New Boston, TX asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Tax Law, Workers' Compensation and Social Security for Texas

Q: Does arears child support payments affect an adult disabled child's social security income?

I have a severe and profound intellectually disabled child who is 20 years old. She has no income and I her amount of ssi income is around 30.00 per month. I was told, because her father was now paying his arrears child support, it had to be counted as her income. Her arears child support was awarded to me because he never paid when she was young. the social security office said it would still be counted as her income. Therefore, her support was decreased from 740.00 per month to 30.00.

1 Lawyer Answer
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: Yes. Ask the court to enter an order that it must be paid into a special needs trust, an account with a master pooled special needs trust (such as the ARC of Texas Master Pooled Trust) or a combination of these with an ABLE account on which you have signatory authority (see www.stable.org). Money in these does not affect SSI. If the total is up to $15,000, an ABLE account is the least expensive option. The ARC of Texas Master Pooled Trust is next at $600 to establish and $400/year to administer.

Note that the Texas Family Code provides that if a child is disabled, child support obligations are lifelong. If this is not part of the divorce decree, the disabled adult child (or her representative) can ask the court for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to this effect.

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