My son's father is about to be approved for disability benefits. We are not married. He has never paid any support because he was not able to work and I never took him to court for support. I was told that people who are on disability can also receive benefits for their children. Is this true?
Social Security provides insurance in cases when a disability disrupts the ability of an individual to work and support their family. Depending on the type of Social Security benefit he receives, your child may also be eligible for Social Security monthly benefits, based on a percentage of the amount of money that he is awarded. If you don't have enough work history to qualify for SSDI, or you worked at a job that didn't pay into Social Security, you could receive benefits based on need, from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). However, only SSDI provides dependents benefits to your children. (SSI provides no benefit beyond the disabled individual). Under the child support guidelines in Connecticut, social security benefits paid to the parent for the parent's own needs and social security dependency benefits paid on behalf of a child whose support is being determined and are based on the earnings record of the parent whose income is being determined can be included in the support calculations for purposes of gross income. There are some caveats to this under the support guidelines. You son's father is obligated to provide child support for your son, even if he is receiving disabilty. You should meet with an attorney or go to the court service center to more accurately determine the amount of child support you are entitled to receive under the circumstances.
Ms. Casella has given excellent and thorough advice. I would add that disability income is generally considered income for the purposes of determining child support. There may be circumstances where it is exempted, but a case would have to be made for such a distinction.
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