How a Parent's Disability Impacts Child Support Payments

Disability and Child Support Payments

When a parent who has been ordered by the court to pay child support becomes disabled, the obligation to support pay child support remains in place until the order is modified by the court.

Does the parent have disability insurance?

If the disabled parent receives disability insurance benefits from the employer, then the disabled parent should continue to pay child support. If the amount of the benefits is less than the income that was used to calculate child support, then the disabled parent should consider modifying the child support for the span of the disability.

Is the parent's disability temporary or permanent?

If parents return to court for a modification of child support, the court will evaluate the nature of the disability, as well as the expected duration of the disability. A court will base the modified child support payments on disability payments, as well as any additional income received by the disabled parent.

A court will usually order a temporary modification of child support if the parent’s disability is temporary.

A court will generally order a permanent modification of child support if a parent's disability is permanent.

Wage Garnishments and Disability Payments

Some disability benefits may be garnished for child support non-payment. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a government program for lower income, disabled persons. Wages paid by SSI cannot be garnished.

Social security disability benefits, however, can be garnished for child support non-payment.