Can Social Security Garnish Me for Child Support Payments?


Dear Steve,

Can social security take out money from my check for child support arrears if it is my only income and would make it so I couldn’t pay my bills? It would be a hardship.



Dear Richard,

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), “we can withhold Social Security benefits to enforce your legal obligation to pay child support, alimony or restitution. State laws determine a valid garnishment order. By law, we garnish current and continuing monthly benefits. We do not make retroactive adjustments.” – Source

This garnishment would be the result of an order by a local court, not the SSA. The SSA also says “You cannot appeal to Social Security for implementing garnishment orders. If you disagree with the garnishment, contact an attorney or representative where the court issued the order.”

The amount requested to be garnished would be stated in the court order that was forwarded to the SSA for the garnishment.


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