Skip to main content

Can my social security retirement benefits be garnished for child support arrears in ny state?

Hicksville, NY |

i owe child support arrears for my son who is 23. i am receiving ssi benefits since 2007 and was not employed for at least 10 years. i am going to be 65 soon and was informed by social security that i am going to receive retirement benefits instead of ssi. i received a letter from child support informingme that they are garnishing about 35% of my monthly check of $900 which leave me with less that $600 total without any other income or resources. do i have any recourse?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Unfortunately, it never gets easier. Child support must be paid, and it is too late now to seek a modification. Sorry.

    Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: marykatherinebrown@hotmail.com. All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


  2. Actually, it depends on which type of disability benefits you are receiving. You stated you were receiving SSI disability benefits but then you stated that your monthly benefit amount is $900, whereas the current maximum monthly federal SSI benefit is $698 and the New York 2011 maximum was $761. SO if the $900 figure is the accurate one then you must be on SSD. So if you are getting SSD then yes they can garnish your benefits, if you are getting SSI then no they cannot garnish your benefits. They can and will garnish you SS retirement benefits at age 65 as well.

    The Social Security system limits the garnishment amount to the lesser of the State maximum or the maximum under the Consumer Credit Protection Act (CCPA) (15 U.S.C. 1673(b)) and is based on the law of the State where the beneficiary resides. Hereafter, the CCPA limit is referred to as the “Federal” limit. The CCPA limits garnishment to:

    50%, if the beneficiary is supporting a spouse and/or child other than the spouse and/or child whose support has been ordered.

    60%, if the beneficiary is not supporting another spouse and/or child.

    55% or 65% respectively, if the garnishment order or other evidence submitted indicates the original support ordered is 12 or more weeks in arrears.

    NOTE: SSI payments are not subject to garnishment.

    Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.


  3. My colleagues have given good ressponse. I hope this helps - but the short answer is there may be some loss of benefits allowed.

    The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Social security topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics