Social Security and Child Support * Together Helping Families

Social Security and Child Support –
Together Helping Families
Lara Fors
Dee Price-Sanders
Overview of information sent by SSA
Issues, concerns
State case law
SSA Match
 State Verification and Exchange System
o Title II, Title XVI, Prisoner
 SVES for children
 Proactive SVES match
 Pending Title II claims
SVES Prisoner
Over 6,500 correctional institutions
Cost recovery program
Data reported at time of incarceration
Release date-not updated
Prison/facility address
Contact name and phone number
 Recipient name, address and date of birth
 Date of benefit or denial
 Current payment status and amount
 Benefit payee information
 Historical payment information
 Verified death information
Proactive SVES Title XVI
 Monthly match for NCPS new or ended Title
XVI benefits
 Indicator on MSFIDM matches
SVES Title II – Type of Benefits
 Retirement
 Disability
 Auxiliary/Survivors
Disability Defined
A medical condition preventing
substantial work for at least 12 months,
or expected to result in death.
The determination also considers age,
education, and work experience.
Recipient name, address, and date of birth
Claim Number and Beneficiary ID Code
Date and amount of entitlement
Current pay status
Historical record of benefits
Denial, suspension and termination dates
Verified death information
 Railroad retirement indicator
o Send IWO to:
Railroad Retirement Board
844 North Rush St
Chicago, IL 60611-20922
Proactive SVES Title II
 Returns SVES match data for person added or
changed on the FCR
 Return SVES on children when locate
requested on an adult
Survivor/Auxiliary Benefits
 If a wage earner receives a benefit, his/her
eligible children, spouse and divorced
spouse(s) may also be eligible for benefits
 If the wage earner is deceased but was injured
at the time of death, his/her surviving
children, spouse and divorced spouse(s) can
be eligible for survivor’s benefits.
Eligible Children
Disabled adult
Student child
Title II Pending Claims
Sent Proactively for new applications
Send IWO to SSA address provided
SSA will hold IWO until benefits approved
SSA will apply to initial lump sum payment
SSA - Kansas
Retirement Benefits
 Children receive an insurance benefit off of an NCP’s Social
Security Retirement. Does that apply towards the child
 Yes…
 In re Marriage of Martin, 32 Kan. App.2d 1141 (2004) held
that a child’s insurance benefits based on NCP’s Social
Security retirement benefits are a credit against the
parent’s child support obligation.
SSA - Kansas
SSDI - Establishment
 SSDI benefits are not public assistance and count as
income in calculating child support. In re Marriage of
Callaghan, 19 Kan. App.2d 335 (1994)
 Kansas would input actual NCP SSDI benefit amount
as the income amount on the child support
SSA - Kansas
SSDI - Enforcement
 Social Security Disability payments are subject to income
withholding/garnishment to satisfy past due child support
payments. Mariche v. Mariche, 243 Kan. 547 (1988).
 A child’s SSDI benefit payments may be credited against current
child support accruing that same month, but cannot be credited
against past due support. In re Marriage of Williams, 21 Kan.
App.2d (1995)
 Child’s SSDI benefit amount satisfies the entire child support
obligation if greater than child support ordered amount. Andler
v. Andler, 217 Kan. 538 (1975)
SSA - Kansas
SSDI - Enforcement
 In re marriage of Hohmann, 47 Kan. App.2d 117 (2012) the
Court gave the NCP credit towards his child support
arrears that accrued during the months covered by the
child’s auxiliary lump sum benefit.
 In re Stephenson and Papineau, 2013 WL 5014230 (9/13/2013)
NCP not entitled to reimbursement for child support
payments made during time when minor child ultimately
received retroactive lump-sum payment of obligors SSD
benefits. The excess benefit is a gift that inures to the
benefit of the children.
SSA - Kansas
SSDI - Enforcement
 Practical considerations for impact of Hohmann and Papineau:
• When does the child’s auxiliary benefit get paid out?
• How and when does the IV-D agency find out the child’s lump
sum benefit amount and period covered?
• Incentive to not pay current support.
• Impact on family
• Impact on incentive measure
• Contempt, really?
• Papineau: “Papineau argues that he would have been better
off not making timely child support payments while his Social
Security case was pending. While that may be true, his children
certainly would not have been better off if Papineau had
defaulted on his child support obligation, and such a default
could have subjected Papineau to a judgment for accrued/pastdue child support or a finding of contempt by the district court.”
