Child Support and Social Security Benefits


Is my child eligible for benefits?

If you receive social security disability benefits, your child may be eligible to received benefits also.  Eligibility for dependent benefits is based on the type of disability benefit you receive.


What is the difference between SSI and SSD?

There are two types of disability benefits.  To receive Disability Benefits (SSD), you must have a sufficient work history.  If do not have a sufficient work history and you have little income and assets, you may be receiving SSI.  It makes a difference for your children.


I receive SSD. Can my child receive benefits?

With SSD benefits, dependent children are entitled to an additional benefit based on your disability.  If your child is not receiving a dependent benefit you should apply for your child immediately.


I receive SSI.  Can my child receive benefits?

If you are receiving SSI, no dependent benefits are available.


I’m disabled.  Do I still have to pay child support?

There’s not one simple answer.  If you are disabled and receiving SSI or SSD, the Social Security Administration has determined, based on your medical evaluation and other factors, that you are unable to work.


If you are receiving SSD, your child is eligible to receive benefits based on your disability.  You should not have to pay child support in addition to the dependent benefits your child receives.  If you are paying child support, you should immediately

request a court hearing to end your current child support obligation.


If you are receiving SSI, you do not have the countable gross income needed to calculate child support.  By law, Ohio Revised Code Sec. 3119.01, “gross income” does not include benefits received from any means-tested, government-administered programs.  Such programs include SSI, food stamps, Disability Financial Assistance and means-tested veteran’s benefits.  You do not have “potential income” due to your physical or mental disabilities.


In addition, the amount of your SSI benefit is barely adequate to support you.  The SSI payment standard is below the Federal poverty guidelines.


For these reasons, you should be paying no or only a minimal amount of child support.  If you are paying child support, you should request a court hearing to end or suspend your current child support obligation.


What is a minimum support order?

Whenever a court issues a child support order, the law requires that the order be set at a minimum of at least $50.00 per month.  The court may in appropriate circumstances issue a child support order for less than $50 per month.  The court may issue an order that the obligor has to pay no support.


If you are physically or mentally disabled, the court may require you to pay the minimum or no support.  However, even if the minimum support is ordered, the collection of the support is suspended as long as you are disabled.


Uncollected support accrues as arrears.  That means that if you become able to work again or you hit the lottery, you will have to pay the back child support at that time.


Can the CSEA terminate or suspend my child support obligation if I am disabled?

Generally, the Child Support Enforcement Agency is required to strictly follow the child support worksheet and guidelines.  Only a court can deviate from the guidelines.  If you want to end or suspend your child support obligation, you will have to file a motion to the court that issued your child support order.