benefits don’t come out of the benefits you are receiving but are separate benefits for your child. If you and your child do qualify for derivative benefits then you should set up a court date to adjust your child support payments and since the child is receiving new income your child support obligations will likely be lowered to compensate for that new income. For example, if the child support payments are set at five-hundred dollars a month, and the derivative benefits they receive are three-hundred dollars, you will owe the difference of two-hundred dollars.
If you do not get derivative benefits, a court date is still a good idea. Since SSDI benefits are likely significantly less than your previous income, your child support payments will be reduced to reflect your new income. If you receive SSDI and just stop paying your child support, your benefits can be garnished to make up for what you owe.
While it can seem that there is no hope when confronted with child support payments and stricken with a career ending disability, steps can be taken to make sure that you aren’t overwhelmed. Talking to your lawyer to get started on setting up the proper applications and court dates will ease the process entirely. Your child support payments can be lowered to accommodate your new income level so that even though your benefits may not be what you’re used to getting, everyone can still have enough to get by on.