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Is my ex entitled to my SSD back pay since owe arrears but Im already on a court ordered payment plan?

Fort Worth, TX |

I just received backpay from SSD and I am in arrears to my ex, we have already been to court to settle the arrangement in backpay. Is he entitled to all that money I received and can I get into trouble for not giving it all to him?

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Attorney answers 4


It depends, there is a federal law governing the collection of past-due child and spousal support payments (so that exes cannot just move across state lines to avoid the payments.) Often times the federal government will retain the past-due benefits awarded to pay off such arrearages - if your exes state had reported the information to the federal clearing house. It appears from your post that, that did not happen - you should consult with your family law attorney (or get one) to learn how much you should pay over.

Going forward please realize that your monthly benefit amount may be garnished. 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 (Supplemental Security Income) 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.


I would suggest talking to yourchild support attorney so that you are clear on what you should or should not do. Get it in writing from your attorney. Ultimately, you are the one who will get in trouble if you do not let anyone know or ask questions about what you need to pay.

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.


As my colleagues have advised, you should consult a local family law attorney. Depending on your circumstances, you may even be able to modify your current payment plan since you are now on disability. I would suggest you contact the lawyer you had to work out the court ordered plan.

Actual legal advice can only be provided by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law regarding your question. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.


The first question is 1) is it SSD or 2) SSI? If it is SSD meaning that you worked enough quarters to get it, He will get his own back amount for the children. If it is SSI-your child support will stop but you will owe back support. As long as you are paying the court ordered amount, he should not get the lump sum. You do need to contact an attorney in your area.