When a parent paying child support becomes disabled, the parent getting the child support will likely see a reduction in payments. This is because the amount of child support that a person is obligated to pay depends on the amount of money that they are making. In many cases, someone who suffers a disability will not be able to work as much or at all. The reduction in payments will depend on the long-term nature of the injury.
In some cases, a person with a disability will receive a settlement or disability benefits. If that person hasn’t been making regular child support payments and owes for back support, the state may garnish their benefits and use those funds to pay a custodial parent back child support.
The situation is similar if someone begins to receive Supplemental Security Income, which is a program to help lower income individuals who are disabled. While the government cannot garnish these benefits for taxes or debts, they can be garnished to pay back child support.
Even if child support was ordered by a judge, it is not set in stone. Either the parent paying or receiving may request a child support modification. Child support obligations may be increased or decreased depending on the way that either parents’ circumstances change. If someone is interested in a child support modification, a lawyer could explain which circumstances would allow for a change and assist someone in building a case to request the modification. Adequate support payments are generally seen to be in the best interests of the children involved.