Q:

How does disability of a noncustodial parent affect child support?

A:

Quick Answer

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, benefits are not counted as income in determining a disabled noncustodial parent's child support obligations in most states, but Social Security Disability Income, or SSDI, benefits are counted as income, explains Lawyers.com. Social Security benefits paid directly to the child based on a noncustodial parent's disability may offset the parent's child support obligations in most states.

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Full Answer

Individuals with low income who are disabled and have never worked, worked very little or have not worked in a long time are entitled to SSI benefits, states Nolo. Disabled individuals who have worked enough to be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits are entitled to SSDI benefits. SSDI benefits are considered a replacement for lost income. As such, most states count it as income in determining child support obligations, according to Lawyers.com and Nolo.

SSI benefits are awarded due to low income and do not replace income. Thus, they are not considered income in determining child support obligations, notes Lawyer.com. Child support enforcement actions for child support that accrued before the noncustodial parent was deemed disabled may be closed, according to the Office of Child Support Enforcement of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, noncustodial parents who receive SSI and have additional assets or income may be forced to pay child support, advises Kerri Anne Renzulli for Money magazine.

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