SSA - Kansas
 SSI benefits are not income under the Kansas Child Support
Guidelines. Thus, an NCP receiving SSI as sole source of income
owes $0 for continuing child support obligation. State v. Moses,
39 Kan. App.2d 1054 (2008)
 As a result of Moses, all cases that are found to have an NCP on
SSI have a modification review conducted and child support
modified to $0.
 Establishment of support for NCPs on SSI results in a $0 order so
the case counts as a case under order for incentive purposes.
Child’s Benefits
 If child is getting SSI due to his/her own disabilities, the
NCP does not get any reduction in the child support
obligation. In re Marriage of Emerson, 18 Kan. App.2d 277
 Adoptive father gets no credit for child’s survivors’
benefits from biological father and the CP doesn’t count it
as income to determine child support. The benefits the
child receives are not attributable to adoptive father. In re
Marriage of Beacham, 19 Kan. App.2d 271 (1994)
Referrals to the CSE Attorney
There are three sets of questions the attorney needs to
answer before proceeding:
 Is the NCP already receiving benefits or has the NCP
allegedly applied for benefits/will apply?
 If the NCP is receiving benefits already, are they Title
II benefits (SS), or are they Title XVI benefits (SSI)?
 Is this in an Establishment action or is this in an
Enforcement Action?
When the NCP is already
receiving benefits …
 Determine whether the benefit is SS or SSI
 Request that NCP to provide written verification by
SSA of benefit amount or check your automated
 If the benefits are SS, determine whether child(ren)
are receiving the auxiliary (dependent) benefit and
verify the amount and the number of children that are
When the NCP has allegedly
applied for SSA benefits…
 Determine where NCP is in the process to give
yourself a timeline
 Verify that NCP has an application with SSA by
checking your automated system or request a copy of
application from NCP
 Verify that NCP listed the child in your action on the
application as a “child” for benefit purposes
 Request a copy of NCP’s “Social Security Statement”
o Find yearly gross reported income
o Find amount of benefit if successful
When the NCP is “going to” apply for
 Give NCP directions to SSA office or online at
 Tell NCP to keep a copy of application for you
 Tell NCP to put all of his children on the
 Tell NCP to apply for Medicaid
o Medicaid application automatically files for Social
Security Benefits; workers in that office may help you
monitor NCP’S compliance with process
Establishment with SSA application
 In addition to tips listed previously, contact NCP’s disability
attorney for time frames for a decision
 Request a copy of medical records or have NCP sign a Medical
Release form
 Monitor that NCP is keeping doctor appointments for SSD
 Send IWO to SSA; SSA will put in their COGS system
 Check automated system for new hire and quarterly wage
information to see if NCP has other (potential) income
 If NCP has private attorney, do discovery for income and assets
 If you confirms that NCP is receiving Medicaid and Food
Stamps, may want to close referral / end action
Establishment Cases and SSD
 If NCP is receiving SS benefits, all of NCP’S benefit is
included in income; the child’s benefit from NCP’S SS is not
included on the calculation anywhere
 If there is an auxiliary (dependent) benefit, that amount is
credited against the child support calculation amount
before an amount is ordered
 CS order may be zero
 Bonus question: What if the CP is receiving SS and receives
an auxiliary benefit for the child. Where does that child’s
benefit go on the calculation? that’s right……no where
Enforcement Cases with SSD Benefits
 SSD benefits are subject to IWO’s
 Even if the child’s auxiliary benefit exceeds the amount of
current child support due in a month, if there are arrears,
send IWO to SSA for the arrearage payment
o See Missouri’s Weaks v. Weaks, 821 SW2d 503 (NCP’s credit is
limited by the amount of current due)
o See Massachusetts's Rosenberg v. Merida, 697 N.E.2d 987
(NCP’s credit is equal to the benefit)
o See Arkansas’s Grays v. AR Office of CSE, 289 S.W.3d 12 (no
bright-line rule; discretion with trial court for equitable
Enforcement Cases with SS Benefits
 Disability determinations are reviewed at different
 NCP may be working and still receive some disability
payment, so you may have multiple sources of income
to attach
Establishment Cases and SSI
 If NCP is receiving SSI, the benefit is not included on
the child support calculation as income
 No auxiliary benefit is available to dependents
 If no part of benefit is SS, report to the child support
agency that NCP is on SSI only and be prepared to get
Court to order paternity and state debt only; other
factors may make you argue for some support
Enforcement Cases and SSI
 Not subject to IWO’s
 If NCP is receiving SSI only and no other verifiable
form of income, may close the referral, especially for
civil contempt cases because you have to prove the
present ability to pay
 Dee Price-Sanders
[email protected]
 Lara Fors
[email protected]

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