How Social Security Benefits Can Affect Your Support Orders

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What do Social Security disability benefits have to do with family law?

Before we discuss how social security benefits may affect a divorce or support case, first we must distinguish the types of Social Security benefits.  There are two basic types: one is an insurance claim and the other is a welfare program.  The insurance claim is called Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB” or “SSDI”) and the applicant must have worked and paid into the “system” to qualify.  People who qualify for DIB receive Medicare benefits.

The other type of social security benefits is called Supplemental Security Income or “SSI”.  This is a welfare program and qualification depends on the applicant having extremely low household income and assets.  Applicants for SSI do not have to show that they worked in the past and paid into the system.  SSI recipients receive Medicaid coverage.

In a family law case, SSI benefits are not included as income to be counted against the child support recipient.  For example, in calculating how much child support a mother may receive, the Court will not take into account any amount she already receives in SSI benefits.  FC 4058.  This method increases the mother’s income because she can receive both SSI and support.

However, in calculating spousal or child support, the Court will consider any DIB received by each party. For example, if Husband is paying support but receives DIB, his income available for support includes the DIB amount.  If Wife receives DIB but also seeks support, the Court will consider her DIB as her current income in making a support order.

For questions concerning social security benefits as they apply to your family law case, please direct all inquiries to our office at (310) 212-7109.

Disclaimer: Regal Law & Mediation, APC and their attorney do not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or timeliness of any information provided herein. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. Online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal help specific to their case.

Posted in: Child Support, Family Law, Law, Spousal support


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