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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?

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Attorney answers 3


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

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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.


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

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