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Can I Get Child Support in Texas if the Other Parent is on Disability?

Millions of Texans rely on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) when a medical condition prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity. For example, a parent might be disabled or have lost a limb in an accident. They can’t work at all or they can only work a few hours a week. These benefits represent the only source of income for many of those who are disabled.

In Texas, parents must financially support their children, and getting divorced is not an excuse to stop this support. For this reason, a divorce should include a child support order spelling out how much the noncustodial parent will pay. You might also get an order if you were never married. Unfortunately, too many deadbeat parents in Texas think child support is optional. They don’t support their kids!

At the Law Office of David J. Rodriguez, PLLC, we take on deadbeat parents. A Texas child support attorney at our firm will be happy to provide more information in a consultation.

Who Receives Disability Benefits in Texas?

SSDI is a federal program. Workers pay into the system with every paycheck or, if self-employed, when they pay self-employment tax.

To receive benefits, a worker needs a qualifying disability. Generally, they must have a medical condition which prevents their ability to work and which lasts for a year. The worker also can’t transition to other work based on their skills or work history.

An SSDI applicant also needs sufficient work credits to be eligible. Workers can earn up to 4 credits in a year based on their income. Most workers will need 40 credits to obtain disability benefits, though younger workers can qualify with fewer.

Some disabled workers also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a different federal program. There is no work history requirement, but there is a means test. An applicant can’t earn too much in income or have too many assets.

Deducting Child Support from Disability Benefits

Most parents in Texas have an income withholding order. When a parent has a job, this order is sent to the employer, who withholds a certain amount of income and sends it to the other parent.

Can you deduct child support from disability benefits?

Under federal law, you can deduct child support from SSDI benefits. The government will reroute a portion of this benefit to the custodial parent.

However, if the parent receives SSI, then child support is not deducted from these benefits. That makes sense, since SSI is only paid to people with few assets.

How to Deduct Child Support from Disability Benefits

The key is to obtain a court order for child support and then send it to the Social Security Administration (SSA), which administers federal disability benefits.

If the other parent is disabled at the time of divorce, then it’s fairly easy to send the order to SSA so there is no delay in payments.

Sometimes, however, a parent is working when the child support order is first established. They become disabled later. In that case, a custodial parent might be waiting around for months with no child support coming in. You should quickly reach out to a child support attorney near me.

Learn about how we handle child support cases in San Antonio by calling our law firm today to schedule a consultation. We might immediately bring the non-payment to the court’s attention.

Child Support Modifications

Deducting child support from SSDI benefits reduces the non-custodial parent’s income. As a result, the disabled parent might request modification of their child support order. Although Texas parents need to support their kids, the state also recognizes they need to support themselves.

In many cases, a parent is working when the initial order is set. Only later does he or she become disabled. To reduce the amount they owe, they usually ask a judge to modify the order, reducing the amount they pay. SSDI benefits are not generous, so a person going on disability typically sees their income fall.

Research child support lawyers near me for assistance with a modification. You can’t just stop without a judge modifying the order. If you do, you could be arrested and jailed.

One of Our Child Support Attorneys Can Help

Child support provides critical support to children and families. Custodial parents should do everything possible to collect their support, even when the other parent is disabled.  Contact our San Antonio child support lawyer at our law firm for assistance. We can meet to review your situation and decide the best path forward.